Andrew, a dot-com entrepreneur who splits his time between New York and Dallas, was sick of hearing that he looked worn out. “People would ask, ‘Are you tired? Are you stressed?’” he says. “And I wasn’t. I was just back from the Caribbean and really happy.”
So he decided to do something about it. Last February, he had Botox injected into the creases between his eyebrows and the bags underneath his eyes.
Andrew (who asked to be identified only by his middle name) is 25 years old. When the doctor who administered his shots offered him pig-shaped foam balls to squeeze if it hurt, he gladly accepted.
“Everyone is sort of noticing [that men are getting Botox at a younger age],” says Dr. Kenneth Beer, a dermatologist in Palm Beach who administers Botox. “The number of men getting treated is going up, and the age they’re being treated at is going down.”
The Y-chromosomed had more than 313,500 Botox procedures in 2005, and that number is climbing. But it’s not just aging politicians and actors (John Kerry and Sly Stallone have had to deny they’ve had it done) who are driving the $400 million business, it’s average young working guys like Andrew. Whether it’s because they’re besieged with HDTV images of dewy male pop stars or paranoid about the go-getting assistant who looks so . . . rested . . . or because more than 2,000 new medical spas in shopping malls from Los Angeles to New Jersey have made Botox more accessible, guys are getting the shots at an age when they’re still being carded.
“It’s as if men feel they are being held to a higher standard now,” says Dr. Andrew Jacono, a Long Island–based facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. “These are wealthy, well-educated guys. They’re noticing the changes in their face and want to nip them in the bud before it gets too far. It’s the paranoia that gets them in here early. They feel like they have a good 10 to 12 years to make the big bucks, and they want to always look like they’re 32, like they’re the guy who’s up-and-coming.”
If there were ever a time for the average, tuckered-out thirtysomething guy to try Botox, it’s now. Doctors have dramatically improved their techniques. They once injected a whopping dose in only one placethe two frown lines between the eyebrowswhich tended to make the receiver look suspiciously wide-eyed. Over the past decade, with experience, dermatologists have isolated specific muscles in the facelike the ones that lift versus lower an eyebrowand have learned how to fine-tune their aim and the amount of Botox they use to make the overall effect more natural and less noticeable. The injected man will look a few years younger, not like David Gest. And since the results don’t show up for three to five days, he won’t look conspicuously taut if he goes straight from the doctor’s office to a budget meeting back at work.