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What Botox really does to your face as John Lewis launches jabs

Anti-aging procedures have become more common in recent years, with more and more people choosing to undergo “adjustments” to maintain their youthful appearance.

One of the most popular treatments is to inject botulinum toxin, a type of poison generated by bacteria, to inject facial muscles to paralyze them, reducing their ability to move and making skin appear smoother.

In fact, the jabs have become so popular that department store John Lewis has revealed it will be offering them in six of its UK stores, including London, Edinburgh, Milton Keynes, Southampton, Kingston and Cambridge.

While botulinum toxin injections are popularly known as ‘Botox’, this is actually the name of a particular botulism product made by manufacturer Allergan, while other manufacturers have their own products.

Using Botox as an anti-aging product is what it is most famous for, but it has other uses as well.

For example, it can be injected under the armpits to stop sweating, or into the chewing muscles in the jaw to reduce teeth grinding, or around the head and face to reduce migraine pain.

And while many people swear by it to create a fresh look, they may not know exactly how it creates the effect, or about some of the potential side effects of using the product.

Here, FEMAIL reveals how Botox really works, alongside five fewer possible side effects of the toxin.

Botox is a popular treatment that people use to reduce the signs of aging - but many people don't know how it works and what some of its possible long-term effects are (stock photo)

Botox is a popular treatment that people use to reduce the signs of aging – but many people don’t know how it works and what some of its possible long-term effects are (stock photo)

1. The main ingredient is a toxin that paralyzes the muscles

The active ingredient in Botox is a form of botulinum toxin, made by a microbe that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning.

Botox is a brand name. There are other products, made by different manufacturers, that contain a very similar main active ingredient and are used in similar ways, including Dysport, Jeuveau, and Xeomin.

However, these products are not completely interchangeable as there are some differences in the way they are produced, which affects their potency, but they all work in a similar way.

The product is sold as a powder, which practitioners mix with liquid before injecting directly into the muscles.

While it is used in many muscles around the face and body for a variety of reasons, it is commonly used in the forehead and around the eyes to reduce the appearance of wrinkles in these areas.

These injections block chemical signals from nerves that cause muscles to contract, largely paralyzing those muscles.

By stopping the activity of the muscles, the skin appears smoother.

The effects of Botox are not permanent and usually disappear about three to four months after the injections, although this can vary from person to person.

The basics of Botox: Jabs work on lines caused by muscle contractions, but don’t tackle the gravity of sun damage

Botox is an anti-aging treatment in which botulinum toxin is injected into the face to relax the muscles.

It’s kind of a ‘neuromodulator’ – it reduces muscle activity by acting on motor neurons.

As the muscles relax, lines and wrinkles on the face are smoothed out, such as frown lines and crow’s feet around the eyes.

It is effective on lines caused by muscle contraction – for example the ’11s’ between the eyes, but does not reduce lines caused by sun or gravity damage.

While effective, Botox injections are not permanent and must be refilled every three to four months.

Botox does not have an immediate effect. Results start to show about three days after the injections and peak about 10-14 days after that.

While many people have Botox for cosmetic reasons, it can also be used to treat medical conditions.

Some people living with cerebral palsy may be given Botox injections to relax their muscles, thus easing the effect of the limbs being pulled toward the center of the body.

Another condition that can sometimes be relieved with Botox injections is bladder dysfunction. In this case, Botox is used to reduce incontinence caused by an overactive bladder.

2. Long-term use of Botox can thin the skin

A rare but possible side effect of years of regular Botox treatment is skin thinning.

Often with natural aging, the thinning of the skin becomes more apparent when people begin to notice veins that were previously invisible.

Those who start using Botox very young, say in their 20s, may be more at risk for this, according to dermatological surgeon Dr. Patricia Wexler.

‘The skin of the forehead’ [can] thinning prematurely and muscles weaker,” she said Little bird

“Sometimes, after many years of use, this can even lead to heavier eyebrows and eyelids, making the toxin harder to keep using.”

However, incorporating appropriate skin care into your routine, including the daily use of skin care, can help reduce this risk.

3. Long-term use of Botox can weaken muscles and prevent wrinkles

While some people think using Botox will make you look older in the long run, the opposite can be true.

This is because repeated use of the toxin, and the resulting paralysis of the muscle, can cause the muscle to weaken.

After all, a muscle naturally shrinks as a result of less activity and this effect also persists after a Botox injection has worn off.

This is more likely, and to a greater extent, when Botox is topped up regularly, with little time for the muscle to move between upgrades.

Because the muscle moves less, it therefore causes fewer lines and wrinkles, so although the movement does return after the injections wear off, the decreased movement during the time Botox was used means

This is why some people favor the preventive use of the toxin, because freezing the muscle, preventing you from making certain wrinkle-causing expressions, will slow down the formation of wrinkles.

5. Repeated Botox use can ‘train’ your muscles to move less

Another way Botox reduces the formation of wrinkles is that it changes the way you express yourself, according to dermatologist Dr. Mara Weinstein.

Because your facial muscles get used to making ‘smaller’ expressions after years of using Botox, they are ‘trained’ to keep doing that, she thinks.

She said byrdie that getting used to the feeling of making smaller movements as a result of Botox means you can become more aware of those movements.

“Once you get used to the feeling of having less forehead movement after neurotoxin, you will be more aware of making the movement when the toxin wears off,” she added.

4. Botox can cause facial muscle atrophy if used at an early age

However, this doesn’t mean rushing to get Botox shots at the earliest possible age means you’ll reap the best rewards.

While some people promote the benefits of preventative Botox — i.e. reducing the facial movements that cause wrinkles to prevent the wrinkles from ever appearing — others are cautious when it comes to what is a safe age to get the injections.

For some experts, having Botox too young can lead to unwanted aesthetic side effects, especially facial muscle atrophy.

Atrophy is when a muscle is not used and therefore begins to wilt, which can affect the shape of parts of the face.

It is more noticeable in areas where muscles contribute to the face shape, including the jaw, chin and eyebrow.

Dermatological surgeon Dr. Patricia Wexler said: Fashion: ‘If you put too much Botox on your forehead for years, the muscles get weaker and flatter.’

She added that when muscles become weak, they can rely more on surrounding muscles to complete movements, which can then cause wrinkles in those areas.

She explained: “If someone stops using their forehead muscles, they can start squinting with their nose and get wrinkles down the side of their nose.”

The effects of this type of atrophy are unlikely to be permanent and often disappear between three and nine months after receiving the injection.

6. Not frowning can make you happier

Perhaps one of the most surprising findings when it comes to Botox is that it can actually make people happier.

a 2019 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that having the procedure correlated with a more positive mood.

Researchers wanted to test the idea that Botox could be used as a treatment for depression.

They reviewed a psychological theory that suggests that when certain muscles involved in frowning are paralyzed, it leads to less facial feedback for negative emotions.

This, in turn, means that it can be harder to maintain a negative mood, which makes a person feel more positive.

By comparing the impact of Botox on mood with other treatments, including glycol peels and laser treatments, the researchers found that having Botox and not being able to frown was correlated with decreased negative mood.

So if you’re someone who frowns a lot, and you think it’s affecting your mood, anti-frowning drugs might help!

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