Wrinkle-Free: How Long Does Botox Treatment Last?

yellow liquid in the syringe

If you’re looking for a quick fix to your wrinkles, lines and other facial aesthetic concerns, there is hope in Botox. This FDA-approved injectable medication reduces the appearance of face wrinkles, as well as treats other conditions, like severe underarm sweating, chronic migraine, cervical dystonia and more.

With Botox, you can look younger or maintain a vibrant appearance while avoiding surgery and the downtime that follows.

Like all procedures, there are questions attached to Botox, specifically with its effect.

How long does Botox last? Is it even permanent or would you have to keep doing Botox to maintain a youthful appearance?

How Long Does Botox Last?

Typically, the results of Botox injections last from three to six months. However, this varies from one person to another and depends on the following factors:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Muscle mass
  • Dilution of the toxin
  • Injection technique
  • Positioning of the injection
  • The volume of the solution

Botox can last longer in some patients (within the four to six-month range) or shorter (within the two-month range). It’s also common for first-time Botox users to notice that the effects are quick. However, if you go for another round of Botox, the effects will last longer.

Some research suggests that having multiple injections of Botox in the same area prolongs the duration of its effects.

So, to answer the question “Is Botox’s effect permanent?” it’s not but you can get multiple injections to maintain the effects. However, you should talk with your healthcare provider first to determine how frequently you can safely receive Botox injections. Injections shouldn’t occur sooner than three months to prevent Botox resistance (aka your skin starts rejecting the injection).

If you want to prolong the effects of your procedure, it’s important to:

  • Strictly follow the aftercare guidance.
  • Receive the injections from a certified and experienced medical practitioner who is well-versed in Botox injection techniques.

Is It Safe to Use Botox for a Long Time?

What if you want to keep getting injections to maintain a youthful appearance? Will Botox be bad for your health?

Botox is an FDA-approved, low-risk treatment that is safe for use. Just make sure that you work with an experienced health provider to avoid negative side effects. When a trusted provider handles your care, they will monitor any signs of aging and recommend safe Botox use, as well as other appropriate options (e.g. laser skin resurfacing or dermal fillers).

So no, this skincare option can be good for you. It’s a healthy form of skincare.

How Long Does It Take for Botox to Work?

injecting on a statue
Photo by Wind Ira on Unsplash

Apart from asking “How long does Botox last?” many Botox newbies also wonder how long it takes for the treatment to take effect.

In most cases, you can see the effects of Botox as early as day three or day four (post-injection). You’ll see more visible results of the procedure within 10 to 14 days. But for maximum results, wait the full 14 days.

Each part of your face has a different timeline when it comes to waiting for Botox to work. For example, patients generally see the effect in fine forehead lines and crow’s feet. In areas where the lines are etched or deep, the results may take longer to show. A rule of thumb when it comes to Botox: the finer the lines, the faster the results.

Another thing to keep in mind: Botox injected in different areas does not need different amounts of time to show results — it’s the concentration of the Botox and how it is injected into your muscles. Larger muscles often receive fewer units might show results slower compared to smaller muscles that receive more units of Botox.

So why does it take time for Botox to work?

The toxin binds at a connection point between nerves and muscles called the “motor endplate.” The nerves tell the muscles to move and the endplate serves as a megaphone, hollering more orders at the nerves so they will contract. Botox silences these orders, causing the muscles to not move.

Although Botox binds quickly, the silencing of the chemical messages can take several days, which is why the effects of the procedure aren’t immediate.

How Does Botox Feel When It Starts Working?

As mentioned above, Botox starts working when your lines start fading. The treated area appears smoother and looks more refreshed.

During your first Botox treatment, you might feel a slight feeling of heaviness or a tight sensation, which usually subsides in a week or two. You can also tell that your Botox is starting to wear off when you see lines again.

What Not to Do After Botox

To prolong the effects of Botox, some precautions must be practiced. Avoiding a couple of habits can help you maximize your treatment.

To enjoy the effects of your treatment longer, avoid doing the following:

Drink Alcohol

Before getting the treatment, refrain from drinking alcohol a day before since doing so increases your risk of bruising. This is true after the procedure, too. Wait at least 24 hours after your injection before you drink alcohol.

Touch Your Face

Avoid spreading the toxin by not touching your face for a day. Some doctors might recommend avoiding touching your face for three days. If you get Botox in another part of your body, avoid touching those areas, too. So this means that if you scheduled for a massage, delay it to several days later.

Sleep on Treated Areas

Try your best not to sleep on the injected areas to minimize the pressure on the Botox. This lets the injection settle into your muscles. Avoid sleeping within four hours after your procedure.

Get Other Skin Treatments

Botox needs more time to settle into the skin and muscles. For the first 24 hours, avoid other skin treatments like:

  • Dermal millers
  • Exfoliating scrubs
  • Facial massages
  • Facials

Stay Under the Sun

Avoid sun exposure for at least five hours to avoid increasing your blood pressure, which might encourage bruising. If you want to be safe, avoid the sun for at least a day or two.

What Happens If You Stop Doing Botox?

Many people receive Botox treatments religiously to keep their youthful appearance. However, some people undergo circumstances that prevent them from doing the procedures.

As a result, many of them are terrified that their faces drastically wrinkle up if they stop receiving Botox injections. But is that the case?

Not really.

When you stop receiving Botox injections, your muscles will start working like they did before you used the treatment. However, your skin or muscles don’t make up for the lost time by accelerating the aging process. You’ll still look younger because you delayed the aging process via Botox. However, the length of time you can maintain your youthful appearance depends on how early you started the Botox treatment and how long you’ve been using it.

There’s nothing harmful about stopping Botox. You won’t experience any negative side effects. But once it wears off completely and you don’t receive any touch-ups, you will have the wrinkles you had before receiving the injections. It’s not as disturbing as others might think. It’s just you going back to a pre-Botox version of yourself, which is equally beautiful.

The Bottom Line

Botox can help you maintain a youthful and fresher appearance. To prolong its effects and maintain its quality, you need to practice some dos and don’ts. But in general, Botox should last you about three to six months. With continuous care and visits to your doctor, you can look younger for as long as you want.

Editor-in-chief of M’Lady Records. Loves to laugh, lives to love.

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