What you need to know about preventative anti-wrinkle injections

Including the ‘ideal’ age to start getting them

Gone are the days where cosmetic procedures were reserved for women in their 40s and beyond. Instead, a number of women in their 20s are jumping on the bandwagon for preventative reasons. Non-invasive procedures like dermal fillers, laser treatments and yes, anti-wrinkle injections are proving popular among millennials. And while we’ve already covered the pros and cons of fillers and facial laser treatments, we also wanted to give you the lowdown on preventative anti-wrinkle injections. We spoke to cosmetic physician, Dr Phoebe Jones to find out everything you need to know about using preventative anti-wrinkle injections in your 20s and 30s.

How anti-wrinkle injections work

The process involves injecting a protein into a specific muscle, which Dr Jones explains, “temporarily binds to receptors where the nerve ending meets the muscle fibre endings. This blocks the transmission of the motor nerve signal and the muscle is temporarily paralysed.” By paralysing certain muscles, you stop them from being able to contract, which in turn softens and relaxes wrinkles. 

Why people get preventative anti-wrinkle injections

If people in their 20s are yet to experience many of the common signs of ageing, why would they bother with anti-wrinkle injections at all? According to Dr Jones, the number one reason people opt for preventative wrinkle injections is because they’re worried about their overly expressive faces. “Some people frown when they’re at rest or when they think, eat, sleep etc., and they get tired of people assuming they are annoyed when they’re not, so they seek out anti-wrinkle injections.” She adds, “these also prevent the frown line from becoming so deep that they require dermal fillers to fill in a dent because the anti-wrinkle injection isn’t enough”.

Is there an ideal age to start preventative injections?

While this will differ slightly for everyone, Jones notes that 27 tends to be a good age to start. “This is because we start to see lines appearing at rest, not just with facial expressions, at this age.” Dr Jones says that although it’s subtle to begin with, this change in our skin occurs “because we are starting to lose collagen and elasticity in the skin and mild soft tissue loss is starting to take place”. She adds that the repetitive muscle movements (like smiling or frowning) to leave residual marks or wrinkles, particularly around the eyes and mouth. So, it’s at this point when anti-wrinkle injections can help prevent the formation of deeper lines. 

What the injection process involves

During a treatment, you can expect anywhere between 15 and 50 units of the protein to be injected into multiple points across your face. Dr Jones notes that the number of units used depends on the areas being treated and the specific individual i.e. no two treatments will ever be the same. She also explains that multiple entry points are required “to ensure the product reaches all of the muscle areas that need to be treated. Fortunately, the needles are tiny and most people don’t find it too painful.”

How long the results last for

The longevity of results varies greatly depending on the dose and the individual, says Jones. “But for most people, with an average dose you can expect results to last for approximately three months.”

How much you can expect to pay

Unsurprisingly, this ranges greatly depending on where you live and who you go to. Jones says you can expect to pay anywhere from $165-$700. The average cost per treatment, however, is around $400.

How to choose a reputable doctor

With anti-wrinkle injections, there’s a fine line between targeted tweaks and doing too much too soon. Although the effects only last a few months, no one wants to deal with sub-par results for any length of time. To avoid any missteps, it’s essential to research your doctor diligently. In Australia, any registered doctor (including a GP) is allowed to perform anti-wrinkle injections. However, we recommend choosing a practitioner who specialises in cosmetic procedures and finding one that takes a conservative approach to injectables if this is your first time. During your initial consultation, ask questions about your treatment, such as how many injection points and units will be used, and the best after-care plan. Requesting to see before and after photos can also help you determine if they are the right fit for you. 

Looking for more skin care tips and tricks? Then learn the most effective ways to treat sunburn and discover five of the best retinol serums that won’t make your skin freak out.

Have you tried anti-wrinkle injections before? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

Main image credit: Getty

Kate has worked for BEAUTYcrew since early 2016, first as a contributor, before being named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine.