When is the right age to get botox in order to age backwards like Jada Pinkett Smith?

Jada Pinkett Smith in Manhattan
Jada Pinkett Smith in Manhattan

They say oily skin is the best defense against ageing, but when your genes have not granted you this blessing and curse, you might seek other preventative measures. 

As such, it is becoming more common among black women to dabble in non-invasive cosmetic procedures either in the form of botox or non-surgical facelifts. After all, a little extra insurance on that "black don't crack" melanin warranty surely can't hurt.

On her website, New York plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Sybile Val, confesses that she's "lost count of how many black women [she's] converted to botox lovers," who had all been previously ambivalent about it on the assumption that black women "don’t need that!”

READ MORE: Vampire hair restoration, fat dissolving injections and lunch break body contouring - fast food beauty is here

But botox also has other benefits, including the "treatment of migraines, after hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating), and muscle spasticities in a multitude of areas," Dr Val adds.

And according to the 2016 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report, black people accounted for eight percent of all plastic surgery procedures in the U.S., which is double the percentage from 1997. Eight percent may not be a large statistic at all, but it is an indication of the gradually increasing interest in it. 

Here in South Africa, the likes of local celebrities Dineo Moeketsi and DJ Zinhle have enjoyed the perks of cosmetic injectables courtesy of Dr. Fatima Bhabha and Dr Zaheda Bhabha's, while Khanyi Mbau has been very candid about her journey with aesthetic procedures.

READ MORE: Non-surgical facelifts to try

Essentially, it's becoming less of anomaly for black women to be proactive about anti-ageing and body augmentation in general, so why not get all the answers we need in order to ensure for safe and optimum results?

So first things first, when is the right age to get started?

Everyone probably has an age they want to freeze in time - could yours be the one aesthetics practitioners deem the perfect age to keep forever?

Cape Town-based award-winning aesthetic medical practitioner and vice president of the Aesthetic and Anti-Ageing Medicine Society of South Africa, Dr Alek Nikolic, spared some time to give us the lowdown on all things botox, sharing that there's never really a "right age".

This is the advice Dr Alek shared:

When is the right age to start getting Botox? Is it ever too early?

When considering a preventative approach, from a medical standpoint the correct time to start with botox is as soon as fine lines start developing in the areas of facial expression.

Age is not the most important factor as we may see a patient in her early twenties with fine pale skin, noticeable sun damage, and ageing skin changes. In this case, she is a perfect candidate to consider botox to prevent the skin ageing process from progressing. Botox is contraindicated for patients younger than 18 years old.

A patient in his or her early twenties with very few lines and wrinkles will not require high doses. The aim of the treatment result should be to leave as much movement as possible.

How advisable is it to get preventative botox in your mid-20s?

If the patient’s aim is to prevent or to slow down the formation of lines and wrinkles, then it is advisable to start with botox early. It should be coupled with a good skincare regime, including an appropriate cleanser for their skin type, a sunscreen applied several times daily and a vitamin C based serum to stimulate and protect the skin against environmental factors.

What is the most common age for first-time totox?

In my practice the commonest age is the early thirties. However, we are seeing younger patients more and more.

Are there any risks involved with starting botox too early?

There are no additional side effects or risks when compared to someone starting in their thirties or forties or any other age.

Are the benefits of botox more effective and long lasting the earlier you start?

The main advantage of starting early is preventing lines or wrinkles from forming. And it's been shown that the skin in the areas treated with botox will, over a period of time, develop more collagen and elastin and become more ‘youthful’.

So, the earlier one starts the better. However, there is no indication that the botox will become more effective or last longer if one starts early.

Any advice for someone considering botox in their 20s?

My advice would be to find an experienced injector, who has an interest and experience in treating younger patients. It’s important when starting with botox in your twenties that the end result looks natural and that as much movement of the face is allowed as possible.

There is no need to stop all movement. Young patients have the advantage of collagen and elastin, so by reducing movement (not stopping) over a period of time the skin starts to ‘heal’ itself and fine lines and wrinkles soften and eventually disappear.

It’s also important to follow a skincare regime specifically for their skin type and skin concerns. 

Here's to looking like Jada when we're 47 years old!

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