As a PA, I do a lot of Botox treatments. One of the things my patients want to know is, “Is there anything I can do to make my Botox last longer or work better?”. It’s a great question. Here you are, spending a good bit of money on this Botox so, of course, it’s smart to want to know how to maximize your time, effort and money. So here’s a list of tips that I tell my patients.
1. Taking It Easy
Immediately after your treatment, I recommend not touching, rubbing, or “smushing” the treated areas for at least 4 hours…this includes wearing your favorite hat after a forehead treatment! Botox is a fluid-based medication and until it has fully settled into the neuromuscular junction, it could “drift into” other facial muscles that we didn’t intend to treat if you manipulate the area too much. This is why I also do not recommend heavy physical activity until at least 24 hours after your treatment. Intense exercise, saunas, hot yoga etc. can increase blood flow to the face, which can also cause the Botox to spread to non-targeted areas.
2. Dose = Duration
Doesn’t everyone wish their Botox lasted longer? Well, here’s a tip. Like many other medications, Botox follows a “dose-dependent” concept. This means that the amount of Botox given impacts the length of time the effects of the treatment will last. This was proven by multiple clinical trials conducted during Botox Cosmetic’s FDA approval. In most patients, a higher dose of Botox provides longer-lasting results compared to a lower dose.
That said, your individual metabolism, muscle strength & anatomy, and treatment area can also influence the duration of the effects.
When my patients say that their Botox didn’t last, one of the first things I do is analyze how many units they got before and see if a higher dose might serve them better.
3. Follow a Consistent Treatment Schedule
As with so many things in life, consistency is the key to success. Typically, Botox treatments last between 3-4 months, so booking your next appointment before the effects completely wear off is crucial. Think of these facial muscles as the enemy. After you’ve paid money to beat them into submission, wouldn’t you want to keep them that way, rather than give them time to regain their strength and fight against you? Yep, you get the picture.
4. Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Sure, it’s common sense. But as the saying goes, sometimes common sense isn’t so common. So, to reinforce why an overall healthy lifestyle is important, let’s review a few key points.
Protect Your Skinvestment
You’ve heard it before but I’ll say it again: using a broad-spectrum, physical SPF>30 sunscreen daily and protective clothing is a non-negotiable. Excessive sun exposure can result in photodamage and accelerated aging of the overlying skin and its connective tissues, essentially negating the Botox treatment you just invested in!
Avoid Smoking & Alcohol
Did you know that there’s been extensive studies comparing identical twins that were separated while growing up? One of the key findings was that if one twin smoked or had excessive alcohol consumption (and the other didn’t), that twin’s face looked significantly more aged than the non-smoker, non-drinker twin. Even if they were born with the same genetics! Kind of says it all, doesn’t it?
Quitting smoking and moderating your alcohol intake will help keep you looking beautiful, period!
Most of us run around our busy daily lives seriously dehydrated. That does no favors for our body that’s made up of mostly water. Even our bones contain 30% water! The skin itself is over 60% water. Hydration plays such a crucial role in improving skin texture, elasticity, cell turnover, and barrier function. When the skin is adequately hydrated, it appears plump, smooth, and radiant, further augmenting your Botox treatment.
Have you ever seen someone who has gone through a stressful time in their lives? Often, they literally look 10 years older at the end of it. We wear our stress on our faces and, over time, it becomes etched in. I personally enjoy working out to de-stress but everyone can find their own blissful activity, such as yoga, meditation, or spending time with people who lift you up.
5. Communicate Thoroughly with Your Injector
I’ve put this one as number 5 but it just as well could have been number 1. Injectors aren’t mind readers, right? We want to know what you’re thinking. Tell me all of your concerns and goals, and I mean, all of it! Maybe you have a fear of needles but feel embarrassed to bring it up. If I know about it ahead of time, I may have tips and tricks up my sleeve to help you through that. Show me photos of things you like and don’t like. The more I know about what makes you tick, the better I can help.
Wrapping It Up
The bottom line is, I want you to get the most out of your Botox treatment. We all know Botox works great, but I want Botox to work even better for you. Try keeping these points in mind and I am sure that you’ll be more satisfied and looking better than ever before.