When people traditionally think of having Botox injected, images of people with expressionless faces and frozen foreheads can jump to mind.
However, in a bid to avoid a less dramatic effect, a less ‘intense’ dosage version of the classic treatment, known as ‘Baby Botox’, is doing the rounds on social media as a more ‘natural looking’ alternative.
It only takes a quick scroll through #BabyBotox on TikTok to see how popular it now is with skincare fans, with hundreds of young women in their early 20s showing off their smooth skin and hailing it as a ‘much gentler’ treatment in their videos.
‘Oh my god I NEED it’, writes one TikTok user under a video of an influencer showing off before and after results of the procedure.
‘Right, that’s it I’m booking in,’ agrees another amongst the other 808 comments praising the outcome of the treatment.
But is the trending treatment actually worth it and, more importantly, does it actually work?
Jackie Partridge MSc, winner of best aesthetic nurse UK at the Aesthetic Awards 2019 and director of Edinburgh-based Dermal Clinic, urges those looking for a natural effect from their cosmetic treatments not to be duped by buzzwords and trends.
She explains: ‘The absolute first thing to mention when it comes to “Baby Botox” is that Botox is just a brand name for botulinum toxin type A.
‘The term “Baby Botox” is really just a marketing slang for the injection of small amounts of botulinum toxin to give a more “subtle” and “smooth” finish – but it is purely that, just a marketing term.
‘There’s definitely a desire amongst patients for a more natural look, a less frozen look as some might describe it and that this new term clings onto the idea that “baby” and ‘small’ might be less likely to give you that more natural appearance – but really, it is just a marketing term to try and entice people to have a treatment that is perhaps not as stark as a “fuller” dose.’
The crucial thing to consider however, Jackie warns, is how much injectable you actually need in order for your treatment to make a noticeable effect.
For those with more ageing, it’s more likely a higher dose will be needed in order to achieve the desired anti-wrinkle effects.
For the smiling 20-somethings taking to TikTok to praise ‘baby Botox’, Jackie explains that they’ll require less of the toxin in the first place.
She adds: ‘It is fully down to the practitioner giving the treatment to make a full facial assessment and explain the risks and benefits of the treatment and establish what the client’s individual needs are, rather than recommending a “one size fits all” trending treatment.
‘Lots of patients who are new to facial aesthetics can be quite nervous of looking too “done” and “Baby Botox” is a term that they come to our clinic with in the hope of avoiding that, but it’s my job as a trainer in facial aesthetics to explain to them exactly what it is that we can achieve and what would actually benefit them.
‘The amount of botulinum toxin that someone is injected with should be based on the clinical need of the patient – too little won’t have an effect, it needs to be an informed discussion.’
It’s not just ‘Baby Botox’ that’s doing the rounds amongst those looking for minimal treatments with maximum effects – Alex Karidis of Karidis Clinic in St John’s Wood has seen more and more demand from clients for ‘mini’ facelifts.
While a ‘mini facelift’ is still a full-on surgery, it focuses on the neck and the bottom third of the face, whereas a traditional full facelift focuses on the bottom two-thirds of the face and neck.
However, Alex urges people to think twice before going for a surgery that may not have the full impact of a classic procedure as it could be a waste of both your money and time.
Alex says: ‘Mini facelifts are not worth the bother in my opinion. This is because you are either a full candidate for a facelift, i.e. you have visible sagging and ageing that can be reversed with a facelift or you’re not i.e. only have some marginal ageing that is not yet worth intervening with surgery and perhaps a non-surgical treatment like filler or Botox would be more suitable.
‘That’s not to say that just because you have a “proper” facelift you will look unnatural or pulled – if performed by a skilled surgeon who performs many of these procedures then this will ensure you will have a beautiful and natural result.’
‘The term “mini” simply panders to the innate desire of most people to not look very different following the surgery – in my opinion it’s a trap.
From my experience patients who succumb to “mini” facelifts regret the decision, as come 4-6 months later they hardly notice any difference and regret the money they have spent on this – which probably would have been wiser spent in another direction or perhaps waiting for the “proper” facelift.’
But for those prepared to get anti-wrinkle injections as opposed to surgery, could ‘Baby Botox’ also be a cheaper alternative to having larger doses of the toxin injected – especially amid a cost of living crisis?
Well, it turns out that it being a budget-friendly option is as much a myth as ‘Baby Botox’ itself.
Jackie explains: ‘It’s a bit of a misconception that “Baby Botox” is cheaper, as some practices may charge per area, some by dosage – so everyone’s going to be slightly different.
‘You shouldn’t be price-driven when it comes to making any changes to your appearance, it’s so important that you are seen by someone with expertise in their field – after all, you wouldn’t get a butcher to take a tooth out.’