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Am I too young for a cosmetic procedure?

Posted on: March 28th, 2017 by Dr. Jennifer Herrmann

If you’re in your 20s, have you wondered, “Am I too young to consider a cosmetic procedure?” Honestly, probably not. As we learn more about cosmetic injectables, we are gaining insight on how these products and procedures can actually help to prevent the signs of aging. Yes, starting cosmetics early allows us to “prejuvenate” or maintain youthful skin longer through small enhancements. Once significant skin damage has occurred, it can be much more challenging and expensive to make drastic changes to enhance appearance rather than trying to make small preventative changes before the damage occurs.

Let’s take our muscle relaxants, like botox and dysport. When we smile or frown, our muscles contract, forming forehead, scowl and squint lines. When we inject these relaxants into the skin, they prevent our muscles from flexing. This softens our expressions and helps prevent lines from becoming more firmly etched into the skin. For people without lines, use of these products can actually prevent them from forming in the first place. Starting these injections in the 20s and 30s can make a big difference in your 40s and 50s, and because muscles are trained to flex less, you’ll need fewer injections each decade to maintain super smooth skin.

And the same goes for our facial fillers. While fillers can immediately soften lines and improve facial contours, use of these products actually has longer-term benefits. Fillers have been shown to not just fill but also stretch surrounding skin cells called fibroblasts, telling them to produce more native collagen. Collagen gives skin lift and support, and by stimulating its production, fillers actually help re-volumize in a very natural way. As native collagen starts to degrade in the 30s and 40s, increased collagen production can soften the appearance of aging.

So, why are younger patients hesitant about starting cosmetic procedures? The number one reason is that they fear a frozen or unnatural look. The key is to stick by the principle “less is more.” When you’re younger, we can use very small amounts of product that make you look more rested and confident but that don’t drastically change your look. Little amounts go far, because only small adjustments are needed. Remember, this is prejuvenation, not major rejuvenation! By starting early and doing baby improvements over time, you end up maintaining a natural look because you better preserve what you have. If you do nothing until you’re 60s, you may need a much larger procedure to accomplish goals that will change your look overnight. It’s a journey, not a destination.

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