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Typically used for smoothing wrinkles and fine lines, we think of Botox mainly as a cosmetic treatment to deal with aging skin.  What was once the domain of celebrities and actors desperately trying to hold back the hands of time, Botox is now widely available from your local family practitioner to even your family dentist.  As the number of Botox users steadily rises, the average age of those going in for treatment seems to be steadily decreasing.  Surprisingly, some reports suggest that those in their mid- to late twenties make up 30% of all Botox patients.

Even more astonishing than the idea of Botox being used as no more than a pampering spa treatment by those who typically have no visible wrinkles, doctors in the UK are now warning that Botox use by young people could possibly stunt their emotional and social development.  New research recently published in the Journal of Aesthetic Nursing surmises that the frozen face effect of Botox may not allow young people to fully express their emotions.  Taking that idea one step further, being unable to express emotion on the face could give the impression that one is less empathetic, less emotionally involved or accessible, ultimately preventing  young people from developing deep, meaningful relationships.

The notion that Botox might result in a generation of people unable to connect emotionally with one another may seem far-fetched, but the theory of facial movement influencing emotions goes back as early as Charles Darwin's facial feedback hypothesis.  Simply put, the mere act of smiling sends a message to the part of the brain that regulates emotion, boosting our mood and making us happier.

So which would you rather have: an ageless face or meaningful relationships?  Thankfully, we're not at that point just yet.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti-aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
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