How Young is Too Young for Cosmetic Procedures?


Prejuvenation” is a term growing in popularity in the cosmetic dermatology industry mainly as a result from debates over how young is too young for cosmetic procedures. It is possible that this discussion began in the cosmetic surgery industry, with media reports of very young women opting for contentious surgeries such as breast augmentation. Soon reports surfaced of women in their 20s choosing to have ‘preventative’ cosmetic injections of neuromodulators (such as BOTOX COSMETIC® treatments), which was supported by an article in the JAMA Dermatology journal by two American dermatologists.

In this September 2013 opinion piece, “When is ‘Too Early’ Too Early to Start Cosmetic Procedures?”, the authors take the stance that it is “rarely too early” to start the “conservative and thoughtful use of neuromodulators, fillers, and noninvasive energy-based treatments…”. They point out that wrinkles emerge over time caused by the repetitive folding of the skin from facial expressions. Many people attempt to fix these lines and creases after they are well established, when the best course of action should be to prevent them from occurring in the first place. In an interview with Health, one of the authors said, “If you slow down the use of these muscles beginning early in adult life, the lines never develop.”

While not all doctors in the aesthetics industry support the approach, most agree that the 20s and 30s are the time when early intervention is key, starting with preventative skin care practices such as a good skin care regimen and regular sun protection. Doctor Javid notes, “This is something everyone can do for themselves on a regular basis and it will have a positive impact in the long term.”

Some data shows that regular use of neuromodulators results in fewer future injections. For example, after two to three years of treatment, it may be possible to be scheduled every six months instead of every three to four, or use a lower dose, because the muscles become smaller.

“Prejuvenation” has the goal of prevention and maintenance. We are advocates of this approach and strongly encourage daily sun protection and an individualized daily skin care regimen, which may include the use of an antioxidant or retinol. Whether specific procedures are appropriate can be discussed with Doctor Javid.

Although, I’m definitely not advocating teens to start getting BOTOX® by any means; however; as an adult we can consider prejuvenation as an alternative option to the traditional rejuvenation.