Let’s talk about Botox.

‘How long does it last?’ is rightly so one of the most frequently asked questions in relation to the ever popular anti-wrinkle treatment. And it’s surprisingly difficult to answer (initially).

Let me explain…

Scientific publications covering this same topic produce evidence that BTox treatments can produce results lasting an average of 3-6 months.

But that doesn’t really tell us much does it?

The average client wants to know exactly how long it will last for them, not the rest of the world. Unfortunately, until you actually go ahead with treatment it’s very difficult to give a specific duration for your results.

Firstly, your results will probably never be the same as your friends. You know the one who looks amazing at any given moment, and was the friend who suggested you should give BTox a try? It’s all too easy to compare results. It’s natural. However, if your practitioner is calculating your dosage for you individually it means they are taking your whole face and all of its characteristics which make you, you, into consideration. This means having an in depth discussion with you about what kind of (realistic) result you have in mind and this means tweaking the dosage to provide the best result possible. One size doesn’t fit all.

This brings me nicely onto my second point. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. More significantly, in my experience, everyone responds differently to treatment. In extreme cases, I’ve known patients to require double the ‘standard’ dose to achieve their desired result; meanwhile others are extremely sensitive to treatment and may require much less than the ‘standard’ dose. These are minority cases and most patients do respond as expected. It is worth noting, however, whether this is something your injector bares in mind. Personally, for first time or new clients who I am completely unaware as to how their muscles react to the BTox, I fully encourage them to make use of the 2 week review/top up appointment – in order to perfectly titrate their personal dosage. As a champion of safe practice I encourage injectors to ‘air on the side of caution’ with new clients. It is so easy to add more than to regret such a large starting dose, as of course, there is no ‘taking out’. This patience simply lessens the risk of avoidable complications such as brow ptosis and an overarched brow shape. The latter can be easily tweaked – but why risk it? Once the injector can see how you respond to treatment this can be filed in your notes and this can be used as your starting dose for next treatment. I have no doubt you will love the results, of course, and be back for more!

The above incorporates the body’s natural response to treatment, but it is worth bearing in mind that there are also environmental factors that can affect the duration of results. I always advise my clients that anything that increases the core body temperature can lead to a reduced longevity of results, if done regularly. For example, heavy exercise, hot hot hot baths (I’m guilty!) or regular saunas/ steams/ jacuzzis. Why? The above activities release more free radicals into our bodies, which in turn break down toxins. This is a fabulous bodily mechanism, though unfortunately we cannot tell our bodies to leave the BTox be! So off it goes. Perhaps a little sooner than you were expecting. This is not to say you should not be carrying on as usual, it is just something to bear in mind, depending on your lifestyle.

So what can we learn from knowing this? Well, firstly, there is no ‘right amount’ of units. You are you. You may desire different results from your friend. Decide what kind of end point you want. A little brow lift? A reduction in crows feet lines? Be realistic and discuss your expectations with your injector. Incorporate any financial restrictions when discussing your treatment plan. Let your injector support you with their ideas and experiences, but do not forget that this is your face and ultimately the result they want for you may not match your end point. Much of the latter point means you must find an injector who you trust. Research them, meet with them. Many offer no obligation consults, so you can get a feel for their way of working. Try not to be guided by price – is it worth the risk? An injector may appear expensive on a surface level, but again, be realistic and be smart. Often you are paying for injecting experience and high levels of training, as well as premium products. Why take shortcuts on your face?

If you have any questions about anything mentioned in this blog, please feel free to contact me to discuss your thoughts further.

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