In Depth

Face facts: Why botox is not just for women

Forget images of frozen faces, Dr Jules Nabet tells us the latest methods will have you looking fresher than ever

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Whether you call it as "brotox" or "finance filler", more men than ever are turning to botox to help them turn back the clock and give them a fresher, youthful appearance.

A study by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery revealed that 453,281 men in the US had botox injections last year – almost ten per cent of the total number for both men and women.

However, this isn't a trend confined to our (youthful-looking) male cousins across the Pond. Celebrity-favourite Dr Jules Nabet, medical director at Omnyia in Knightsbridge, London, tells The Week Portfolio there has been a rise in the number of British men wanting the procedure done.

"Ten years ago, only five per cent of my clients were men," he says. "Now it's 15-20 per cent. I have more and more men coming."

Like women, men are feeling increased pressure to look as good as possible, especially in the office. Most doctors specialising in the technique say their male clients are aged 35 to 65 and hope the injection will give them an edge in the corporate world.

"Men want to look less stressed and more relaxed and more confident. They don't want to look as if they're frowning so much," Dr Nabet, who has 25 years experience with botox, adds. "They want to look fresher and more relaxed rather than younger."

Relaxed is the key word. Botox's reputation for freezing faces – think fading Hollywood starlet with a constantly shocked impression – has as much to do with the person carrying out the procedure as it does with the injection itself.   

"Your face shouldn't be frozen, if you can't move your face it hasn't been done correctly," says Dr Nabet. "I never freeze a face; I relax it, which means I do not paralyse the muscles so the man can keep his own expressions. My clients can move their faces."

It is a process he terms "baby botox", a lower dosage that softens the look of the wrinkles while allowing natural expressions to shine.

"I inject the facial muscles with botox slightly differently for each person as each face is different. I do eight to ten pricks high on the forehead and around the eyes – one centimetre [half an inch] away, for example. By relaxing these muscles with botox, it will help open up your eyes so they look more youthful while still keeping expression.

"Botox also really helps to lift heavy eyelids and can help raise the eyebrow. The priority for all my patients is to look natural, they want their lines and wrinkles softened but they still want movement in their face.

"After botox, people should say, 'You look well,' not, 'What have you had done?' The key is a subtle, understated approach, keeping expression in the face."

Dr Nabet has a closer understanding of what clients want than most - he occasionally does his own botox and his face does indeed show a mature man who seems never to have had a day's stress in his life.

"I would say the best age for botox is as soon as you first notice lines appearing – 25 to 28 years old - as more of a preventative measure," he tells us. "The sooner you start, the less you will need as you age. Most clients return every three to four months for top-ups, but you can leave it longer than this and just have it every six months or annually."

However, botox is not the only way men can keep themselves looking good. "Healthy skin is also important, this is what makes you look younger," says Dr Nabet. "Botox can only soften a line or wrinkle; it does not help with the skin's radiance and brightness. You need a combination of aesthetic treatments like botox and fillers as well as good skincare treatments as well as products and lifestyle choices.

"Exfoliation and cleansing the skin is the key. It is important to rid the complexion of skin-dulling dead cells. Using ingredients such as glycolic acid removes dead skin and impurities and allows the skin to regenerate naturally.  The key is exfoliation and increased moisture to brighten the skin, leaving it more radiant. Dry skin isn't as good at getting rid of its dead skin cells and I would never recommend a normal exfoliator that is gritty and clogs pores. I'd recommend a glycolic peel-based one that is basically a liquid peel."

He also recommends busy businessmen understand how their office environment can have an affect on their skin and appearance. "Indoor heating and falling temperatures outside affect the skin's barrier function and leaving it vulnerable to dehydration. This is why we often complain about dull, dry and pale skin as we go from summer to autumn and into the winter months. Hydration is key for optimising skin plumpness and glow so often a serum and richer moisturiser is necessary.

"The one thing that would make the biggest difference to men's skin are vitamins and hyaluronic acid as these plump and freshen the skin."

For further information, contact Julesnabet.com

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