Botox for Men: Pros and Cons
Botox treatment for men is on the rise, but should you consider using it to improve your appearance? We outline the pros and cons of Botox for men, as as alternatives to this popular but polarizing treatment.
These days, women aren’t the only ones considering Botox. As men feel the pressure to look a certain way, many of them are turning to Botox to enhance their appearance.
Is Botox safe? Can it help men erase wrinkles and fine lines?
Here are three of the things you ought to know about Botox for men:
- Botox is a neurotoxin which has been approved by the FDA for treating wrinkles and lines.
- Although it has been deemed safe by the FDA, there are side effects and potential risks that you should consider.
- If Botox isn’t right for you, there are plenty of alternative treatments for men which can restore their youthful appearance.
What is Botox?
Botox is made from Botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium Botulinum bacteria. Although it’s one of the deadliest toxins known to man, it’s frequently used in extremely small quantities to treat a wide range of medical problems.
Often called “magic poison,” Botulinum toxin is used to treat more than just deep wrinkles and fine lines. Botulinum toxin has proven itself an effective treatment for a wide range of disorders, including hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) (see claim: “At 3 months post-treatment, the resting sweat rate in the toxin group improved by 80.32%...”) and chronic myokymia (eyelid twitching).
How it Works
Botulinum toxin is dangerous in large quantities because it destroys nerves and vital proteins. On a much smaller scale, it simply weakens muscle contractions by blocking signals between facial muscles and nerves.
By weakening muscle contractions, the skin above the muscle can remain smooth and wrinkle-free. For men with deep forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet, Botox may be the secret to turning back the clock on their appearance.GOT WRINKLES?
Why Men Are Choosing Botox
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Botox was the top nonsurgical procedure for men in 2017 with over 160,000 men receiving Botox injections. Why are men seeking Botox treatments in greater numbers?
Some men want to boost their career opportunities and remain competitive with their younger colleagues. Others want to improve their dating prospects or turn over a new leaf after a major life change.
For many men, it’s simply a matter of improving their self-esteem and regaining lost confidence. In fact, guys in their late 20s and early 30s are using preventative Botox to stave off wrinkles for as long as possible and remain confident in their appearance.
It’s easy to see why regular guys are now turning to this cosmetic procedure. Still, there are both pros and cons that you should consider before receiving Botox treatments.
Pros of Botox for Men
We already know that Botox can help treat a wide range of medical problems. As a cosmetic procedure, it also comes with a host of benefits for men who are starting to notice the first signs of aging.
If you’re on the fence about getting Botox treatments, consider the following benefits:
Non-Surgical Solution for Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Unlike male facelifts and brow lifts, Botox is a noninvasive procedure which generally requires little to no anesthesia. In fact, the procedure itself takes only a few minutes.
Compare this to surgical solutions for wrinkles such as facelifts, which can take three to four hours to complete. That’s not even counting the recovery time for such procedures, which can take weeks.
Botox is often referred to as a “lunchtime procedure” because you can do it on your lunch break and be back at work in the same day. While there is no recovery time for Botox, many men decide to take the day off from work in case they have noticeable swelling or bruising.
Noticeably Enhances Your Appearance
Let’s talk about the biggest benefit to Botox: a more youthful and vibrant appearance. Botox is super effective at obliterating unwanted wrinkles and lines, as well as preventing new wrinkles from forming.
Looking younger and better can provide men with a slew of benefits. One of the main reasons why guys are getting Botox in record numbers is to remain competitive in the workplace.
Men are feeling the pressure to look and feel their best at work. In many fields, older men are passed up for promotions while younger men have greater career opportunities.
With more men staying in the workplace for longer, it’s critical that older men hold off signs of aging for as long as possible. Botox allows men to eliminate wrinkles and fix the unsightly under-eye bags that show up as we begin to age.
A few wrinkles are fine, but too many can make a man appear much older than he truly is. Whether it’s from spending too much time in the sun without proper sun protection or simply genetics, premature wrinkles and lines can make any man feel self-conscious about his appearance.
