I remember the first time I had my forehead injected with a neurotoxin. I had just turned 40 and attended a friend’s 32nd birthday dinner where many of the attendees—most of which were in their late 20s and early 30s—had already tried their hand at a little injectable intervention. That’s when I said to myself: “What are you waiting for?” I had seen my first few lines cropping up on my forehead years before, but peer pressure was a big deciding factor for me. If younger women were doing it and looked so great, why was I ruminating in the mirror about it for so long? Looking back, I had no regrets, except one: why did I wait so long to do something preventative?
So what should you look for when trying to plan your first wrinkle-relaxer treatment if you’re on the fence? We asked top expert-injectors to share the advice they give to their patients about when to know when it’s time for neurotoxin.
When Lines Expression Lines are Visible, Even When You’re Not Expressing
To prevent lines from getting so deep they’re resistant to injectable treatment, it’s best to start as soon as you see the lines begin to set in, if not sooner. “As we age, it is very normal to see creases when a person moves one’s face,” explains New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD. “Some people like to start neurotoxin ahead of seeing these lines of expression, and that is a personal preference. But the time when I tell people that it is time to start neurotoxin, if one hasn’t started already, is when dynamic wrinkles—lines that are made from facial movements—are present even in the static state when not making an expression.”
When Your Brow Begins to Fall Causing Hooded Eyes
West Palm Beach, FL dermatologist Kenneth R. Beer, MD says if you need to use your hand to pull your eyelid up, you may be a candidate for a browlift using neurotoxin: “This involves injecting directly between the brows to relax the muscles underneath, this allows the upper forehead muscles to ‘pull’ the brows back up and the skin to smooth out.”
When You Actually Can See the Number 11 Forming Between Your Eyes
According to Miami dermatologist Dr. Deborah Longwill , it’s a numbers game and that number is 11. “You may start noticing frowning lines developing between your eyes that may look like the number 11. I recommend treating that area with neurotoxin before the 11’s set in.” While Dr. Longwill and our experts say immediate improvement can be seen with neurotoxin, once those lines set in and become too deep, they may be hard to smooth away with wrinkle relaxers alone. “This area is a good place to start prejuvenation treatments,” she says.
When You Smile and See Visible Lines Radiating Around Your Eyes
New York oculoplastic surgeon Irene Gladstein, MD notes that crow’s feet are another concern that should be treated early. “The top sign for needing neurotoxin injection is the evidence of muscles contracting and moving. We are strong advocates of not injecting immobile muscles even if it’s ‘time’ to do so.” Dr. Gladstien adds that a few painless, masterfully placed injections will prevent the crow’s feet from forming while preserving the natural expressions of your face.
You’ve Been Wanting to Try It
As Dr. Beer says, if you “survived a year in the house with your family, have a pulse and a credit card,” it may be time to try neurotoxin. All joke’s aside, the great thing about wrinkle relaxers is that results are temporary. While they may not be the answer to every anti-aging concern, our experts say you can try them and simply pause further treatment if you’re not happy.
“However, if your friends and family think you always look angry or are asking if you would like the name of a good dermatologist or plastic surgeon, it may finally be time to give neurotoxins a try,” adds Dr. Beer.