March 18, 2024

Is preventative Botox real?

Discover the benefits and risks of getting preventative Botox in your 20s and 30s and see if you are a good candidate for Botox injections.

Reviewed by: Karmay Hung, DNP, AGACNP-BC, CEN
Table of Contents

You likely already know that Botox is a cosmetic treatment that can reduce the signs of aging. But can Botox be preventative? The jury is still out, as there haven’t been any large-scale studies into its effectiveness as a preventive treatment. With that being said, some experts believe that preventative Botox can be helpful. So, is preventative Botox real or not? Let’s take a closer look.

What is Preventative Botox?

Botox is a common treatment used to reduce signs of aging, like wrinkles and fine lines. Most people start Botox when those signs are already visible. But, preventive Botox seeks to stop wrinkles from forming in the first place.

Because Botox freezes or weakens the facial muscles that cause wrinkling, preventative Botox may help slow the wrinkling process. Like all Botox treatments, preventative Botox isn’t a permanent fix. Ongoing sessions are optimal to maintain results over time.

How Botox works

Before diving into preventative Botox, let’s review what Botox does in the first place. Botox injections use a small amount of a toxin to freeze the muscles of the face for a limited time. Doing so helps to relax the facial muscles and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet and other common signs of aging.

So is Preventative Botox real?

When our facial muscles repeatedly contract from everyday motions like smiling, frowning, squinting and raising the eyebrows, it gradually causes wrinkles and lines to form. Theoretically, restricting these movements could also help prevent these lines and wrinkles from forming in the first place.

However, there isn’t any evidence to conclude one way or another, and it would be difficult to demonstrably prove since such studies would require following patients for decades. With that said, some dermatologists say that starting Botox injections when faint lines first begin to form may help reduce visible signs of aging. Also, some experts feel that preventive Botox may reduce the frequency of treatments in the future.

Benefits and risks

So, preventive Botox may be worth considering if you want to get a head start on fighting the signs of aging. But, as with any procedure, it’s important to remember there are risks. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the primary benefits and risks of preventative Botox, or Botox treatments in general.

Botox has been proven to be safe for most people. If you decide Botox is right for you, it’s crucial to find a trained and experienced provider. This will keep risks to an absolute minimum and ensure you achieve optimal results. After receiving Botox treatment, here’s what you can expect:

  • Improved appearance of wrinkles and fine lines - Botox is primarily used as a cosmetic procedure. It is effective for smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Possible preventative benefits - Starting Botox when fine lines begin to appear may offer some preventative benefits.
  • Noninvasive - Botox is relatively painless and nonsurgical. This makes it a popular cosmetic option for many individuals looking to reduce the signs of aging.
  • Convenient - Botox treatment typically takes around 15 to 20 minutes. This makes it one of the more convenient cosmetic procedures.
  • Minimal recovery time - After Botox, patients can typically return to normal activities almost immediately.
  • Medical benefits - Botox can also be administered to help alleviate symptoms of migraines, excessive sweating and more.
  • Results are temporary - People sometimes worry about cosmetic procedures changing their appearance too much. Botox is a temporary procedure and results gradually fade over time, so you can simply stop treatments if you’re not satisfied with the results.
  • Effective results for months - While results are temporary, they do last for months. This means patients only need Botox treatments a few times per year to maintain desired results.

Like all medical or cosmetic procedures, preventative Botox does come with some risks. As far as nonmedical risks go, some people don’t like the way Botox treatments make them look. There is also some risk that the freezing effects of Botox may sometimes affect expressiveness, which is another aesthetic concern for some patients.

With that in mind, there are also medical considerations for preventative Botox. Some common side effects1 of Botox include:

  • Headache
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Swelling or bruising at the injection site

Botox side effects may become serious in rare cases. Seek emergency medical care if you experience:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blurred vision
  • Bladder issues
  • A rash or hive at the injection site

At what age should you start getting preventative Botox?