Botox can erase signs of aging, thereby boosting your confidence and mood. In fact, there is some evidence (see claim: “…Botox is effective for treatment of patients with major depression”) to suggest that Botox can reduce symptoms of major depression.
Similarly, it can open doors for men in their careers and personal lives. This can lead to a boost in their quality of life and happiness.
Helps Manage Adult Acne
In recent years, Botox has emerged as a potential treatment option for stubborn acne. Although there are few studies on the subject (clinical trials are currently underway), Botox is said to help reduce oil production and is most commonly used to treat forehead pimples.
However, given the potential side effects of Botox (which we’ll cover in-depth below), many dermatologists don’t recommend Botox as the first line of treatment for acne. Instead, you may be better off sticking to an over-the-counter acne treatment system that contains potent acne-fighting ingredients such as Salicylic Acid, which is known for being a safe and effective treatment for acne blemishes.
Cons of Botox for Men
There are also downsides to Botox that will make some men hesitate to receive treatment. Factors such as the side effects, cost and potential risk of Botox should be taken into consideration before taking the plunge.
Potential Side Effects
What scares most people away from Botox are the potential side effects. With more brands of Botox saturating the market, there is a deep worry that patients might be on the receiving end of a bad formula that makes side effects more likely to occur.
Reported adverse side effects of Botox range from mild to severe. Mild side effects include headache, pain at the site of the injection, redness and swelling, drooping of the upper eyelid and double vision.
Rare but severe side effects of Botox may include difficulty swallowing and trouble breathing. Botox-related deaths have been reported; however, these were the deaths of children given Botox to treat muscle-spasm conditions.
Counterfeit Botox is a problem that the FDA is addressing (see claim: “FDA issued several public safety alerts about these events.”) If you decide to receive Botox treatments, it’s important that you find the right clinic and certified dermatologist to do the job.
Sure, Botox may not be as expensive as a brow lift or facelift. However, it remains a pricey procedure for middle-class men.
Depending on the area being treated, Botox can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand per treatment. Not to mention that Botox doesn’t last long (up to three months), which means that you’ll be spending hundreds or thousands every few months to achieve a wrinkle-free face.
If you’re planning to get Botox treatments for an upcoming event, be sure to do it weeks in advance. Although the procedure takes less than 15 minutes, it takes at least a week to see results.
Many men expect to walk out of the clinic with a visibly younger face. In truth, you’re more likely to leave the clinic with tenderness, swelling and wrinkles still visible.
We’ve discussed the potential side effects, but what about the long-term risks of such a procedure?
Cosmetic Botox has been around for 20 years and the FDA has deemed it safe for long-term use. However, some dermatologic surgeons have voiced concerns that injecting a toxin into the facial tissue repeatedly will have long-term consequences.
Although more studies are needed, some research suggests that repeated Botox injections may weaken facial muscles and turn muscles into fat (see claim: “…Muscle mass was reduced by 50%, 42% and 31% for the vastus lateralis (VL), rectus femoris (RF) and vastus medialis (VM)…”). This muscle loss raises important questions about the safety of Botox and men will need to take this risk into consideration.
There has long been a negative stigma surrounding Botox—especially for men receiving treatment for wrinkles and fine lines. This stigma has lessened slightly in the last few years, but it’s still alive and well.
For many, the thought of getting Botox conjures up the image of a woman with a frozen expression on her face. While botched Botox jobs still exist today, most men who receive Botox treatments appear completely natural.
Others believe that men getting Botox somehow makes them vain. However, taking pride in your appearance isn’t vain. It can significantly boost your career opportunities and make you feel good about yourself. It’s also no different than spending money on hair products, clothes and any other skin care items that improve your appearance.
The stigma isn’t fair to men, women or anyone who cares at all about their appearance. However, it’s something that you will need to keep in mind if you choose to receive Botox treatments.
Botox vs. Fillers
Botox and fillers are commonly used together to fight wrinkles and smooth lines. However, they are both effective in two different ways.
