Botox Cosmetic and similar injectables are more popular than ever — 7 million injections were given in 2016 (that's almost three times as many as fillers), according to the 2016 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It’s used for everything from treating smile lines to helping prolong your blowout. In other words, this isn't your ordinary Botox.
The key is understanding the way your forehead muscles — the frontalis and the occipitalis — work. "While the frontalis muscle pulls the scalp forward, the antagonist muscle, the occipitalis, pulls the scalp backward," Cohen tells Allure. When you paralyze the downward-pulling action of the frontalis, the upward-pulling occipitalis is left unopposed, she explains. When the occipitalis is dominant, it delivers more forehead real estate.
The technique is a gamechanger for low brows. Previously, the only way to lengthen and lift your brow was through a full-on forehead lift. "It is possible to lengthen the brow through a traditional or endoscopic brow lift," Melissa Soft, a New York City-based plastic surgeon, tells Allure. "Incisions are made in the hair-bearing scalp, and the forehead is lifted, raising the hairline and lengthening the forehead." The new technique, on the other hand, is perfect if you’re not into the idea of surgery (it’s also great for younger patients), but it is only semi-permeant. Like most Botox injections the effects will last three to four months, says Cohen.
With any injection, there are risks (Botox injections can cause everything from headaches to infection but Doft says most patients don't have any problems and tolerate the toxin well) — Cohen's study didn't find any additional risks with the forehead lift.
No matter what type of injection you're getting, always make sure that you consult a board-certified plastic surgeon who is super-familiar with the procedure before going under the needle or knife.