In case you aren’t aware, Botox is derived from a strain of botulinum, one of the most potent neurotoxins on the planet. The bacteria used to be almost exclusively associated with improperly canned food, where it can cause botulism; a condition that damages nerves and ultimately leads to paralysis or even death if not treated immediately. So if you think injecting a neurotoxin into your muscles is really the best, safest way to tone your skin then ...
While you might be looking for a more youthful, wrinkle free look, the long term treatment of Botox can result in:
- Muscle Wastage: Disuse atrophy of the muscles means you’ll look even crinklier than ever when it wears off and worse those muscles may never work as well again!
- The pesky wrinkles moving elsewhere: The human body is made to adapt. … When one muscle is injured, other muscles will quickly take over and assume the functions of that lost muscle. The same holds true for muscles that are paralysed by Botox. Surrounding muscles will act more intensely to “pick up the slack”. This may cause new wrinkles to form in areas adjacent to the original wrinkle – or around the nose – this is known as Bunny lines.
- Dodgy Brows: Injections done incorrectly results in weirdly ached eyebrows – Spockbrows.
- Shiny forehead: For me, this makes people look like weird lifeless mannequins and Huda Beauty says “The biggest sign is the incredibly shiny forehead that usually appears after the procedure. While most doctors claim that shiny skin is due to less wrinkles, to me there is nothing attractive about a waxy forehead.”
Finally, and most importantly, it makes you undersell yourself. You are more than your appearance. If you really think all you have to offer the world is a smooth face, then you are mistaken. Kindness, intelligence, warmth, humour, wisdom, patience, forgiveness…… Nobody’s value is limited to a smooth forehead and one things for sure, confidence is sexier than botulinum toxin!
Keep it Natural
There are natural interventions that are better than Botox. Here are some of my favourite all-natural strategies to keep skin looking young and healthy.
1- Never skip the sunscreen!
I can’t stress this point enough. If you want to avoid fine lines and wrinkles, do everything in your power to protect your skin from what causes them in the first place: Oxidative damage from the sun. Choose a non-toxic sunscreen and slather it on religiously.
2- Glug down lots of water
Hydrating your skin cells fills them with water, tightens them up, and gives you face a smooth appearance. Remember that soft drinks, juices and other sugary beverages aren’t going to cut it. Water is the source of life – and the source of great, ageless skin! So stick with pure H2O.
3- Avoid eating sugary and processed foods
Sugary and processed foods are age accelerators. To take care of your skin, you need to take care of your body. You see, when you eat sugary or processed foods, your blood sugar spikes. This leads to excess blood glucose that can bind to collagen and elastin. This process is called glycation. Its end products, called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), cause your skin to become rigid and less elastic, resulting in lines and wrinkles.
Get regular exercise to improve circulation and keep your hormones balanced. Focus on foods that are vitamin- and nutrient-rich. And, if you’re smoking, quit! Smoking is one of the biggest triggers for oxidative damage and therefore age-enhancing effects.
4- Eat nutrients for your skin
Your skin cells need to have enough of the essential raw materials that allow them to repair damage, function optimally, and keep you healthy (and pretty!). Feed your skin the nutrients it needs, like these:
Vitamin C: A vital vitamin found in fruits like oranges and apples. It helps protect your skin’s natural antioxidant properties. Oxidisation is one of the primary mechanisms by which your skin ages. Antioxidants help reverse this damage.
Phytonutrients: Found in leafy greens like kale and spinach. They help keep your skin cells healthy and your complexion glowing.
Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA): Found in fruit acids like glycolic, citric, lactic, magic and tartaric acids. You get them from the foods you eat, such as berries. So make sure you eat lots of berries! They allowing the dead skin cells to slough off, making room for regrowth of new skin and may even stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. You can even apply them topically in a homemade face mask.
5- Give yourself regular Facial Massages
Facial massage seems like an almost impossibly simple solution to dull, sagging skin. But it works! When facial muscles and connective tissue relaxes, expression lines soften and circulation increases. This has a lifting and firming effect, improving the contour and tone of your face. It also increases circulation, oxygenating the blood and encouraging the presence of fresh, healing red blood cells – making the skin appear more alive.