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TGIF!!! Today I’m going to tell you exactly how Botox works, how long it lasts, and share a few caveats.

How does Botox work? How long does it last?

Botox, or Botulinum Toxin, is a neuromodulator that works by blocking acetylcholine. Acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, signals the muscles to move. When the signal is blocked to the brain, the muscle can no longer move. So, it does not paralyze the muscle, only temporarily blocks the signal that allows it to move. It takes up to 2 weeks to see the effects and the effects last for 2-3 months depending upon your metabolism and activity levels.

Good injections aren’t cheap, and cheap injections aren’t good. 

If you see a Groupon or some type of “deal” on injections that claims an incredibly low price (like, under $200 for the entire forehead, for example) stay away! You should expect to pay between $11-20 per unit of Botox. This is industry standard. The forehead is an average of 25 units (sometimes more) so the minimum you would pay is $250.

Some medical spas and practices run promotions that allow you to bank your Botox for a discounted rate or even offer you free units if you purchase another service- all of this is ok and commonly done. Make sure it’s a reputable practice or medical spa though!

Know your injectors’ credentials

Do you know who is legally qualified to inject? It should only be…

  • An RN (sometimes referred to as a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist or CANS)
  • A PA-C
  • an MD (preferably a Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon) NO Ph.D’s! Also, the only time I recommend seeing a Dentist would be in the case of Botox for jaw pain/TMJD as this is a completely different modality. But please see an aesthetic specialist only for your cosmetic injections

Before working with an injector, make sure you get really good word of mouth referrals. It’s even better if you actually know one of their patients personally so that you can see their work- if not they should provide before and after photos of their work! Injecting is an art and a science and very subjective- be very choosy when you decide whom you work with because you will be relying on their aesthetic. Make sure the facility you go to is reputable, whether it is a medical spa setting or a physician’s offic

Research your injector

Thanks to websites such as Real Self, you can actually read reviews about your injector as well as research information on the safety and efficacy of the procedure you are looking into having. Also- your injector should always schedule you for both the procedure as well as a follow-up to be sure you are responding and healing nicely from the treatment! If they don’t do this it’s a red flag! They should also take a detailed medical history on the day of your appointment to ensure the safety and appropriateness of the treatment.

Trust your instincts

If you get to the office and something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. It’s your body and you call the shots- you can back out at any time before your procedure is done. (This goes beyond the needle jitters- I’m talking about if you get there and the space doesn’t feel clean or professional or if something feels “off”- just leave!)

The real product is from the US

If your injector claims that they get an injectable from a different country for cheaper (even Canada!) it’s a no-go. The real thing is distributed by Pharma companies (such as Allergan) in the U.S. and the product is clearly labeled with the name of it as well as the manufacturer on the box and on the vials.

Thanks for stopping by and here’s to safe Botox! XO, Ashli

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