Keep Botox a Secret. Now this is not the case.


THEY DRINK lots of water. They gobble up blueberry and kale smoothies. They sleep on silk pillowcases. They use Pond’s Cold Cream every night just like Grandma. They swear by liquid collagen, vitamin D, chlorophyll, magnesium or chocolate. They massage their faces with a jade roller, their fingers or steel balls. They have very good genes. They have no idea.


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So go on the many explanations offered by those who have perfect, seemingly ageless skin. Whether these shy comments come from celebrities in the pages of glossy magazines, or from your friends, colleagues, and even family members, they sometimes hide the fact that vigorous treatments by dermatologists have helped achieve “perfection.” Since the FDA approved the neurotoxin Botox for wrinkle smoothing in 2002, millions of men and women have made it a regular part of their skin care routines, along with its injectable siblings: fillers. dermal such as Juvederm and adipocytes such as Kybella. For decades, these treatments have often been shrouded in secrecy, with prospective patients seeking referrals and anecdotes from cosmetic dermatologists through whisper networks and stealth Google searches.

But in 2021, “transparency” is more than just a buzzword. It’s a way of life for over-shared influencers, the types of businesses that really talk, and retailers that cater directly to consumers (popular clothing company Everlane uses the term ‘radical transparency’ to describe its production process). Given this new interest in uber-honesty, it’s no surprise that people of all ages are finally talking about their visits to the dermatologist. “I think this whole movement to be real and be transparent and show your flaws has really started over the last couple of years,” said lifestyle blogger Whitney Buha, who shared her experiences with Botox – the good one. and the bad – with it over 100,000 subscribers on Instagram for three years.

Wendy Williams, the talk show host who spoke candidly about her cosmetic dermatology, appears this year on “Late Night with Seth Meyers”.


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“Honestly, I think it started with the Kardashians,” said Dr. David Kim, dermatologist at Union Square Dermatology in San Francisco. It is true that over the past 10 years, members of this famous family have spoken candidly about their treatments, ranging from Botox (Kim) to lip fillers (Kylie). But it’s not just them: actresses whose Robin wright and Olivia colman have talked in the press about their use of Botox, and talk show host Wendy Williams aired a segment of herself getting injected into her jawbone on her show last year. (The celebrities mentioned declined to comment further when contacted through reps.) The openness is becoming more prevalent on social media, where TikTokers and Instagrammers are sharing details of their skin routines. . And I noticed a change within my own circle a few years ago: once suspicious friends and acquaintances in their 30s and 40s began to confess to cosmetic treatments that went beyond just facial care.

For some, there is a desire to be realistic about what it takes to look flawless, as opposed to the smoke and “I woke up like this” mirrors. Los Angeles content creator Amy Marietta, who has publicly shared her experiences with Botox and the lip filler, said, “This isn’t going to happen by magic. I don’t want young girls to be confused. She continued, “It’s so much better to be open and honest about this rather than telling people to go rub their faces with olive oil.”

Although honesty is a value to uphold, cosmetic treatments are not for everyone. And, even as they speak candidly about what it took to make them look like, these celebrities and influencers still stand for beauty ideals unattainable to many. Ms. Buha said, “It’s that double-edged sword where you want to be transparent but you don’t want to tell everyone what you did and then these people feel like they have to do it too. ” Dr Kim, who has seen an increase in the number of patients under 30 influenced by social media, said: “I have to say ‘no’ to a lot of people because I think number one they don’t. don’t need, and number two, sometimes they have unrealistic expectations.

New York dermatologist and psychiatrist Dr. Amy Wechsler who co-hosts the “Am I Embarrassing You?” Podcast With his daughter Zoe, links this new opening to the desire of Generation Z to talk about other previously taboo subjects such as their finances. “Over time these procedures for everyone in all age groups are more acceptable, less taboo, but I think younger people talk more about almost everything,” she said.

The doctor explained that a new patient in her twenties might come in for preventative ‘baby Botox’ after discussing it over dinner with her friends, “while older patients still don’t necessarily talk to their friends about it,” or they might say, “My God, I didn’t know all of my friends were doing Botox and no one had been talking about it for years. Dr Kim has had patients in their 40s and over who will pay for the procedures in cash because they don’t. want their husbands to see and know about the credit card transaction. “It was very ‘behind closed doors’, [you’d] just tell your best friend, “he said,” but now people are sharing it openly on social media and with anyone they meet. “

Dr. Wechsler herself has always been open in the press and with patients about the injectables she has done – including Jeuveau / Botox and Juvederm – because, she said, “I want to normalize that for the people.” If patients discuss the procedures, then they can make more informed decisions. “If you are able to choose the brains of others, you are not making the decision in a vacuum,” she said. “Being more open on a subject is almost always good.

Blogger Whitney Buha shared her Botox-related eyelid ptosis with her many followers this year.


Whitney buha

Armed with more information, potential patients can be made aware of the benefits as well as the risks of cosmetic procedures. Chicago blogger Ms Buha had chronicled her Botox use for years without a hitch when, in March, she went to her routine appointment for forehead injections at a licensed medical spa and ended up with slightly uneven eyebrows. To correct it, the nurse practitioner added more units to one eyebrow. After this injection, Ms. Buha suffered eyelid ptosis, or droopy eyelid, which is a recorded side effect of Botox that can occur when the area is accidentally paralyzed. A medspa plastic surgeon referred her to another zone injector, who prescribed her eye drops and additional corrective Botox, which eventually improved after two weeks (although it took more than three months to return to normal). Ms Buha blogged about the whole experience on her social media platforms and spoke about it in the press. She said: “I felt like it was a really good way to educate and spread something like that.”

While every man and woman I’ve spoken to for this story applauded a move towards more openness, revealing everything publicly or even to friends and family can be complicated. A 30-something executive I spoke with enthusiasm with shared with me his experiences with Botox and CoolSculpting, but then panicked to share his name for fear of embarrassment at work. . Many people continue to exchange discreet advice on cosmetic procedures behind pseudonyms on Reddit or the anonymous social networking site Blind. While honesty sounds good in theory, not everyone is ready to lead a completely transparent life.

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