Most of us have probably already forgotten about Sheena Upton, the woman who posed as a deranged pageant mother giving her eight-year-old daughter Botox injections to keep her looking younger longer. While, thankfully, Upton’s story was a hoax, it was concerning enough to prompt a cosmetic doctor to pen a cautionary tale for young people considering facial fillers to forestall wrinkles: Dr. Darren McKeown says using Botox as a preventative measure won’t actually stop the aging process. It’ll advance it.
In an article published in The Daily Telegraph, McKeown warns that Botox is actually best left to people whose frown lines and wrinkles are already present, not those still in the prime of their youth. He points to pictures of the recently departed Elizabeth Taylor, who he thinks didn’t bloom into the full splendor of her beauty until her 30s. “Had Botox been available to Taylor in her early twenties, would she have ever reached that same level of mature beauty for which she will now always be remembered?” he asks. We say probably not.
But McKeown offers science to back up the suggestion that beauty actually comes with age instead of disappearing with it.
The face is an ever-evolving structure that changes over a lifetime. Botox aims to halt the decline, but long-term overuse of the drug can lead to atrophy of the muscles, which can be particularly noticeable around the eyes, where the face can appear inadvertently aged – despite the lack of wrinkles. This tell-tale sign of treatment, currently sported by a number of celebrities, can be avoided – but it requires judicious use of Botox only when clinically indicated.
And most likely, it’s not clinically indicated for an 8-year-old — or for an 28-year-old, either.