The battle against wrinkles has lasted for centuries. Long before surgical facelifts, people ingested powders and potions, stretched their faces using thread and tape, and rubbed their skin with Crisco, acid and animal blood to fight the signs of aging.
But when the FDA approved Botox for cosmetic use in 2002, it forever changed the anti-aging market. Since then, 11 million Americans have been forking over hundreds of dollars per session to have a licensed provider inject the drug into their facial muscles, a process that temporarily paralyzes their facial movement and erases existing wrinkles.
Capitalizing on cultural pressure for women’s bodies and faces to stay forever young, Botox manufacturer Allergan started marketing the product to the typical middle-aged everywoman. It paid off: Over 90 percent of users are women. Almost 60 percent are between the ages of 45 and 54.
However, a small – but growing – number of younger women have started turning to this anti-aging “wonder drug.” Today, almost 20 percent of Botox users are in the 30-39 age demographic. Responding to the advice of many dermatologists who preach prevention, these young women are using Botox as a deterrent, hoping that it will halt the development of facial creases and wrinkles down the road.