Despite its occasional bad press and horror stories of botched Botox, these cosmetic injections are actually quite safe, not to mention popular! In fact, According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 4.4 million Botox treatments were administered in 2020 alone. 1
If that surprises you, it may be because you don't notice the people around you who have tried it. Nowadays, Botox is often used in a subtle way, with dermatologists and plastic surgeons being very skilled in achieving a naturally youthful look for their patients.
The bad news about Botox is that it is a temporary solution, results can vary from patient to patient, and you may be wondering if it is the right way to achieve long-lasting results.
So how does Botox work? Is it really the answer to getting rid of forehead lines and other wrinkles, or is it too good to be true?
We at RenewSkin Inc. are here to answer all that and more! Keep reading for our comprehensive guide to Botox, including information about how long it lasts, how much it costs, and what to do before and after your appointment.
What Is Botox?
Unlike dermal fillers, Botox does not actually fill out wrinkles or plump up the skin. Botox is a cosmetic treatment that injects a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin into certain areas of the body to block nerve impulses and prevent certain muscles from contracting. This is often deployed to reduce facial wrinkles like forehead lines or crow's feet, stopping the nerves and muscle contractions that allow these wrinkles to become deep and pronounced.
Although most of us will often refer to this treatment as 'Botox', Botox® is actually a brand name. There are other brands that create this same style of treatment, namely Dysport®, Xeomin®, and Jeuveau®.
Botox is a brand name for Onobotulinumtoxin A, which is a toxin derived from Clostridium Botulinum. If that all sounds a little too much like Latin for your liking, the main thing you need to know is that it is a dangerous toxin to ingest (hello, food poisoning) but in controlled injections by experienced doctors, it can be used for beauty purposes!
Why Get Botox Injections?
People most commonly use Botox injections to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles, but it can also be used to treat overactive sweat glands, reduce chronic migraines, or control excessive blinking and twitching.
If you're confused or wondering how does Botox work on wrinkles if it doesn't plump the skin like dermal fillers do, let us explain:
How Wrinkles Form
When it comes to understanding how Botox works, it's important to know what causes wrinkles in the first place. There are essentially two types of wrinkles: dynamic wrinkles and static wrinkles.
Dynamic wrinkles are the ones you only see when you make certain facial expressions or gestures, like when you're smiling and those little lines appear around your eyes. When we're young and our skin is full of collagen and elastin, these wrinkles disappear when we relax our facial muscles and return a neutral expression. Youthful skin bounces back easily.
As we age, we lose a lot of the collagen and elastin proteins that keep our skin bouncy and flexible, and those fine lines and wrinkles start to become visible even in our most neutral expressions. Older skin no longer has the nutrients it needs to remain thick, strong, and flexible, and it wrinkles and dries out more easily.
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How A Botox Treatment Works
Botox paralyzes specific muscles and nerves around the areas where lines and wrinkles form, like in between your eyebrows, across your forehead, or around your eyes. When we make facial expressions after getting Botox injections, our muscles do not move and this helps lines like frown lines or crow's feet to become less pronounced.
Botox works best as a preventative treatment, as it helps stop those pesky lines and wrinkles from making an appearance in the first place! It does, however, also work on reducing the appearance of existing deep wrinkles by tightening the muscles around them – essentially stretching the skin to appear more toned and taut.
It's important to note that Botox can't work to prevent lines and wrinkles formed by external forces such as sun damage, as it only works on those that are directly formed by muscle contractions and facial expressions.
More helpful reading: Types of facials
Is Botulinum Toxin Safe?
Yes, Botox injections are recognized as safe for cosmetic use when administered by certified doctors, and they are FDA approved for treating wrinkles. 2
However, FDA approval has only been given for cosmetic Botox treatments on the muscles around horizontal forehead lines, '11' lines between the eyebrows, and crow's feet. 3
More helpful reading: How to get rid of wrinkles on forehead
Preventing Fine Lines & Wrinkles Naturally
Of course, Botox isn't the only answer to preventing and treating wrinkles. The best approach is to tackle them from multiple angles.
Yes, Botox is a great way to freeze muscles and help prevent static wrinkles from forming or becoming deeper. But, since the loss of collagen is a primary reason for these wrinkles forming in the first place, another great preventative measure you can take is to keep your collagen supplies topped up.
Collagen supplements are an easy yet effective way to do this. When choosing a collagen supplement, it's important to find one that uses properly hydrolyzed collagen peptides that your body can absorb properly, and a high potency formula that can properly nourish your skin.
Taut Premium Collagen Drink is a daily supplement packed with 13,000 mg of hydrolyzed marine collagen peptides, along with elastin peptides, hyaluronic acid, grape seed extract, ceramide, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
It works by triggering your body to produce more collagen naturally, activating a 'wound repair response' in your skin cells. A daily dose of this collagen booster can help plump your skin from the inside out, giving you a visibly smoother complexion in just three weeks!
Read more about the benefits of RenewSkin Inc.'s Liquid Collagen Drink here!
How Long Does Botox Last?
Unfortunately, Botox doesn't last forever and its effects on your muscles will wear off over time. To keep up your results, you will need to be patient and maintain regular sessions.
For most patients, a Botox treatment will last around 3 to 4 months. Of course, this isn't exact and it can vary among patients and treatments. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, some patients enjoy results for up to 6 months, while others might find their results begin to fade sooner. 4
How Much Does a Botox Injection Cost?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of injections from Botox®, Dysport®, Xeomin® or Jeuveau® was $466 in 2020. Botox for anti-aging purposes is generally not covered by health insurance. 5
The final cost per visit to the dermatologist will vary from patient to patient, depending on a few factors. First of all, the best and most experienced doctors will likely charge a little more than others. Second of all, where you choose to apply Botox and how much you need will affect the price that you pay.
