I’ve been a beauty editor for seven years and counting. And for the longest time, I walked around thinking that every celebrity I interviewed and every person I ran into at industry events just had preternaturally smooth, plump skin courtesy of good genes and a really good skin care regimen.
I chalked it up to the creams they swore by or the cult face oil they used religiously (you know, the one that has the skin-regenerating properties of a rare flower that survives in sub-zero temperatures!). I upped my water consumption and slept with a humidifier next to my bed, as these women did, in hopes of getting their glow. And yes, this stuff helps. But it wasn’t until I finally tried Botox that I understood there might be more to their line-free faces than I thought.
If this was such a revelation for me—I reiterate, a beauty editor—I realized I couldn’t be alone. And so, here I am now, singing from the rooftops that we need more people to talk about Botox.
I tell you this from experience. As of writing this, I am 32 years old, which means I’m up against a fine-line battle. I have tried (and diligently applied) every miracle cream and best-selling serum on the market, and I have yet to find one that does what a few units of Botox did to my forehead this summer. (You can see the whole thing go down here if you’re into that sort of thing.)
In saying this, I know I may upset some people. But as a derm friend always tells me whenever I ask him for his thoughts on [insert buzzy new product here], “So many companies are trying to sell people a hope and a dream, and it’s our job to help them see through the crap.”
This is not to say that creams and serums don’t help. On the contrary. Without them, my face would be dry and flaky and noticeably duller—of that I’m sure. Plus, I enjoy putting on my skin care products. The textures, the scents, the built-in moments of me-time every day… The act of caring for yourself is undoubtedly important and has benefits that go beyond the fountain of youth.
But as far as any noticeable lifting or a complete elimination of lines? And in a matter of days as opposed to months (which is how long it takes for most products to show their full potential)? Well, there’s only so much that can be achieved topically—especially in that amount of time.
As the marketplace gets increasingly crowded and we have so many options being thrown at us from every direction, I want to make sure I’m not adding to the racket or influencing you to spend your paycheck on a pipe dream. It’s my job, after all, to help you guys sort through the noise and help you make informed decisions on what to spend your hard-earned money on, and it’s my job to create realistic expectations.
Guys, I hope this doesn’t come across as me telling you that you need to get Botox. Or that we shouldn’t embrace aging the way many of our grandmothers and mothers did and do. That is a personal choice for each of us to make. I just want to share what I’ve learned so you don’t needlessly compare yourself to other women who have impeccable skin or get disappointed when your skin isn’t as poreless as theirs is after you buy and use whatever product they use without realizing that they might have been quietly visiting a derm for the past decade.
We are constantly evolving as people, so it only makes sense that the things we choose to wear or put in or on our faces might change with us. And right now, as a 32-year-old beauty editor who spends a lot of time in front of cameras and meeting people, I choose to get Botox because I like the way it makes me look: smooth and well rested. Could this change in a few years or a decade? I’m sure. But until then, I want to be forthcoming about why my forehead looks the way it does.