Welcome to Bo-Talks, our feature series where we talk with industry professionals about the treatments, tips, and tricks that can change your skin for the better.
If the idea of getting your first Botox treatment sounds both exciting and terrifying all at once — “Baby Botox” is a phrase you should get acquainted with. More and more (and younger) people are requesting this wrinkle-reducing treatment, which promises that you’ll still look like yourself, just refreshed (read: no frozen faces here). Baby Botox is the perfect way to avoid the obviously “done,” too-tight look when you’re still getting your first impression of injectables.
So how does this treatment differ from the typical Botox treatment we know and love? “The term “Baby Botox” was coined to describe when we inject a lower amount of Botox units than traditionally used,” says FACILE dermatology + boutique provider Xochitl Renteln, PA-C. “It is also used to describe when Botox is used in a younger patient as a preventative measure.” Say you’re an actor who needs to emote for work — this method will soften lines without preventing you from raising your eyebrows or crinkling your eyes.
Even if your skin is still wrinkle-free (ahh, youth) you might want to consider a consultation. Whereas traditional Botox takes care of those lines that are otherwise here to stay, “Baby Botox done before the wrinkles set in will prevent them from forming at all,” says Renteln. “The best time to start Botox is when you first notice fine lines settling in—for most this is during the late 20’s or early 30’s.” But don’t worry if you’re later to the game than that: it just might take a few units to get the best results on wrinkles that have already set in.
This treatment isn’t just for 11 lines or crow’s feet either—it can solve everything from a gummy smile to teeth grinding. “I absolutely love the lip-flip treatment for a gummy smile,” says Renteln, “it only requires a small amount of Botox into the lips or above the lip for a subtle but powerful result.” And a few extra units to your jawline can help you quit clenching and grinding your teeth in your sleep, since the neurotoxin paralyzes those powerful masseter muscles.
Say you’ve decided that this is the preventative treatment for you: what next? Renteln says that finding a qualified professional and following post-care instructions is essential. Be patient after your treatment; it takes up to 2 weeks for effects to fully take place! If you take care of your freshly injected face, you can expect to enjoy your results for a solid few months. “Most people find their results last 3-5 months” says Renteln. “I personally get about 4-4.5 months of results.”
“You should ultimately just look like a refreshed version of yourself.”
If you’re not quite ready to take this baby step, there are other things you can add to your routine to avoid wrinkles. The most important? “SPF SPF SPF!” says Renteln. Not only is it essential for avoiding skin cancer (important!) it also wards off harmful rays that accelerate the aging process…which means more wrinkles, sooner. So sunscreen is essential, but make sure to take into account your daily habits as well: most people develop more wrinkles on the side they sleep on, as on their driver’s side. Sleeping on your back and being vigilant about sunscreen re-application can help.
Overall, Baby Botox is a great option for both injectable newbies and fans of the natural look. The best part of it all? You can expect to still look like you, just a little better. “You will notice a subtle difference,” says Renteln.“ You should ultimately just look like a refreshed version of yourself.”