I’ve said it before…..I’ll say it again. It's probably the most common question I get in my skincare studio. “What are your thoughts on Botox”? I wish it were more of a straightforward answer but the truth is, it’s very complex. I don’t feel my role is to throw shade on anyone. The last thing I want is to get your panties in a twist. I’m not here to judge. I am here, however, to inform and guide you, so that’s how I will approach this complicated question. Once you have the information….it’s up to you to make the best decision for yourself because you deserve informed consent.
Let’s start with some facts and history:
Botox is approved for some medical interventions like crossed eyes, sweating, neck and lip spasms and chronic migraines– which, reportedly, help some people for up to 6 months. For expression lines, Botox (also known as Dysport) was only approved for glabellar lines and crows feet as of 2013. All other wrinkle injections are off label.
Botox is actually formed from a bacteria called clostridium botulinum that can be found in soil and in food. It generates a toxin that causes a serious (sometimes fatal) paralytic poisoning when ingested. It was actually discovered during a food poisoning outbreak. Scientists eventually created a crystalline version which they tested on monkeys to treat crossed eyes but found that it softened the monkey’s wrinkles too. No joke.
Here’s the deal. When injected, Botox spreads across the part of your tissues that receives nerve responses and inhibits the nerve impulse that the brain sends to the area to express emotion and feelings. Paralysis happens in the tissue because the nervous system is inhibited to create expression. The reality is, that Botox does spread beyond the treatment parameters and travels to your central nervous system. Yep, read that again.
So my first question for you today is, how do you feel about paralyzing your body’s messenger system? Give it some thought.
As you continue the treatment of botox, over the years your facial muscles will start to atrophy and get weaker and flatter. The skin will also appear thinker and looser. You are actually stopping the natural state of flow, blood and fluids in the muscles and in the skin (Or, stopping the flow of Qi, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine). All of this for a quick fix.
This is problematic because when you inject Botox you are also inhibiting your emotions. Instead of showing compassion, anger, joy, you become emotionless and this can lead to isolation and sadness. If this sounds too “woo” for you…ask yourself my second question for today:
Why are you getting Botox?
Why are we so obsessed with pacifying female impressions by not allowing ourselves to age gracefully? Not to be confused with the desire to look fabulously fresh and healthy at all ages. Food for thought.
You’re here today reading this so I assume you may be looking for some alternatives to this “trendy” medical treatment. If so…..keep reading.
As a Holistic Esthetician, I approach treating the skin from a “whole person” approach. That includes; mind, body and spirit. And, when I’m treating a guest who wants to soften lines, we might dig a little deeper into why they exist in the first place. (perhaps that's another blog post for another time) That said, there are so many natural alternatives to Botox. Some are: acupuncture, acupressure, facial cupping, guasha, and facial reflexology. All of these modalities promote the body’s own ability to heal and stay radiant…in the LONG term.
Let’s change the narrative from wanting to stop aging to allowing our body to age better. Lets normalize having a few wrinkles. And, even more, the story they tell.
Healthy skin is less puffy, has less tension and is smooth and clear. I can help with all of this both in my treatment room, with topical products and lifestyle/nutrition advice.
I wrote my E-Book, “THE WHOLE SKIN APPROACH” as a tool for you to keep handy, to help you get started with lifestyle changes in an easy to understand and digestible way…. and, as a precursor to my own skincare line, The Sixth House, launching at the end of this year. More on that soon.
Go grab your copy of THE WHOLE SKIN APPROACH today and please let me know what you think of all of this, I’d love to hear what you have to say!
Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Casso
Thank Jennie for this grounding, thoughtful and educated article.