Botox and other fillers may be standard in the beauty industry, but they take a terrible toll on the facial muscles, leaving the user with a face that is distorted, hard to read and often paralysed. Is it time we felt more comfortable in our skin?
Words Nichola Joss
Over the last 15 years, botox and fillers have been increasingly dominant within the beauty industry, and as a skincare specialist I have noticed the dramatic effects. Injecting Botox directly into the facial muscles over long periods of time leads to muscle atrophy, dullness, loss of tone and texture, and loss of volume. This in turn creates the need to increase volume in the muscle, which people try to remedy with more fillers and injections.
When I see a client who has perhaps had a little too much Botox and filler, I advise them to step back and reassess their body. Sometimes it’s just a good old regular facial massage that one needs to increase circulation to feed and repair the muscle tissue and renew skin cells.
Daily loving massage of the facial and neck muscles using a good facial oil/serum will definitely and almost immediately improve the tone and texture of the skin as well as improving the health and vitality of the muscle, keeping it toned and firmer. Healthy muscles enable a good blood flow full of nutrients for the skin, a process that enhances skin cell rejuvenation, leading to a radiant, lively skin.
There is a stigma about injectables. Talking to people about them, I often hear two things in particular: “When I enter the waiting room I hide behind a magazine in case anyone sees me.” “When I tell the practitioner I want a little something to soften a deep line, I am usually told, ‘Actually we can also fix this, this and this. And what about a little here, here and here?’” This attitude is making people feel anxious, ugly, guilty and shameful. Are these really words we want to associate with beauty and skincare? Why should we feel ashamed and guilty of growing older?
This epidemic of ageism is also prevalent among younger people. We see increasing reports that Botox is popular among 20-somethings. So many young women see Botox and fillers as a “preventative measure”, but there’s no real evidence that it fends off the signs of ageing in one’s forties or fifties. Plus, in our twenties our skin is still firm and supple, due to higher levels of collagen production, so there’s really no need. My main advice to my younger clients is this: at this exact moment, you have the best skin you can have, so treat it kindly and lovingly. Botox will not stop you ageing, neither will fillers. What they will do is give you weak, sagging, stressed-out muscles and skin – and which, most of all, lacks character.
It’s difficult to express oneself without muscle reaction. It’s hard to read someone’s face when there is little movement. When children want to communicate with you they firstly read your physical expressions. Resting faces may look pretty in the mirror but animation of a face with too much Botox will look distorted, slightly off balance and difficult to read. When our brain sends a message to our muscles to move because we want to smile or frown or cry and those muscles are paralysed, the messenger from the brain doesn’t just give up, it finds its next available muscle to deliver its message to. That’s why sometimes wrinkles and lines appear in the most unusual places on the face or, worse, the face looks distorted when moving.
Skincare is fantastic at delivering great results and we are now pretty savvy at protecting our skin from damaging pollutants and sunrays. So let’s embrace the odd wrinkle and fine line and enjoy the skin we are in.