Welcome to Real Beauty Advice, where we’re tackling the tough questions you can’t find answers to on YouTube. We’re not talking about smoky eye techniques or the latest product launch; we’re talking aging fears, judgmental peers, plastic surgery stigmas and more. In this series, we ask experts to weigh in on hard-to-navigate situations that prove beauty is so much more than just what you see on the surface.
Dear NewBeauty: My husband hates that I get Botox, but I love what it does for my face. I don’t want to hide any part of my life from him, but I also don’t want this to be an issue every time I come back from the derm. How do I get him to come around?
Answer: “I hear this story over and over again, of women who want Botox but whose boyfriends or husbands say they can’t have it or don’t need it,” says New York dermatologist Julie Russak, MD. “The significant other’s fear is that one day they’re going to wake up and not recognize the person who’s next to them, but what they don’t understand is that we do Botox very, very differently than they imagine. We do it more for muscle relaxation and we really leave a lot of the movement in the face. People still have the image of the Upper East Side woman walking around like a deer caught in headlights without any movement in her forehead, so that’s where the misconception and the problem stems from.
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The majority of my patients don’t tell their partners they’ve done Botox. For example, a friend of mine came in for it and then shortly after, she was at an event with her husband and he said, ‘You see all these women here with Botox? All you needed was a couple nights of good sleep and look how great you look!’ We were really laughing at that. So I think what we need to do is raise awareness. Bring your significant other with you and have this conversation together at the doctor’s office. I tell people it’s not about freezing your forehead; it’s really about prevention. You’re brushing your teeth so you don’t have cavities and you’re doing Botox so you don’t develop deep lines and then have to do a lot more work later in life. You will still look like you because it’s not about changing who you are; it’s about preventing yourself from looking very different when you age.
In fact, when my patients bring their significant other in, often that person ends up getting Botox, too. They say, ‘Oh, my father had those deep, deep lines—I don’t want to have them also.’ Once they have an understanding of what Botox actually does, the fear that it’s going to change their partner completely dissipates.”