Will Teen Botox Prevent Wrinkles Later On?


Roshini Raj, MD, is Health's medical editor and co-author of What the Yuck?! The Freaky & Fabulous Truth About Your Body. Board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine, Dr. Raj is an assistant professor of medicine at New York University Medical Center and a contributor on the Today show. In our new book, Dr. Raj fields personal and provocative questions-about your body, sex, even celeb health fads.

Three weeks ago, 18-year-old Filipino singer and soon-to-be Glee star Charice revealed that she had undergone a skin-tightening treatment and a round of Botox injections 'to look fresh on camera' (Her publicist later said the Botox injections were not for cosmetic reasons but were instead a treatment for muscle pain in the young singer's jaws.

This story brings up a question I get asked all the time: Do young Hollywood stars start Botox in their 20s to prevent wrinkles, and does it work? The answer: Some do. But they're eventually going to get wrinkles anyway.

You see, much like death and taxes, wrinkles are a fact of life. If you smile, frown, or make any facial expression (even squinting at the sun), you will develop laugh lines, brow lines, lines across your forehead, lines around your eyes, etc. There are ways to minimize lines, for sure, but we will all get them eventually.

It is true that if you begin using Botox and fillers in your 20s, creases and wrinkles will be slower to develop. That doesn't mean they'll never appear; it just means they'll take longer to show. And since these fillers are only temporary (lasting three to six months), you're signing yourself up for a lifetime of repeat treatments, at several hundred dollars a pop.

Don't want to go under the needle? The good news is you can easily and inexpensively protect yourself from the biggest wrinkle maker of all: sun damage. I can't stress enough how much sun exposure destroys your skin day in and day out. Wearing a moisturizer with an SPF 30 will help keep the years (and wrinkles) from piling up on your face-no Botox needed.