‘Prejuvenation’ vs. rejuvenation: Botox treatments on the rise among a younger population

BOSTON — It’s a trend that’s happening among younger people — getting injectables at an earlier age to prevent wrinkles from forming.

“What areas do you want to treat today?” Alexandra Rogers asked her patient at LexRx in Charlestown.

As the co-owner of LexRx and a nurse practitioner, Rogers regularly sees patients wanting to erase their signs of aging.

“Okay, you’re going to feel little pinches,” warned Rogers to her patient.

The largest demographic her Botox and face treatment practice caters to right now — millennials.

“If you start young and you’re really consistent with your treatments, then as the years go on, you can actually end up going further and further between your treatments because the muscles will atrophy over time,” said Rogers.

Amy Gusky started injectables when she was 31 years old.

“I always kind of had lines in my forehead, and I was recently divorced, and I just wanted to kind of slow down the aging process,” said Gusky, a client at LexRx.

Michaela Forbes began treatment at 26.

“Same thing as getting your nails done,” said Forbes, a client at LexRx. “That’s kind of how I think of it. It’s just a nice self-care aspect, and I love the way it looks.”

“If you need me to stop at any point, you just tell me,” Alexa Nicholls Costa, co-owner of LexRx and a nurse practitioner, told her client.

“They want to look good,” said Nicholls Costa. “They want to feel good. And that carries through all aspects of their life. So physically they’re working out more. People are prioritizing their health. And this is truly just another element of self-care. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I think we should really embrace that movement, and it’s here for the long term.”

Alexa says she felt judged for getting her first Botox treatment at 23 years old. Now, she believes it’s become more mainstream.

“The stigma has certainly diminished,” said Nicholls Costa. “I would say we are at the tip of the iceberg in terms of clients seeking these treatments. There’s still a very curious population that has not even dipped their toe into this industry yet.”

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons points to the steady rise of people sharing their procedures on social media — which in turn resulted in an increase in certain procedures. Interest in facial injections and fillers doubled since 2019. Lip filler was among the top five sought.

“Lasers and injectables and, see a wide gamut of dermatology patients,” said Dr. Alissa Lamoureux of Skin Dermatology in Shrewsbury.

Dr. Lamoureux says it’s all about “prejuvenation” versus rejuvenation.

“So prejuvenation is starting the process before you see the signs of aging,” said Dr. Lamoureux. “So trying to preserve your skin the way that it is and prevent fine lines and wrinkles happening as opposed to waiting until they are there and trying to reverse them, which sometimes can be harder.”

But she says it can be harder for doctors to clarify — the unrealistic filters, dangerous trends, and misinformation on social media.

“Teenagers coming in talking about skincare and all the products that they’re using, and sometimes they’re causing maybe more harm than good,” said Dr. Lamoureux.

Dr. Lamoureux says while most procedures are FDA-regulated and are being done safely in the industry, there is always a risk. And there is also the cost. That’s why she recommends doing your research and only licensed medical professionals should be doing the procedures. She encourages a consultation to be sure you understand what you’re trying to achieve. And the lowest price may not be the best option.

“There’s still a cohort that is not investing, and they are certainly offering treatments that perhaps lead to poor esthetic outcomes,” said Nicholls Costa.

But Alexa and Alexandra of LexRx say with the right training, the right treatments can be worth it even for younger patients.

“People just want to feel good,” said Rogers.

The FDA has approved dermal fillers for adults 22 years and older for facial treatments, like wrinkles, augmentation and restoration. Patients should to talk with a dermatologist or licensed medical professional before moving forward with any procedure. You can find licensed providers on the state’s website, or here.

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