College Women Getting Botox: What’s the Deal?

The pressure to look good is very real for college men and women alike. With photoshopped magazine covers giving us glossed-up images of reed-thin models and constant reminders to pay attention to our physical appearance, it’s no wonder that the demand for cosmetic procedures is on the rise.

But the most popular procedure, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, is Botox, and more and more young women are partaking. Nowadays, 30% of all Botox patients are young women in their 20s, some of whom are college girls like us. Why is Botox becoming more popular among young women, and why do these women decide to do it?


What IS Botox, and how does it work?

The name Botox is short for botulinum toxin, a protein and toxin produced by a bacteria that also happens to be one of the most lethal toxins around. But despite how harmful the toxin can be, botulinum toxin has been used as a powerful medication and, of course, in cosmetic procedures with the most well-known being Botox.

What about this toxin makes it so useful? In small doses, botulinum toxin actually relaxes muscle contraction by blocking nerve impulses that would otherwise cause your muscles to tense up. This makes the toxin great for anti-wrinkle treatment, which is exactly what the Botox procedure is all about.

As you age, your skin cells gradually die off until there’s so little left in one area that your tissue folds in, creating a wrinkle. Instead of letting your tissue fold in, Botox blocks the nerve impulses that let your muscles contract and freezes those in your face, keeping everything in place. What's more, the toxin acts super quickly, making Botox a procedure that San Francisco-based plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Miranda describes as a “non-invasive anti-aging treatment with no downtime and immediate effects.” 


Why is Botox getting more popular with young women?

While most Botox patients are still over the age of 30, more and more women in their 20s, and even in college, are seeking Botox procedures. A lot of these women aren’t actually getting Botox done because they’ve developed severe wrinkles; most are actually getting preventative Botox because they’ve started to develop faint wrinkles and want to stop the aging process. Couple that with the fact that Botox is a procedure with immediate results, and you can see why more young women are trying to get Botox.

“Preventing wrinkles is easier than removing them,” explains Dr. Miranda. “Though the under-30 crowd makes up a small percentage of our clientele, I see younger patients who are coming in for injections each year.”

The number of young women seeking Botox procedures, attests Dr. Miranda, points to one big fear in society today: the fear of aging.

“The popularity of Botox among young women shows that there is a universal fear of aging. The pressure to look young is increasing, and it seems that no one wants to look like they are over the age of 30. Young women also tend to compare themselves to their female friends, which can make looking young a competition.”

But the competition to look young isn’t just between young women and their friends either. The anti-aging movement has driven us to compare ourselves to the general population as well, especially in the workforce where the focus on looks has never been more pronounced.

“Deep lines can make a woman look upset, angry, or frustrated, even if she isn’t, which can affect how she’s perceived during interviews or other social arenas,” explains Dr. Fardad Farouzanpour of the Beverly Hills Cosmetic Surgical Group. “A lot of women who I have coming through here want those lines removed so that they can find the confidence they need to succeed.”


Should you get Botox? The Pros…

Our skin is more receptive to Botox

At our age, we’re blessed with smooth, supple skin that can adapt fairly easily to the seasons and whatever beauty products come our way. This makes us ideal candidates for Botox, as we still have enough skin tissue so we don’t need big injections, and the injections we do receive tend to last longer.

“One advantage of Botox for young women is that with just a few small injections, they are able to ward off future wrinkles,” says Dr. Miranda. “The effect of Botox tends to last longer because the skin is still young and plump. Older women tend to have deeper wrinkles, and the treatment wears off faster.”

Given that information, if you choose to get a Botox injection, you’ll be coming in less often than an older women would have to for maintenance. However, realize that you would still need to come in every few months for upkeep injections, something that would happen regardless of your age.

Side effects are usually minor and temporary

Like every medical or cosmetic procedure out there, Botox isn’t without its side effects. Most side effects associated with Botox, be they from the actual toxin or the procedure itself, are fairly minor and only last for a few days, but some can last for up to a few weeks.

The two most common side effects from Botox injections are muscle paralysis and allergic reactions to the toxin, which can end up freezing parts of your face that you never intended to freeze! Don’t be surprised, either, to find parts of your face swelling up following the procedure, especially if you turn out to be allergic to the chemicals found in Botox.

Of course, if your body ends up reacting that way to Botox, you may want to reconsider whether or not to follow up with maintenance injections in the future. While some patients take just fine to Botox, any facial paralysis or allergic reactions can definitely be a sign that your body isn’t suitable for the procedure. In that case, listen to your body; injecting a toxin into your forehead or near your eyes is already pretty daunting for your body to handle, so don’t push it!