Can Botox be a Part of a Healthy Lifestyle?

What is Botox, is it safe, and what alternatives do you have?


It seems like everyone is getting it these days. It’s becoming as common as using Crest White Strips, and yet there is still this mystery around what it is exactly and what it does. In fact, often people refer to it as a facial “filler” as if it cures the wrinkles under the skin by filling in the fine lines.

But that’s not exactly it. And aside from its questionable source, the side effects are vast and scary. But what are they, and why are they not as well known? Most of the hype around Botox has trickled down from Hollywood. It’s the youth injection that keeps the stars looking like they did 20 years before. Not a crack in sight. But with such casual use and talk of this drug, comes the consequence of more casual use as if this “face filler” just disappears out of your face after it’s done and you’re ready to go.

Not to mention the fact that the Botox industry is booming (more than 6 million Botox treatments a year). And it’s not all people who are older. The ages where women are seeking cosmetic Botox surgery for their fine lines and wrinkles are getting younger and younger.

What is Botox?

Botox is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The bi-product is called botulinum toxin for sure. It is made from what is classified as a neurotoxin produced by this bacteria [1].

Are You Alarmed Yet?

It’s more alarming to understand just how powerful botulinum toxin is. While one gram could kill a million people, just two kilograms could kill the entire human population. That’s the power in this stuff. And while the bacterium is largely found inactive in nature is harmless, it’s when the spores transform and cell population increases that the botulinum toxin is produced. And that highly toxic substance is what is being used in the cosmetic treatments of Botox [2].

At super tiny level Botox is considered “safe” and as some say the poison is in the dose. But why would you take sure a big risk with something so toxic being injected into your body at any level? I would guarantee that most people are not aware of the highly toxic nature of the base of Botox.

What Does Botox do in the Body?

Once inside the body Botox does not just simply fill in fine lines and wrinkles. The miracle of the crack-less face is actually from paralysis. Considering that Botox, filled with botulinum toxin, is a neurotoxin you can begin to connect the dots on how it’s working. Neurotoxins disturb and disrupt the nervous in our nervous system and prevent them from communicating effectively [3]. Botox works through the simple method of paralyzing the muscles by blocking the signals from the cells and thus not allowing your muscle to contract and wrinkle or crease.

Yes, you are literally paralyzing your face.

Once the Botox is injected in your face, it can take up to 72 hours for it to disrupt the neurons and effectively paralyze the muscle.

What are the Potential Side Effects of Using Botox?

While many people can tolerate botulinum toxin, there are always risks of side effects. Some, but not surprising side effects include dropping of brows, lips, eyelids, and other unwanted areas nearby areas of injections due to the toxins actions.

Other lesser side effects are a mild pain in the areas of injection as well as some numbness.

More severe side effects include weakness of the neck, rashes, swelling, blurred vision, bleeding, gallbladder dysfunction, and flu-like symptoms [4].

Is Botox Worth the Risk?

While these side effects might not scare you immediately, there are other things to consider. In 2008 the FDA had to notify the public that other adverse reactions had occurred in patients that were given Botox and Botox Cosmetic. These side effects included respiratory failure and death following the treatment of a variety of condition and different doses.

While it was suspected that the problem came from the toxin spreading to other unintended areas that lead to breathing problems, it also was linked to using too much [5].

With such a powerful drug, which can be used in tiny amounts that could paralyze your entire face, you must always consider the risk that a) it can spread to different areas, and b) it is risky that such a small amount could do so much damage.

With all that risk, it’s worth remembering that to keep up the facial paralysis patients typically go in for multiple treatments a year to keep up appearances.

Should You Get Botox?

While Botox carries all of that risk, there are other, much less risky, less pointy, less paralyzing ways to look younger and have silky, smooth skin. You do have other, very effective choices. If you are still considering Botox, be sure to contact and book your appointment with a well known, reputable doctor that has a healthy track record of taking care of their patients.

If Botox and the risks seem too much, but you want the skin from your best years, stay tuned as we dive into incredible ways to use natural treatments and foods to wipe years off your face and keep you looking forever young.