Getting botox, fillers or other cosmetic “tweakments” to the face done has been rising in popularity in the UK in recent years, but Courteney Cox has expressed her regret about getting them at a young age.
The Friends star, 59, said she used to bow to “pressure” to keep looking young in the film industry and previously had multiple cosmetic procedures done in a bid to slow down aging.
But in a recent interview with Woman magazine, Cox said getting fillers is her “biggest beauty regret”. She told the publication: “There’s so much pressure to stay looking young in this industry that once you start, it becomes a bit of a domino effect and you keep on having more.
“To the rest of the world, your face is so obviously changing, but to yourself - because you’re only having one procedure at a time - you don’t notice. It was a total waste of time and I wish I hadn’t caved into the pressure of having it.” Cox had all her fillers dissolved in 2017 at the age of 52.
In the UK, the aesthetic industry saw a boom in the number of cosmetic procedures being carried out as they have become more socially acceptable.
Last year, an audit by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) showed that 31,057 cosmetic procedures took place, up 102% from the previous year – with women undergoing 93% of all cosmetic procedures recorded.
However, there has been concern that people are getting these treatments at too young an age. Dr Michael Prager, one of the world’s leading practitioners of cosmetic medicine, warned last year that young people under 30 had “lost the plot” because of how much treatment they sought to achieve the flawless, filtered social media aesthetic in real life.
Dr Prager told The Guardian that having a “visibly enhanced” look was fashionable and had become a “status symbol” among young people. He said that this demographic are “being overly injected and proud of it”.
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In 2021, cosmetic treatments became illegal for people under the age of 18. Dr Elizabeth Hawkes, a consultant oculoplastic surgeon tells Yahoo UK: “Aesthetic work for under-18s is completely unnecessary. It can cause mental harm if things go wrong. Physical complications include infection, lumps, bruising and scarring.”
But, aside from those under the legal limit, aestheticians agree there is no “right age” at which to start getting cosmetic procedures done. The decision to get injectable treatments is “so personal”, Alice Henshaw, cosmetic expert and founder of Harley Street Injectables and Skincycles tells Yahoo UK.
“Aesthetic enhancements like botox and fillers are not limited by age - genetics, lifestyle, and personal preferences are all factors that influence the decision,” she says.
While she describes people aged between 25 to 30 as being on the “younger side of clients”, Henshaw says this age group may still opt for treatment as a “preventative measure to stop wrinkles from forming and becoming deep-set”.
“Although this does require long-term upkeep, it’s an effective way to prevent the signs of ageing from occurring early on, which will lead to fewer attempts to age-reverse through cosmetic treatments in future,” she explains.
Dr Hawkes says that while she would never tell a client they should have Botox or fillers at any age because it’s “about what feels right for them and their face at the time”, she does not think cosmetic procedures will “do a lot” for anyone in their 20s.
“Instead, people in their 20s and early 30s should be looking after their skin and making sure they have a good regime in place,” she recommends. “Everyone is different so I wouldn’t say there is an age that is ‘too young’ (except below the legal limit) but while the demand for cosmetic enhancement amongst the younger population is growing, young people do not need to be worrying about wrinkles but more thinking about how to look after their skin.
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“During your mid-20s, your skin begins to slow down the rate at which it turns over new cells, as cell production slows down, so it's just the time to start thinking about prevention. It’s also during this decade that your skin starts to lose its natural elasticity.”
She suggests people at this age think about their diet and incorporate a retinol into their skincare routine to “boost collagen production and prevent signs of premature ageing”. Retinol reduces the appearance of fine lines and pore size, which gives the appearance of smoother skin. SPF is also “absolutely vital”, even during the winter months, she adds.
But if young people are interested in cosmetic procedures, Dr Hawkes recommends regular hydrafacials (a rejuvenating skin treatment) and skin boosters such as Profhilo or Viscoderm hydro boosters, both of which are injectable hyaluronic acid products “that can improve the skin’s elasticity, hydration and radiance”.
Henshaw cautions that, if clients do start young, it is “essential to first see a trusted practitioner who can give a thorough consultation to assess your skin, goals and provide guidance”.
“Then it’s about a gradual approach that uses subtle tweaks to prioritise a natural look, rather than an intense treatment plan that causes a harsh look, as this will have the opposite effect than the one desired,” she says. “It's essential to approach any treatment with realistic expectations and a focus on enhancing one's natural beauty and confidence rather than attempting to conform to unrealistic standards.”