Over the past few years, men have flocked to Botox. The fast, relatively easy procedure smooths wrinkles in your face—and no one ever has to know you did it. That is, if you get it done right. Here’s how to keep it masculine and subtle, according to the experts.
Step One: Find Your Expert
You’ve heard the stories: a guy got Botox and now his forehead doesn’t move. But is that really Botox’s fault?
“My analogy is, when you look at somebody who has a bad haircut, do you blame the scissor or do you blame the hairdresser?” says Marina Peredo, a board certified dermatologist and founder of NYC’s Skinfluence. “Botox is a tool. It depends who’s injecting it.”
So do your research. Find an older friend who looks great, buy him a drink, and ask if he’s ever had anything done—and by whom. (Or ask your dermatologist.)
Step Two: Get Ready to Spend
You’re buying a facial treatment that typically lasts three to six months for men. This isn’t the time to bargain hunt.
“When people say, ‘I only want to spend this amount of money’ or ‘I only want this much’—if you allow them to do that they’re almost always dissatisfied,” says Brendan Camp, a board certified dermatologist based in northern Virginia.
The problem, he explains, is that many men come in wanting to treat only the glabella, that furrowed area between your eyebrows. But if you do only that, you still have wrinkles around your forehead and eyes.
A holistic approach is better. Most estimates start at $300, then go up as you do more areas—and men are the most expensive.
“Typically men need more units of Botox than women,” says Camp. “First because their facial muscles are typically bigger and require more medicine, and second because their metabolisms can be faster so Botox may wear off more quickly, so they may need more frequent touch ups.”
Step Three: Make Your Wrinkle Hit List
Common areas of concern for men are the frown furrow, crow’s feet, and forehead creases.
“Men will get frown lines and forehead lines treated, just to not look angry,” says Peredo.
But the lines that make you look happy—leave those alone.
“I advise guys not worry about smile lines,” says Camp. “Distinguish between those and crow’s feet. When you grin, those are smile lines. When you squint into the sun, those are crow’s feet.”
Also, docs might go easy around parts of the brow, so as not to pull the eyebrows upward, which looks weird on men.
“For women, it’s an arched brow. For men, it’s straight,” says Peredo. “So when I do Botox for men, I don’t want to raise the brow. It will make them look bizarre, like Jack Nicholson.”
Step Four: Decide Your Level of Frozenness
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: How stiff is your face going to be?
“There’s a shift from facial paralysis to what’s called paresis,” says Camp. Translation: facial muscles are relaxed, but not asleep. “Some movement is still noticeable,” he says, “so it’s more natural.”
Think of it as a helpful alibi. You can turn to people and say, “If I’d had Botox, could I raise my eyebrow like this?” (Just don’t show them this article.)
Step Five: Maintain What You Bought
If you bought a car, you wouldn’t wait for the engine light to come on. You’d take it for a tune-up before it needed one. The same is true here.
“Come in before your Botox wears off,” says Camp. “Or else you’re starting from scratch.”
Keeping up with your regimen can mean you require fewer units in future treatments. That means quick touchups—say, the kind you can sneak into your lunch hour. And consistency means people will be less likely to notice anything has changed about your face.
Now remember: We never had this talk.
By Patrick Huguenin