When Botox was approved in 2002 for cosmetic use, the idea seemed absurd. After all, who would allow someone to inject a deadly poison—a neurotoxin that causes potentially fatal botulism—into their face just to reduce the appearance of wrinkles? But since then, there’s been a shift in the way we see ourselves. The reasons for this are varied, but many would agree that the impact of just one thing, social media, has triggered a new set of beauty ideals and an increase in cosmetic procedures.
I have nothing against cosmetic surgery. In fact, by the nature of my job, I regularly research cutting-edge procedures and stream beauty tutorials online. But there’s no denying that with any drug, there are risks. Possible side effects from botulinum toxin injections range from drooping eyelids and double vision to difficulty speaking and swallowing.
“The reality is that we really don’t know what the long-term implications of Botox are,” says Melissa Day of Niroshini Cosmetic Acupuncture in the UK, which offers natural alternatives to cosmetic procedures. Day uses acupuncture to activate the skin and its underlying muscles, aiding lymphatic drainage, which improves circulation. By improving muscle tone with specialist massage techniques, Day says she is able to provide a “non-surgical facelift”.
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