Botox is measured and priced in units, and deeper wrinkles may need more units than finer lines. For example, the deep '11' lines between your eyebrows might need up to 40 units of Botox, while horizontal forehead lines require somewhere between 15 and 30 units. 6
How Often Can I Get Botox?
When you see the results a Botox injection can have on your frown lines and crow's feet, you will likely want to keep up with your sessions and maintain your newly smooth skin. However, it's important not to go too overboard, so make sure that you leave a minimum of three months between treatments.
It is generally considered safe to continue regular treatments over an extended period of time, and many people will maintain their results with 2 to 3 treatments per year.
However, studies on the long-term effects of Botox are limited. One 2015 study observed 45 patients who chose to be regularly injected with Botox over 12 years, and in this time some adverse side effects were reported. Some of these include blurred vision, nausea, and heart palpitations. Should you have any concerns about the long-term use of Botox, speak with your doctor before continuing your treatments. 7
Of course, if you want to stop getting Botox, that's perfectly safe. Once you stop getting the treatments, your muscles will simply regain their movements and return to normal.
More helpful reading:
Before & After Your Botox Treatments
Ready for your first session? Here are a few things you should know about how Botox appointments should go:
Before going in for any Botox treatment, you should arrange a consultation with your doctor to discuss your options and your suitability for the treatment. Although most people between the age of 25–75 are good candidates for Botox, some people are not advised to get this type of treatment, especially those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a neurological condition.
In your initial consultation, your doctor should discuss the potential side effects of Botox, and make sure that you understand any risks involved with the procedure. Your doctor will also use this time to answer any further questions you may have, assess your concerns, choose a suitable course of treatment, and establish the number of units to inject in each area of your face.
During this consultation, you should check that your doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and that they have been specifically trained in the procedure. You should also ask what results you can reasonably expect from your treatment in order to manage your expectations.
What To Expect During Your Appointment
Now that you are informed and ready for your treatment, you can book your first appointment!
Your appointment won't take long, the procedure should only take about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how many areas you are getting treated.
To start, your doctor will apply a numbing cream to the muscle areas that you would like treated. They will pinpoint the muscles to be targeted, then use a very fine needle to inject a set number of units of botulinum toxin into these areas. Depending on the depth of your wrinkles and the muscle you are treating, this may require multiple injections – anywhere up to five is normal.
Once injected, you're done! The best news is that this is also a minimally invasive procedure, so you should be able to walk out the door without any downtime needed.
You can expect to begin seeing results in 1 or 2 days when your muscles relax, and after a week you should be seeing your full results.
After you've left the doctor's office, you can generally return straight to work or home without any downtime. However, it is generally advised that you avoid exercise, anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen, and lying down for 6 hours after.
Keeping your head upright is important so as not to spread the toxins to other areas of your face. You should also avoid rubbing the treated areas for the next 24 hours, for this very same reason. Some facial exercises, however, can help your results appear sooner.
Although there should be no severe after-effects, some normal side effects include:
- Light swelling and tenderness in the muscle tissue at the injection site
- Bruising at the injection site
- A temporary lump at the injection site
- Bleeding at the injection site
These should wear off in a few days after your treatment, but if symptoms persist for a number of days you may wish to consult your doctor.
Some adverse (but rare) side effects to watch out for include drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, or vision problems. You should seek immediate medical attention should these occur.
Soothe Your Skin Post-Botox With a Taut Collagen Mask
After Botox, your skin may feel in need of a little extra TLC. For the first 24 hours after treatment, it is very important to leave your face alone and avoid massaging the treated muscles. However, after a day or two have passed, you may wish to treat yourself to some anti-aging skincare that will help enhance your results.
Taut Collagen Mask is a luxurious 15-minute sheet mask treatment that helps to heal and soothe skin, all while providing an array of anti-aging benefits. Our formula is infused with collagen peptides, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and botanical squalene to simultaneously tone, hydrate, and brighten your skin.
This is a truly skin-plumping formula that helps smooth out lines and wrinkles while intensely hydrating and brightening your complexion. Use it after your Botox treatments for the wow factor you've been looking for!
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Fight Wrinkles From All Angles With Taut
If you want to achieve truly youthful, radiant skin that looks natural, we recommend tackling the signs of aging from all angles. Dehydrated, dull skin will look much older than soft, radiant skin – so even with Botox, you will still need to create a healthy skincare routine that nourishes your dermis with collagen, antioxidants, and hydrating ingredients.
We recommend our Intense Transformation Program to anyone looking to fight the signs of aging from the inside out. It contains a 24-day supply of Taut Liquid Collagen, to be taken daily for powerful and visible results.
The best thing about Taut Liquid Collagen is that it doesn't just reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, it also gives some much-needed hydration and antioxidant protection to your skin. Because our formula is supported by ingredients like hyaluronic acid and grape seed extract, it is an all-around anti-aging solution that focuses on truly healthy skin for your whole body.
You can use our Intense Transformation Program alongside regular Botox treatments for a supercharge of anti-aging benefits, complementing your visits to the dermatologist with an at-home solution. Or if you'd rather avoid injected toxins, needles, and patient-doctor consultations altogether, this program can also be an effective alternative to Botox!
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