There are no large-scale clinical or observational studies of preventative Botox. A 2006 study looked at identical twins, just two people, for 13 years. One received regular Botox injections. The other doesn’t. The researchers found that lines “were not apparent in the regularly treated twins” where she had received injections, but were apparent in her sister. The untreated parts of both their faces showed “similar aging”. In a follow-up, when the twins were 44, the twins receiving treatments had no static lines at rest; her sister did.
A 2011 study looked at whether the long-term effects of repeated injections reduce or eliminate forehead wrinkles. Every four months, a group of 45 women aged 30 to 50 were given small amounts of botulinum toxin in their foreheads. Doctors assessed them two years after they started treatment, once the last treatment had worn off, and found that the neurotoxin significantly reduced their wrinkles.
But several dermatologists pointed to the negative effects of interrupting treatment.
dr. Loretta Ciraldo, the founder of Dr. Loretta skincare who has practiced dermatology for more than 40 years spoke of patients taking Botox for decades and then taking a break. When they returned to her office, she said, “It didn’t help at all. Once it was out, it was gone too.”
What if you stop the treatment?
You’re not going to reverse your progress if you stop treatment – you’re just regaining full mobility, slowly causing wrinkles to form.
However, the effect of interrupting treatment is difficult to monitor as few people stop taking injections once they have started. Although botulinum toxin itself does not form a chemical dependency, many people become “addicted” to the way their face looks, said Dana Berkowitz, an associate professor of sociology at Louisiana State University.
dr. Berkowitz, the author of “Botox Nation: Changing the Face of America,” interviewed dozens of people who used Botox for her book. Only one — a man — had ever interrupted treatment, she said.
Your face without Botox “looks ugly,” said Dr. Berkowitz, adding: “This wrinkle-free, timeless face is being completely normalized. We expect it and then we like it.”