People develop wrinkles because, over time, skin weakens and can’t effectively bounce back from folding caused by laughing, smiling, furrowing your brow, and all the other motions your face makes on a regular basis.
So, doctors typically recommend treating wrinkles in two steps: Using a topical retinol product to stimulate collagen, which strengthens your skin, and then using neuromodulators like Botox to relax facial muscles to prevent them from constricting and wrinkling overlying skin together. Preventative Botox simply starts that process early on for people who need it more.
Botox specifically prevents dynamic wrinkles, or wrinkles caused by muscle movements.
Those typically include lines around the sides of your mouth, horizontal lines across the forehead, crow's feet, and wrinkles on the side of your nose. By freezing these muscles with Botox, you can prevent their movement and ensuing wrinkles.
Doctors can usually tell if and where you might need preventative Botox just by looking at your face. For example, someone who regularly purses her lips and furrows her brow out of habit might start to get lines around her mouth and forehead in her 20s. A dermatologist or plastic surgeon can inject Botox in the right places to help “train” a person’s face to no longer fall into that habit, lowering the odds that they’ll develop permanent wrinkles in those spots.