Botox has been used as a cosmetic treatment since the late 1980s. But given that botulinum toxin induces the muscles to do something they would not naturally do, it is questionable whether Botox injections fall in line with a natural beauty strategy. The question is even more perplexing in a day and age when young women are being encouraged to undergo ‘preventative Botox’.
When a person chooses Botox injections, she (or he) is agreeing to be injected with a neurotoxic protein known as botulinum toxin. Injecting the toxin into the muscles under and around facial wrinkles relaxes the muscles and skin, creating a smoothing effect.
The idea behind preventative Botox is to relax targeted muscles while a person is still in her 20s, then keep them relaxed with ongoing injections on a regular schedule. The muscles eventually ‘freeze’ over time due to not being used. In theory, preventative Botox should prevent age-related wrinkles decades down the road. Whether or not it actually works is a matter of debate.
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The Natural Beauty Concept
One of the reasons preventative Botox is so controversial is that more women in the 21st century are embracing the natural beauty concept. This concept is one of using only all-natural skin care products to maintain radiant, healthy skin. Women who embrace natural beauty avoid harsh chemical products and invasive procedures like face lifts.
The natural beauty strategy is rooted in the belief that nature is more than capable of maintaining a beautiful appearance if the body is simply cared for in the right way. Using natural skincare products like cleansing facial milk and facial healing oil enhances natural beauty by gently cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing.
Poethique, a Massachusetts-based company that designs, creates and distributes natural skincare products, believes in tapping into the combined knowledge of beauty rituals found throughout the world and based in sustainably sourced natural ingredients. On their website they say that nature never intended the skin to be “slathered with chemicals and toxins.” Does botulinum toxin count as one of those chemicals or toxins?
Some proponents of the natural beauty strategy say it does. Although botulinum toxin is naturally derived, it is still a toxin by definition. It may be that certain strains have been determined safe for human use under controlled circumstances, but toxin is still a toxin.
Others would say that preventative botulism can be part of the natural beauty strategy. They explain that the toxin is a byproduct of bacterium, thus making it completely natural. The only unnatural part of preventative Botox, they say, is the fact that the toxin needs to be injected.
Each Person Must Choose
The debate over whether Botox constitutes a valid part of the natural beauty concept is not likely to be settled anytime soon. At the end of the day, every person has to decide for herself. There are some women who embrace preventative Botox as a way of defying age beginning in the late 20s and early 30s. More power to them. Botox has been extensively tested and approved for decades.
By the same token, there are others who fully embrace things like neem facial wash and chamomile oil but would never go near preventative Botox. More power to them as well. Thanks to the efforts of companies like Poethique, there is certainly no shortage of all-natural skincare products to be had.
Ultimately, personal beauty is a very personal thing. What one woman may decide is right for her may be something another would reject. That’s okay. The only concern is whether both are happy with their own personal beauty.