Navigating the Importance of Authenticity and Transparency on Social Media

At this year’s South by Southwest®, Allē—the official loyalty program from Allergan Aesthetics, the makers of BOTOX® Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA) and other notable brands—hosted a panel discussion in partnership with Variety and SHE Media on the importance of authenticity in the age of social media. The thought-provoking panel examined consumers’ increasing desire for authenticity and how social media has evolved into a community for people to come together, have candid conversations and provide an unabashed commentary from fitness to aesthetics and beyond.

Please see BOTOX® Cosmetic Uses and Important Safety Information below, including Boxed Warning.

The conversation tied into the Allē mission of empowering consumers through education, with the panelists discussing how having transparent discussions about filters, products, and procedures can help encourage positivity. Board-certified dermatologist and content creator Dr. Muneeb Shah was joined on stage by design expert and Emmy®-nominated TV host Bobby Berk; model, actor, and entrepreneur Olivia Culpo; beauty entrepreneur and content creator Felicia Walker; and moderator Leah Faye Cooper to talk about how to foster an inclusive space to discuss aesthetics and wellness when using social media.

BOTOX® Cosmetic (onabotulinumtoxinA) is a prescription medicine that is injected into the muscles and used to temporarily improve the look of moderate to severe forehead lines, crow’s feet, and frown lines between the eyebrows in adults.

Dr. Shah began creating educational content to meet people where they are in their skincare and aesthetics journey. The real turning point came after his mentor watched his videos and told him, “You have something here where you can reach millions of people with your content. Just remember to always be ethical and be honest with everything you do going forward,” Dr. Shah recalled. “That was about a month in, and he was like, ‘Take it seriously. It’s going to make an impact.’ And so, I just stuck with it.”

“Stuck with it” might be an understatement. But whether Dr. Shah is breaking down an ingrown hair extraction or debunking a viral video or sharing skincare tips, he continues to prioritize authenticity and transparency in his content.

“People are really resonating with these authentic creators out there,” Dr. Shah explained. “That’s why you’re seeing this gigantic wave of people just showing really what they’re getting done, what treatments they’re having. For example, if I talk about retinol and I’m saying retinol gets rid of fine lines and wrinkles, people will ask me, ‘Well, don’t you get any other treatments done?’ I’m like, ‘Yes, I receive BOTOX® Cosmetic as well.’ Being real and authentic, it resonates with people because they know that there is more to the story.”

The values that guide his content are the same ones that helped him decide to partner with Allē. He only recommends products or platforms that he would recommend to loved ones.

“I treated my wife yesterday with BOTOX® Cosmetic. So, it’s something I use, I use on myself, I would use on my mom, I use on my family,” he said. For Dr. Shah, prioritizing access is important when deciding which treatments to offer. “The Allē loyalty program also does a lot of trying to make things more affordable for people,” he noted.

Talk to your doctor about BOTOX® Cosmetic and whether it’s right for you. There are risks with this product. The effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic may spread hours to weeks after injection causing serious symptoms. Please see additional Important Safety Information Below.

While social media users might’ve once felt the pressure to hide which aesthetic treatments they’ve received, Dr. Shah has seen a shift toward authenticity that reflects consumers’ desire for education. “We would just see the perfect celebrity with the perfect skin that doesn’t have a single wrinkle,” he said. “Now what we’re seeing is people sharing really what’s happening in their life.”

Nicole Katz, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Consumer Engagement at Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company, says that partnering with people who share like-minded values around transparency and authenticity helps thoughtful and informative content about aesthetic products and treatments become more commonplace online.

“Over the years, there has been an increasing desire and demand for authenticity from brands. For Allergan Aesthetics, we want to share our product portfolio in a meaningful way that allows us to connect with people on a deeper level,” Nicole shared in a statement with Variety. “Through our various endeavors, like this panel, we’re hoping to encourage a supportive and open space that celebrates authenticity.”

(Continued Important Safety Information)
Alert your doctor right away as difficulty swallowing, speaking, breathing, eye problems, or muscle weakness can be a sign of a life-threatening condition. Patients with these conditions before injection are at the highest risk. Please see additional Important Safety Information below.

The SXSW conversation hosted by Allē demonstrated how Allergan Aesthetics aims to move the needle to create open, inclusive dialogues around aesthetic treatments. “I think this conversation right here is a step in the right direction,” Dr. Shah said. “Even today, the focus was more on authenticity. I love when brands focus on something like that. It’s tied to the brand in ways, but it’s also focusing on something bigger than them. It’s more aspirational.” He also nodded to how the BOTOX® Cosmetic “See Yourself” campaign spotlighted the treatment journeys of 25 everyday people—not celebrities or models.

