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Shakespearean Beauty Dilemma: To Be or Not To Be… Injected

By Daniel Baker

Since they first became available for cosmetic use, injectable muscle relaxants have been the treatment of choice for millions of women from 20 to 85. Popular though they may be, these injections also have their detractors.

There is a dazzling array of anti-ageing treatments available, from skin-rejuvenating lasers to high-tech peels and bespoke moisturisers. So why is an injectable toxin at the top of everyone’s beauty wish list?

This article looks at the up- and downsides of one of the most popular wrinkle treatments in the world and offers some anecdotal thoughts from people who view them as everything from wonderfully restorative to dangerously addictive.

Anti-Wrinkle Injections in Your 20’s

A commentary published online in The Journal of the American Medical Associationof Dermatology,states that it is “rarely too early to start a conservative and thoughtful use of neuromodulators (muscle relaxants), fillers and non-invasive energy-based treatments.”

Critics of anti-wrinkle injections point to the potentially exorbitant cost of starting such treatments in early adulthood. “For the average person to start using anti-wrinkle injections in their twenties is overkill,” says Dr Arthur Perry. “There’s a variability in the wrinkles and thinning of the skin, so to do it before the late thirties is probably unnecessary in the vast majority of people.”

Twenty-four-year-old surgical technologist (and anti-wrinkle injection enthusiast) Danielle Dunsmuir disagrees. She shared her thoughts on her own experience with the Huffington Post:

“I’ve been working in the doctor’s office for two years, and basically since I started working here I’ve thought about getting (anti-wrinkle injections). I had lines on my forehead. Even when I put on my bronzer it would lay in my lines. And I was told it could also be preventive. A lot of people say that if you start younger – in your 20s, 30s – (anti-wrinkle injections) actually help you in the long run. Afterward, my family couldn’t even tell whether I had it or not. I definitely liked it when I put my makeup on. It’s a lot smoother. I’m going to keep doing it. It’s so natural.” 

Anti-Wrinkle Injections Over 30

Wrinkles that are due to repeated muscle action deepen with age. That’s why so many people turn to cosmetic injectables. When injected, a neurotoxin relaxes muscles, which prevents your skin from creasing and causing wrinkles. It’s an effective treatment for expression lines, such as frown and surprise lines on the forehead and crow’s feet around the eyes.

It is Australia’s #1 cosmetic treatment, requested in more than 90% of clinics nationwide.

Posting to a board at the Daily Mail, a thirty-something Edinburgh woman wrote,

“I use (muscle relaxer injections), but I don’t tell anyone. I’ve heard comments like ‘You are so lucky you have good genes and don’t need to get anything done.’ That’s because I have a good doctor who uses the real stuff!“

Celebrities Say No to Anti-Wrinkle Injections

Although anti-wrinkle treatments with muscle relaxants gained attention and popularity on the red carpet, celebrities are re-thinking their love affair with muscle relaxants. Earlier this year, Gwyneth Paltrow, 41, admitted she’d dabbled with the age-defying toxin. But, she said in an interview, “I won’t do (anti-wrinkle injections) again, because I looked crazy. I looked like Joan Rivers!”

Julia Roberts, 46, has also dissed the injections, saying, “I want my kids to know when I’m happy and when I’m confounded.”

Gemma Numan, the wife of pop star Gary Numan, has spoken of her addiction to cosmetic treatments. “I have regular injections of (anti-wrinkle injections),” she told the Daily Telegraph. “When I have had one treatment, I can’t wait for the next. Every minute takes me nearer to my goal: looking better and feeling happier. Without it, I feel ugly, unsexy and unlovable.”

In the end, the decision to be or not to be injected with neurotoxins for anti-wrinkle beauty is yours alone, and should be made with the advice and guidance of a trained medical professional.