Summary: Botox is the backbone of the cosmetic surgery industry. That shouldn’t be terribly surprising—it’s one of the most effective ways to eliminate wrinkles caused by muscle contractions. But new research suggests that Botox may have even more positive effects on your face. It might helps give your skin back some of its youthful pliability or elasticity. It might also help reverse sun damage in the skin. Whatever the case, research must continue, but Botox is certainly proving to be one of the most versatile tools that cosmetic surgeons have access to. So whether you’re getting Botox in Minneapolis or in New York, keep an eye out for ever-expanding options.
What Happens as We Age
There are a lot of terrible things that happen to us as we age. Frankly, aging isn’t a fun process. If it was, we wouldn’t work so terribly hard to avoid it, right? That is, after all, one of the primary principles behind cosmetic surgery. At any rate, one of the less-terrible but still irritating things that happens to us as we age is that our skin loses elasticity. In other words, when you’re young, your skin has an amazing ability to bounce back. So if your weight fluctuates or if you’re dry one day and hydrated the other, your skin has some resiliency. It can snap back into place relatively easily.
This is less true as we age. In a what is perhaps a cruel irony, the effect of gravity on our skin accumulates over time. Meaning that as our skin loses elasticity and the ability to bounce back, gravity is exerting ever more downward pressure on your tissues, dragging them down. Eventually, this creates a situation where you have excess skin. And this excess skin can cause wrinkles, it can cause droopy eyelids that obstruct your vision, and it can cause sagging skin around the jawline—effectively giving you jowls. All of these are signs of aging—rather obvious signs that, if we could eliminate, we almost certainly would.
Botox to the Rescue
New research is finding that Botox injections may actually help with this. Now, you might ask, why is this surprising? People use Botox to look more youthful all the time. Well, not exactly. They do. But only for a very specific kind of youthful look. As we age, our muscles tend to contract. Sometimes, our muscles get kind of stuck in that contracted position, causing the skin above to form a wrinkle. To eliminate the wrinkle, cosmetic surgeons inject Botox to numb or paralyze that muscle group, relaxing the muscle. Because of its rather unique operating principle, Botox is generally reserved for certain types of wrinkles.
However, there is some evidence that Botox might have some uses beyond that. According to research conducted by Dr. David Ellis of the University of Toronto and Dr. James P. Bonaparte at the University of Ottawa, Botox may improve the pliability and elasticity of skin for up to four months—in other words, improving that ability to change and bounce back that makes youthful skin so, well, youthful. According to the study, Botox was also able to reverse damage caused by UV exposure, if only temporarily.
Botox Fights Wrinkles in More Ways Than One
This shouldn’t be incredibly surprising. Botox is always forging ahead into new areas and always innovating. However, if this research holds up, it could signal a new use for Botox in an old arena: cosmetic surgery. When cosmetic surgeons use Botox to treat migraines or depression, they aren’t really putting Botox into direct competition with other cosmetic products, such as dermal fillers. However, with this new expansion for Botox (again, if the research holds up), Botox’s ability to improve skin elasticity may put it into direct conflict with, say, Juvederm, or other similar products.
Maybe. It’s possible I’m seeing the dark side a little too easily here. I suppose it’s also possible that this new ability of Botox’s will simply compliment other products that are already on the market, such as Juvederm or Radiesse and so on. Indeed, this could be the case, as dermal fillers (as the name implies) simply fill volume. They don’t address the elasticity of the skin at all. However, improving the pliability and elasticity of the skin may actually generate better results, making Botox and Juvederm (or other dermal fillers) excellent bunk mates rather than competitors. Whatever the case, I’ve rarely encountered a product that seems to have so many uses and consistently continues to innovate in new ways. Botox certainly seems to be the drug that keeps on giving, though we have to remain vigilant in our skepticism and let the trials play out as they should.
Botox for Smooth Skin
That said, time marches on. Botox is an old weapon in that war against aging, but an incredibly effective one. It is consistently used for the elimination of wrinkles and, therefore, is responsible for giving many patients a youthful new look. But Botox now seems to be able to improve the skin and temporarily reverse damage from UV rays. This means that Botox is constantly finding new ways to make us look more youthful.
You shouldn’t be surprised then, that we like Botox. We like Botox a lot. Talk to your cosmetic surgeon about your Botox options today.