Have you ever wondered which is the most frequent cosmetic procedures in the United States? Botox tops the list.

Anti-aging procedures have been around decades but have always been associated with the upper-middle class, quasi-Hollywood lifestyle, and typically for those who are older. These days, anti-aging measures have become affordable and available for everyone, regardless of financial class and even age.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery notes that within five years, the use of Botox in people aged 19 to 34 has increased by a whopping 87 percent. The phenomena behind younger folks opting to get Botox at a younger age? Forbes notes that while older generations are worried about correcting damage, younger generations are trying to figure out how to stay ahead of the curve and preserve their skin tone before the wrinkles appear and become permanent.

It is important to consult a doctor before opting for Botox or fillers. Depending on the individual’s regular medications, medical history, pregnancy and other health factors, Botox may not be a safe option or treatment for everyone. Consulting a dermatologist is the best way to get a personalized plan that suits the needs of the individual.

According to Concord MedSpa — one of New Hampshire’s most experienced non-invasive cosmetic procedures and medical aesthetic treatment centers — Botox is useful for those pesky lines and wrinkles that develop through years of facial expressions. Over the years, facial skin loses the collagen and elastin that typically keep the skin taught and tight. In addition, signs of aging arise from muscle contractions, especially when the facial muscles begin to work closer to the surface due to loss of cushioning fat over the years.

Wrinkles are the result of a myriad of factors. Among them, according to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Dermatology Department, when frowning, the muscles between the brows contract, causing skin to wrinkle and fold. When squinting, the muscles around the eyes contract, causing the “crow’s feet” look around the eyes. Botox works beneath the skin’s surface, targeting the principal muscle activity that causes those frown lines and crow’s feet.

This procedure is medical grade and FDA approved, originating from a strain of botulinum toxin. Once the Botox is injected, it instantly starts blocking nerve activity in the facial muscles, minimizing the contracting and twitching movements almost immediately. As a result, the skin simultaneously softens the appearance of wrinkles while preventing any further signs of aging.

Botox typically lasts for four months, but in some cases, even longer with filler lines.

Dermatology specialists at both MedSpa and Dartmouth Hitchcock recommend pairing Botox with dermal fillers to fill in areas where volume has been lost or was never there in the first place. Dermal fillers help to refurbish volume and fullness in the face while diminishing facial lines and wrinkles.

Dartmouth Hitchcock professionals explain that when faces lose subcutaneous fat, facial muscles have to work closer to the surface, and those expression lines become more apparent. Family history, lifestyle and sun exposure all play a part in how much elasticity and facial volume diminish over the years.

Dartmouth Hitchcock gives a few examples of different types dermal fillers available…

Belotero is made of hyaluronic acid (a component that naturally exists in skin), softens the lines and wrinkles around the nose and mouth, and can be injected in the hollows under the eyes.

Juvederm is a simpler, non-surgical wrinkle treatment, offering minimum recovery with immediate results.

Restylane Silk fills in deep lines and wrinkles, enhances lips, provides volume and fullness, immediate results, and lasts anywhere from 3 to 9 months.

Radiesse provides structure under the skin while stimulating the growth of natural collagen.

Sculptra stimulates the body’s development of collagen, restores facial fat loss and builds volume. It’s made of poly-L-actic acid (another natural component in skin), and can last 2 to 5 years with multiple treatments at least 6 weeks apart.

Concord MedSpa professionals primarily use Juvederm, focusing on smile lines, cheeks, lips, and parentheses lines around the nose and mouth. Some of the lines and dermal fillers offered at Concord MedSpa can last up to 2 years.

Common Botox and fillers have become increasingly common in today’s society, especially within younger generations, while older generations still tend to see these procedures as taboo. According to an article at vice.com, which featured interviews with younger and older generations about this issues, some older people are horrified when finding out that those in their 20s get these types of treatments regularly.

However, for some, it can be medically beneficial. For example, one young woman spoke on her severe skin allergies, and how deodorant tore up her underarms, leaving her with bad scars and self-esteem issues. Botox prevents sweating, and one of her doctors recommended treatments under her arms so she wouldn’t have to use deodorant. These days, the scarring under her arms are gone, and she feels more confident than ever. Another man explained that Botox injections helped with the jaw pain from his anxiety, giving him the ability to play the trumpet without his jaw throbbing afterwards.

Regardless of the reasoning behind getting Botox — whether it’s boosting self-esteem or helping with medical issues such as migraine headaches — it’s growing popularity, especially given it’s now a non-invasive, affordable procedure akin to hair dye or eyelash extensions. Feeling comfortable in your own skin is important, regardless of what steps are taken to feel that way. Besides, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.