Fillers contain Hyaluronic Acid (HA), an age-defying ingredient which hydrates the skin and plumps it up to smooth out lines. Its wrinkle-eliminating effects last for nine months.
HA is best used on wrinkles which appear even when the face is at rest, whereas Botox is ideal for frown lines and crow’s feet (i.e., places where wrinkles form when muscles contract).
Because Botox and HA fillers are designed to treat different lines on the face, they both offer benefits to men who want to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. A credible, board-certified dermatologist should offer a consultation to take you through the process and address your specific skin care needs.Take the skin care quiz
Alternative Options for Wrinkle Prevention in Men
Botox isn’t right for everyone. If you want to achieve the age-defying benefits of Botox without injecting toxins into your face, there are plenty of other options available.
From sleeping masks to facial firming creams, men are finally beginning to see more options for anti-aging products made specifically for their skin. Here are some of the best Botox alternatives for men on the market:
While we sleep, our skin works overtime to rejuvenate and repair itself. Getting a poor night’s sleep can wreak havoc on our skin and lead to premature signs of aging (see claim: “…chronic poor sleep quality is associated with increased signs of intrinsic aging…”).
Sleeping masks are designed to take advantage of the skin’s overnight restorative process and give it an extra boost while you snooze the night away. They usually come in the form of creams which you then rub into your face before bed.
Most sleeping masks don’t contain many powerful skin care ingredients, if any at all. Rather, they work by locking in moisture to give your skin extra hydrating capabilities.
Facial Firming Serum
If powerful anti-aging ingredients are what you seek, be sure to get your hands on a men’s firming serum. Any decent firming serum for men will contain antioxidants, vitamins and other powerful ingredients to counter the signs of aging.
No matter your age, a men’s firming serum offers considerable benefits. With concentrated doses of skin-firming ingredients, men’s firming serums are designed to smooth out stubborn wrinkles and prevent existing wrinkles from forming.
Struggling with bags under your eyes? You don’t need expensive Botox treatments to fix this problem. Our eye cream for men can tighten the skin in this area and restore your handsome appearance.
Some eye creams are only to be used at night, while others can be applied during the daytime as well. Eye creams designed for day and night use will often contain caffeine (to improve blood flow to the area), Vitamin B3, small amounts of Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 and other ingredients proven to slow down wrinkles and relax muscle contraction.
Microdermabrasion is an exfoliating treatment which uses tiny crystals to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, revealing a smoother, brighter appearance underneath. The procedure can help men restore an uneven skin texture and tighten areas that are wrinkle-prone.
Microdermabrasion can help smooth fine lines. However, deep wrinkles may require additional help with eye creams and firming serums.
There is also the worry of potential side effects that are similar to Botox (although not as extreme). Redness, swelling and bruising can occur after receiving a microdermabrasion facial.
In the last few years, Botox has become more accessible and affordable to everyday guys. However, the stigma of Botox for men persists.
There is no shame in taking pride in your appearance, especially when you stop to consider how much a man’s appearance matters these days. Reducing signs of aging can help guys boost their careers, dating prospects and overall happiness.
Before you choose Botox, carefully weigh the pros and cons of treatment. If you feel that Botox isn’t right for you, there are plenty of skin care alternatives for men that can help you turn back time on your appearance.
Loganathan, Eswari, et al. “Comparative Study of Efficacy and Safety of Botulinum Toxin a Injections and Subcutaneous Curettage in the Treatment of Axillary Hyperhidrosis.” Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, vol. 10, no. 1, 2017, p. 33., doi:10.4103/jcas.jcas_104_16.
Fortuna, Rafael, et al. “Changes in Contractile Properties of Muscles Receiving Repeat Injections of Botulinum Toxin (Botox).” Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 44, no. 1, 2011, pp. 39–44., doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2010.08.020.
Oyetakin-White, P., et al. “Does Poor Sleep Quality Affect Skin Ageing?” Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, vol. 40, no. 1, 2014, pp. 17–22., doi:10.1111/ced.12455.