For over 30 years, Botox injections have been an innovative skin care treatment for fine lines and wrinkles. Women — and men — around the world have enjoyed firmer, more youthful-looking skin as a result of Botox treatments. If you’ve been considering getting Botox, this how-to guide from Elase helps you understand what Botox is, how it works, and what to do before, during, and after your Botox appointment. 

Let’s get started with all things Botox! 

What Is Botox? 

Botox is a form of Botulinum toxin administered in extremely small doses under careful supervision. Botox is the common term used for all types of injectables but there are a few different ways that the Botulinum toxin is prepared and distributed, including: 

  • Onabotulinumtoxin A (Botox)
  • Abobotulinumtoxin A (Dysport)
  • Incobotulinumtoxin A (Xeomin)
  • Rimabotulinumtoxin B (Myobloc)
  • Prabotulinumtoxin A (Jeuveau)

Each of these injectables works the same way, but they are all included under the term “Botox.”

Botox is commonly used for facial wrinkles and fine lines, but it has also been used for health problems such as: 

How Does Botox Work?

Since Botox is a low-dose neurotoxin, it works to temporarily weaken or paralyze certain muscles and block specific nerves. The areas that are injected can’t contract for a while, causing wrinkles and fine lines to relax and soften. 

How Long Does It Take to Work? 

Many people begin seeing the effects of Botox within 3 to 5 days after the first treatment. Full results appear around 14 days after the first injection. Botox takes this long to work because the body needs time to start reacting to what was injected. 

How Long Does Botox Last? 

On average, most Botox treatments last for 4 to 6 months but could be in the 2-month range as well. Many first-time users find that the first treatment doesn’t last as long initially; however, subsequent treatments and effects can last longer. It is important to note that each person is unique and individual results may vary. 

How Much Botox Do You Need?

Botox can be used in many different areas of the face. Depending on where you are getting Botox, the number of vials needed will vary. The following chart may help you estimate how many Botox units you’ll need: 

  • Frown or Glabellar Lines: 15-25 Botox units per area
  • Crow’s feet: 5-15 Botox units per side
  • Forehead lines: 10-30 Botox units per area
  • Eyebrows: 2-5 Botox units per side
  • Nasalis “bunny” lines: 5-10 Botox units per area
  • Upper lip lines: 4-8 Botox units per area
  • Smile lift: 3-6 Botox units per area
  • Dimpled chin: 2-6 Botox units per area
  • Marionette lines: 2-8 Botox units per area
  • Pout boost: 2-4 Botox units per area
  • Gummy smile: 2-4 Botox units per area
  • Neckbands: 25-50 Botox units per area

Please note that these unit amounts are common recommendations and may vary depending on your individual needs. 

How To Prepare for Botox 

Botox treatments are very simple procedures that require minimal effort on your part. However, there are a few things you can do to prepare for your Botox appointment. 

  1. Avoid certain medications — Some medications, like blood thinners, NSAIDs, and muscle relaxants, can cause excessive bleeding when combined with Botox treatments. These medications include allergy medications, aspirin, ibuprofen, sleeping aids, and more. Speak with your doctor or Botox specialist a week or two before your appointment to see if there is anything you need to stop taking. 
  2. Limit smoking and drinking — At least 48 hours before your Botox treatment, stop all smoking and drinking to help limit bruising. 
  3. Cleanse your skin — Your face should be free from makeup, moisturizers, and any other products. Use a mild, gentle cleanser and water to give your face a good cleanse before your Botox treatment. 

Following these easy tips will help you prepare for your Botox treatment with confidence. 

Your Botox Treatment 

When you arrive for your Botox treatment, you will be seated on a comfortable reclining chair to help you rest and relax. Botox is done without anesthesia but your specialist may give you an ice pack or topical anesthetic cream to help numb the area. 

You may be asked to make certain facial expressions during the Botox treatment to help target specific muscles while the specialist injects the Botox. The number of injections you get depends on how many areas you are targeting and the number of vials used. Overall, the appointment should take 10 to 15 minutes so you can go about your day with minimal downtime. 

Botox Aftercare 

Once your treatment is complete, there are important Botox aftercare tips that you should follow for optimal results. Your Botox specialist will give you specific aftercare instructions, but some tips may include: 

  • Keeping your face relaxed for the rest of the day 
  • Avoiding touching, rubbing, or putting physical pressure on the injection areas 
  • Waiting at least 24 hours before exercise
  • Going makeup-free
  • Sitting up for at least 4 hours after Botox treatment 

While you shouldn’t touch your face after treatment, you can do gentle facial exercises like frowning, smiling, and raising your eyebrows to help the Botox settle faster. You can return to other normal activities after your appointment since there is no recovery downtime. 

Botox Before and Afters 

Take a look through the Elase client gallery to see before and after images of Botox treatments. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is Botox treatment painful?

Ice packs or topical anesthetics can temporarily numb the injection areas. However, you may still feel a small, quick pinch with each shot. 

Can I have an allergic reaction? 

While rare, it is possible to have an allergic reaction to Botox injections. If this happens, treatment will be stopped immediately. 

When can I start getting Botox? 

There is no specific age when Botox treatment can start, although it is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18. Consult with your doctor or other medical professionals to see if Botox is right for you. 

Is Botox safe? 

Yes. Botox treatments that have been approved by the FDA are safe for cosmetic use. 

Get Started With Botox 

When you’re ready to make Botox treatment part of your skin maintenance routine, get in touch with the team at Elase. We are happy to answer any questions you may have, walk you through a Botox consultation, and provide Botox treatment to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Contact an Elase facility near you to get started with Botox today.