While it’s a word thrown around in the circles of many middle-aged women, I was utterly shocked to be hearing my 20-something friend frantically blurting out how she’s been so busy that she hasn’t had time to spend a lump sum of cash on smoothing out the minuscule marks on her face. And while I’m a firm believer in the phrase “to each their own,” I am also (perhaps hypocritically) bothered by the drug industry’s hold on our lives, and how it seems to be affecting us at younger and younger stages of our lives.
Botox has been around for a long time. In the 1960s, ophthalmologist Dr. Alan B. Scott had theorized that botulinum toxin type A, which is made from the bacteria that causes botulism, had muscle-relaxing effects that might be able to aid in the treatment of crossed eyes. In 1978, Scott was givenapproval by the FDA to inject small amounts of the medicine into volunteers, with results confirming his findings. Additional studies thereafter found that it also temporarily relieved patients of facial spasms, neck and shoulder spasms, and vocal cord spasms. By the 1990s, Canadian ophthalmologist Dr. Jean Carruthers discovered that her patients were simultaneously losing their frown lines during treatment.
Since then, the Botox industry has become a multi-billion dollar entity and continues to serve both as a means of relieving patients of certain health concerns as well as for its non-surgical cosmetic use. Price wise, it ranges from about $300 to $500 for each area injected.
Possible side effects include pain at the injection site, infection, inflammation, swelling, redness, bleeding, and bruising, to name a few. The cosmetic benefits can provide someone with increased confidence, but when combined with dropping a good amount of cash (especially considering Botox only lasts three to four months), the verdict is still out as to whether or not it should be a part of any health-conscious person’s beauty routine. Indeed, the long-term effects of Botox on one’s health are yet to be understood.
On the flip side, there are a plethora of natural ways to intervene with wrinkles that ought to be considered. You can save thousands of dollars in cash, leave your concerns regarding botched treatments (that have been found to cause the loss of muscle use in the face) out of the equation, and, moreover, just keep it simple, safe, and effective.
1. Wear sunscreen
Drinking water is an essential part of our overall well-being, and when it comes to wrinkles, it’s no exception. By doing so, your skin cells fill with water, which works to then tighten them up and leave your skin appearing both clean and smooth.
Throwing back a cocktail can sound good at the time, as can inhaling a tasty donut, but when you make these habitual behaviors in your life, you’re simply fulfilling a craving that is bringing you closer to a process called glycation, where a spike in your blood sugar leads to an excessive amount of blood glucose, which then binds to collagen and elastin. This can lead to damaged skin, meaning more wrinkles. Additionally, steer clear of staying sedentary, as regular exercise improves your circulation and keeps your hormones balanced. Are you a smoker? It’s time to give it up, as it is one of the biggest offenders of oxidative damage.
Fruits and vegetables get a good name for so many reasons, one of them being that they are filled with a ton of minerals necessary to the vitality of our skin. The antioxidant vitamin C, for instance, has been found to be a key ingredient in the production of collagen, a protein that gives your skin both a tight and strong feel and appearance. Oranges, grapefruits, red and green peppers, strawberries, and brussels sprouts are among some of the foods that are rich in vitamin C.
Recently, I picked up a skincare product on which I understood every ingredient listed. I was shocked. Can it be? But then I realized I’ve slowly but surely made my way away from shopping at stores whose items are chemically-derived. And the more products I’ve found with simple yet effective ingredients, the more I’ve looked into how those ingredients stand on their own.
When it comes to the health of your skin, try using cranberry seed oil as a moisturizer, which absorbs into the skin much more effectively than commercial products due to its spot-on ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. You’ll also get the benefit of vitamin E, among other antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. Virgin sea buckthorn oil is another great option, as it increases collagen levels and promotes cell turnover.