There isn’t a definitive answer to when you should start getting preventive Botox. Generally, best practices say that starting preventive Botox is most beneficial when the first signs of fine lines begin to appear. For most people, this starts occurring in their late 20s to early 30s. This can vary for people who have especially expressive faces or those who get a lot of exposure to sun, pollution and other environmental factors that speed the aging process.

Preventative Botox isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re in your early 20s or younger. During this time, skin is still very resilient and can quickly bounce back from the factors that age skin. At this age, a good skincare routine with sun protection may suffice.

In any case, it’s best to consult with your Botox specialist to determine the best treatment plan for you. Everyone’s needs and goals are different, so a trained professional can help you decide if it’s the right time to start preventive Botox treatments.

How much does it cost?

The cost of preventive Botox varies widely based on several factors. The primary factors that influence the cost of Botox are location, the experience of the provider, the size of the treatment area and the amount of Botox required for the treatment.

Botox is typically priced per unit, with the cost ranging from $9 to $24 per unit in New York City. The average treatment for general Botox uses between 20 to 40 units, though it depends on how many areas you treat and the severity of the wrinkles and lines. Overall, the price of Botox can range from $180 to $750 per treatment area and session, with an average cost of $300. Preventative Botox may require fewer units, because the ideal time to get it is before wrinkles become severe. Remember, the severity of the wrinkles can affect the units of Botox needed.

Keep in mind, Botox treatment cost can vary greatly based on location. Some areas may have lower-priced treatments, while some areas like NYC can see treatments climb above $1000.

While there’s nothing wrong with comparing price options, you should also make sure to prioritize the quality of care. Be wary of extremely cheap treatments and make sure to research each provider. Saving money in the short term isn’t worth the potential complications from choosing an inexperienced provider.

You should also consider that the results of Botox aren’t permanent. To maintain your results, you’ll likely need to repeat the treatment every three to six months. Consider if this ongoing expense is something that fits in your budget.

How many units of Botox is normal?

Determining the “normal” number of Botox units will depend on the area being treated and the severity of the lines or wrinkles. With that in mind, the average amount of units is around 20 to 40 per treatment for general Botox treatments. Preventative treatments will likely be less since the wrinkles and fine lines are much less visible.

Determining the “normal” number of Botox units used in a treatment is not a straightforward process as it depends on several individual factors. These can include the specific area being treated, the severity of the lines or wrinkles, the patient's gender, their muscle mass and their desired aesthetic outcome.

Where to get preventative Botox

If you decide preventive Botox is right for you, it’s important to find a qualified and experienced professional to administer treatment. Your state laws will determine who is allowed to administer Botox treatments.

Depending on those laws, Botox treatments are typically administered by licensed physicians, physician assistants, surgeons, dentists, registered nurses, or nurse practitioners.

Other popular types of Botox treatment

Preventative Botox is just one avenue of Botox treatment. Here are some of the most popular types of Botox treatments for cosmetic purposes:

  • Forehead wrinkles
  • Crow’s feet
  • Frown lines
  • Bunny lines
  • Mouth corners
  • Sagging eyebrows
  • Smoker’s lines
  • Neck bands

Botox is also sometimes used for medical purposes2. Botox may alleviate symptoms of conditions like TMJ, chronic migraines, excessive sweating and more.

Compare Botox® providers in NYC

If you live in NYC, you’ll quickly find that there is an overwhelming number of Botox providers in the city. Finding a quality provider and comparing prices can be incredibly difficult. That’s where the Certainly platform can help.

Certainly makes it easy to compare providers in NYC. Simply use our search feature to find Botox treatments near you. From there, you can compare providers, prices and book your appointment directly. It’s that easy!

Get Upfront Costs & Guaranteed Rates with Certainly Health

Getting a surprise bill after your cosmetic procedure is a terrible experience. Unfortunately, it’s also a common experience. Certainly can help with this too.

Certainly is putting transparency into cosmetic and medical care by showing patients upfront costs across providers. This makes it easy to compare providers and choose the estimated rate that works best for your budget.

Ready to find your Botox provider in NYC? Get started with Certainly today.




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