BEAUTY AFTER 40: Am I The Last Holdout For Botox?
For the longest time, my skin has been periodically breakout prone and pretty oily through the T-zone. Over the years, I got into the habit of checking a mirror regularly throughout the day to see if I was shiny (I was) or if I had a stray whitehead (I did). I was also prone to blackheads, so I would need to extract those regularly. (Is it just me or do blackheads return almost immediately after being extracted)?
In my early 40s, many of these issues began to fade away. I wasn’t always oily at every mirror check and whiteheads were much less frequent -- even those pesky blackheads were not as prevalent. I enjoyed a few years of skin bliss -- the only exception being when my skin broke out from some crazy cocktail of skin care products I was trying for a beauty story. Other than that, it was happily clear.
It was during this heyday of skin love, however, that I began to notice some signs of aging. The creases in my forehead that used to appear only when I was surprised made their way into most of my facial expressions and the natural bags under my eyes deepened. Today, as I approach 46, the newest development is faint crow’s-feet around my eyes. All this despite the constant care of my skin: daily SPF year-round, serums, eye creams, night creams, Clarisonic, microdermabrasion scrubs -- the works. Sigh.
So what to do? Grow old gracefully or do something about it? With all the injectables and surgeries that are available, celebrities don’t appear to age at all (overzealous plastic surgery addicts being the exception). Most of us hope to see ourselves in these women, but nowadays, we can rely on the fact that a regular 45-year-old woman and a 45-year-old celebrity do not remotely look the same age.
So what does it mean to look one’s age? I feel like I look pretty decent for mine, but there’s no question that I do look my age or somewhere within a few years of that (hopefully younger rather than older). A couple decades ago, the way I look today might have been regarded as healthy, but now that injectables like Botox and Juvederm are accessible to regular people (if they’re willing to dig into their pocketbooks), do I now look old compared to someone who is dabbling in those treatments? I have friends my age who dabble regularly -- do I look old to them? Do they wonder why I haven’t done anything about the aging that is encroaching upon my face?
So, why haven’t I done anything yet? One reason is that I’m thrifty, plain and simple. I can kind of see myself plunking down my credit card for one treatment, simply out of curiosity, but what about upkeep? It would trouble me to keep paying that fee over and over. And the other reason is simply fear. Which treatment should I do? Which doctor should I go to? I know several well-regarded dermatologists, but what would happen if I was unhappy with the result? Awkward!
I’ve thought about this for a while and haven’t been tempted enough to act. Plus, my husband, who is not a fan of such things, would be pretty pissed. I’ve seen some good work and some bad among my friends and haven’t really been willing to take the risk. I also haven’t felt that great about injecting a chemical that was previously known for causing life-threatening illnesses into my skin, and my forehead creases don’t bother me that much (except in some photos, which I promptly delete).
But I did recently learn about Belotero, which is an injected hyaluronic acid filler that is most commonly used for jowls, but is also used for eye bags. EYE BAGS? Hello! Above all the things that are happening to my face, the bags under my eyes are the thing that reeeeally bug me. Hyaluronic acid naturally occurs in our bodies, so no scary chemical concerns there. But the treatments are pricey -- WAY pricey at about $1,400 a pop with a pro practitioner. It lasts for six months, which sounds great, but am I ready to start forking over $2,800 a year to deal with my eye bags? Hmm.
So, what do YOU think? Are you at the age where you’re thinking about this stuff, too? Are you for these kinds of treatments? If so, what are you considering and why? Are you against them? If so, why?