(Continued Important Safety Information)
Side effects include allergic reactions, neck and injection-site pain, fatigue and headache. Allergic reactions can include rash, welts, asthma symptoms, and dizziness. Please see additional Important Safety Information below.

Allergan Aesthetics is continuing its efforts to increase transparency, representation, and authenticity within the aesthetics space. Through ongoing partnerships with real people, Allergan Aesthetics hopes to spotlight real treatment stories and help normalize the conversation around aesthetic treatments. 

To learn more about Allē, the official aesthetics loyalty program of Allergan Aesthetics, visit here. Follow @Allē on Instagram and Facebook.


Approved Uses
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to temporarily improve the look of moderate to severe forehead lines, crow’s feet lines, and frown lines between the eyebrows in adults.


BOTOX® Cosmetic may cause serious side effects that can be life threatening. Get medical help right away if you have any of these problems any time (hours to weeks) after injection of BOTOX® Cosmetic:

  • Problems swallowing, speaking, or breathing, due to weakening of associated muscles, can be severe and result in loss of life. You are at the highest risk if these problems are pre-existing before injection. Swallowing problems may last for several months.
  • Spread of toxin effects. The effect of botulinum toxin may affect areas away from the injection site and cause serious symptoms including: loss of strength and all-over muscle weakness, double vision, blurred vision and drooping eyelids, hoarseness or change or loss of voice, trouble saying words clearly, loss of bladder control, trouble breathing, and trouble swallowing.

BOTOX® Cosmetic dosing units are not the same as, or comparable to, any other botulinum toxin product. 

There has not been a confirmed serious case of spread of toxin effect when BOTOX® Cosmetic has been used at the recommended dose to treat frown lines, crow’s feet lines, and/or forehead lines. 

BOTOX® Cosmetic may cause loss of strength or general muscle weakness, vision problems, or dizziness within hours to weeks of taking BOTOX® Cosmetic. If this happens, do not drive a car, operate machinery, or do other dangerous activities. 

Serious and/or immediate allergic reactions have been reported. They include: itching, rash, red itchy welts, wheezing, asthma symptoms, or dizziness or feeling faint. Get medical help right away if you are wheezing or have asthma symptoms, or if you become dizzy or faint.

Do not receive BOTOX® Cosmetic if you: are allergic to any of the ingredients in BOTOX® Cosmetic (see Medication Guide for ingredients); had an allergic reaction to any other botulinum toxin product such as Myobloc® (rimabotulinumtoxinB), Dysport® (abobotulinumtoxinA), or Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA); have a skin infection at the planned injection site.

Tell your doctor about all your muscle or nerve conditions, such as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, myasthenia gravis, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome, as you may be at increased risk of serious side effects including difficulty swallowing and difficulty breathing from typical doses of BOTOX® Cosmetic.

Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including: plans to have surgery; had surgery on your face; have trouble raising your eyebrows; drooping eyelids; any other abnormal facial change; are pregnant or plan to become pregnant (it is not known if BOTOX® Cosmetic can harm your unborn baby); are breast-feeding or plan to (it is not known if BOTOX® Cosmetic passes into breast milk). 

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Using BOTOX® Cosmetic with certain other medicines may cause serious side effects. Do not start any new medicines until you have told your doctor that you have received BOTOX® Cosmetic in the past. 

Tell your doctor if you have received any other botulinum toxin product in the last 4 months; have received injections of botulinum toxin such as Myobloc®, Dysport®, or Xeomin® in the past (tell your doctor exactly which product you received); have recently received an antibiotic by injection; take muscle relaxants; take an allergy or cold medicine; take a sleep medicine; take aspirin-like products or blood thinners. 

Other side effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic include: dry mouth; discomfort or pain at the injection site; tiredness; headache; neck pain; and eye problems: double vision, blurred vision, decreased eyesight, drooping eyelids and eyebrows, swelling of your eyelids and dry eyes. 

For more information refer to the Medication Guide or talk with your doctor. 

To report a side effect, please call Allergan at 1-800-678-1605.

Please see BOTOX® Cosmetic full  Product Information including Boxed Warning and Medication Guide

© 2023 AbbVie. All rights reserved. BOTOX and its design are trademarks of Allergan, Inc., an AbbVie company.

PRT162573 07/23

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