I'm Too Scared to Get Botox—Here's What I'm Using Until the Time Comes



It's a jarring moment when you look in the mirror and can actually see that you've aged. It doesn't occur to you gradually; it just hits you like a ton of bricks one day out of the blue. For me, this moment happened shortly after my 27th birthday. At one moment, I was being asked what college I attended, and the next, a stranger had assumed we were both entering our 30s. Perhaps this could be chalked up to long-term sun exposure or frequent makeup-clad snoozes, or maybe this is just the reality of a face of a 28-year-old, and I need to, well, face it.

Statistically speaking, if I'd chosen to get Botox to temper the fine lines and sullen skin that was staring back at me in the mirror, I'd be among a large grouping of millennial men and women. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Botox procedures have seen a 28% increase since 2010 while dermal fillers have seen a 32% increase since 2010 among the age group 20 to 29. As a preventative measure, Botox positions the muscle underneath the injection site upright so that you're unable to contort your face in such a way that causes depressions in the skin; though, if it's done conservatively, you'll be able to maintain natural movement. There are no known side effects, save for swelling. Arguably the only downside is the steep cost: $500 to $1000 per year or upkeep session.

I'm certainly not against Botox—several of my friends and colleagues have been injected and were met with smooth, line-free foreheads and lifted complexions. But after a frightening personal encounter with filler, I'm not emotionally ready to tango with needles in my face again just yet. And while I truly feel that an in-office visit yields better results than products, I've found a routine that's made a marked difference in my skin, no appointment necessary. I'm considering this my preventative measure before gravity renders itself enemy number one and I need to take a more invasive measure. Ahead, find my Botox-alternative routine.