The Skin Nerd: I want to look younger faster, is botox the answer?

What is your opinion on mesotherapy and botox? Are you better to age gracefully, are creams and what you put into your body more important for your skin? I get mesotherapy but I feel I’m not seeing the benefits anymore and am considering botox.

— Sandra, Cork

Mesotherapy and botox are two extremely effective ways to look younger faster, but they are two very different concepts.

Mesotherapy, or meso needling, is a treatment that works to improve the appearance and health of the skin by allowing the serums or products used to penetrate into the skin in a way that couldn’t occur without the micro-channels it creates in its surface. In this, meso needling doesn’t work to stimulate collagen in the way that microneedling does, as the needles used in mesotherapy are usually up to 0.5mm in length compared to the 1.5mm you’ll get in microneedling.

You need that longer needle to get far enough into the skin for it to think it has been damaged, tricking the dermis into bringing about something called the healing cascade, where it produces growth factors and collagen.

Botox, on the other hand, is a neurotoxin that works to paralyse the muscles underneath the skin. When the muscles can’t move, it softens up those wrinkles. When it stops working, it genuinely stops working, leaving behind none of the functions it had while it was still in your system.

This is where your second question comes in. If you care about the health and appearance of your skin itself, not just wrinkles, you need to take a holistic, well-rounded approach to skincare.

What that means is that even if you decide to get botox, you also opt to use skincare ingredients proven to protect and maintain your skin such as vitamin A (retinol, retinyl palmitate), antioxidants, vitamin C, fats like ceramides, exfoliating acids, peptides and SPF.

Internally, you need to ensure your skin is getting the goodness in, just as you feed a sunflower from the roots.

The ideal skin diet is low sugar, low caffeine and low in processed foods with lots of colourful fruit and vegetables and optimal amounts of protein, vitamin A, omegas, vitamin C and water.

Your lymphatic system is also important when it comes to skin and botox doesn’t address that either. I’m a firm believer in facial massage for lymphatic drainage.

All you need to do is ensure you’re cleansed and oiled up and then use gentle kneading motions, called petrissage in massage therapy, using your pointer, middle, and ring finger (or the flat part of your finger above your nails) from your nose outwards towards your ears, covering your whole face, neck and jawline.

Jade rolling is another technique that improves lymphatic drainage and exercise helps too — although nobody likes to hear that!

I don’t know what type of skincare you’re using, but it may be worthwhile to ensure that it’s results-driven and ticks all of the boxes outlined above.

In our Nerd Network online skin consultations, we ensure all of our members have skincare regimes that include potent topical skincare, supplements and sometimes even electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) devices so that their skin itself, their muscles and their lymphatic system are being looked after in unison.

If you’re interested, you can check us out at www.theskinnerd.com.

Getting botox is your decision. I would say it’s something you should wait until you’re in your 30s to consider. I don’t think it’s suitable for aesthetic purposes for under 18s.

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