There have been many articles over the last few years claiming that Botox® can make you become a less empathetic person. The most recent article is from blogger and celebrity Rachel Zoe, who claims that Botox can make a person less able to understand emotions because it impairs their ability to embody the emotions of others. Embodiment is a term often used in sociology and psychology and essentially means that when talking with others we tend to mimic their facial expressions to better understand their emotions. When facial movement is temporarily inhibited with Botox, some believe it makes it hard for people treated with Botox to be able to mimic those facial expressions. But do we really have a Botox empathy problem?

Botox Empathy and Other Psychological Studies

These studies primarily focused on patients who had no muscle movement after their injections. However, at Skin by Lovely we only strive for natural looking results. We keep our patients from looking “frozen” or overdone because emotions are a wonderful thing, and we want our patients to be able to express all emotions that life has to offer. Furthermore, while Botox does temporarily inhibit movement in the muscles where it’s injected, it does not cross the blood-brain barrier. That means that after a Botox treatment you may not have full muscle movement but you still have full cognitive and emotional function. So while you may not be able to subconsciously mimic your BFF’s frown when she tells you her work drama, you can still relate to her and support her emotionally.

Botox has actually been found to help relieve depression in some cases. One study in Germany found the patients had instant relief of their symptoms when they had a few units of Botox injected into their frown line.

An area of specific concern with Botox and emotional connectedness is the mother-infant relationship. While some may think Botox injections cause emotional connection issues, many experts are calling this idea “bologna.” Steven Dayan, a plastic surgeon based out of Chicago, weighs in on Botox Empathy:

“I categorically, overwhelmingly disagree that that’s even a possibility,” he says. “You’d have to put so much Botox in to reduce that much animation… Even when I’ve put Botox into the upper third of the face where it’s most commonly used, you still have complete animation in the lower two-thirds of your face.”

Natural Looking Botox Results in Portland, OR and Santa Monica, CA

If done correctly, Botox should not completely erase the appearance of anger, but can help reduce the harshness of the emotion. Lovely Laban, Co-founder and Co-owner of Skin by Lovely, is an international injection trainer for Allergan; the makers of Botox. So rest assured when you go to Skin by Lovely you will be given the best treatment around. Be prepared to leave our offices looking beautiful, fresh, and yes – happy.

Convenient online scheduling is available for both our Santa Monica, CA and Portland, OR locations.

Post contributed by: Stephanie Scarbrough, Aesthetic Consultant