BOTOX is a popular skin rejuvenation treatment that can help restore a youthful appearance by greatly reducing the appearance of wrinkles and facial lines. It’s especially effective for forehead lines, lines between the eyes, and crow’s feet at the corners of the eyes. For people who are new to BOTOX, one of the most common questions is, “How long does BOTOX last?” Many also wonder, “What can I do to extend the effects of BOTOX for as long as possible?”
How Long Does It Take to See the Results of a BOTOX Treatment?
When you get BOTOX, the treatment timeline starts when you receive injections of botulinum toxin, which works by paralyzing the muscle it targets. It usually takes no more than 30 minutes or so to complete a treatment session, and you can get back to your daily activities immediately after. It is best to avoid strenuous activities for 24 to 48 hours following injections.
It takes around 3 to 5 days to see the initial results of treatment and 10 to 14 days to see the full results. This is how long it takes for botulinum toxin injections to disperse into the treatment areas and inactivate local nerves.
How Long Does BOTOX Last?
The results of BOTOX skin rejuvenation treatments aren’t permanent, but they last a long time. For most people, the results start to wear off after three to four months.
It’s important to know that the effects of BOTOX aren’t the same for everyone. In some rare instances, they might last as little as two months. For others, they could last as long as five or six months.
Often, people find that the more treatments they have, the longer the effects last. Your initial treatment might only last for two or three months, but subsequent treatments could last four or more months. This happens because, with continual treatment, BOTOX gradually weakens the muscles that promote the formation of lines and wrinkles in treatment areas.
In rare cases people have become tolerant to the effects of BOTOX cosmetic injections, to the point that it stops working. When this happens, most people find that switching to an alternative botulinum formula like Dysport provides the desired results.
How Can I Make the Effects of BOTOX Last Longer?
There’s no way to predict exactly how long injectable treatments will last for you. There are a few things you can do to increase the longevity of your BOTOX results:
- Don’t Touch Your Face After Treatment
BOTOX treatment itself takes only 30 minutes or so. But afterwards, it takes several days for the toxin to do its job. In the meantime, it’s important to avoid touching your face for the first day or so—and especially important not to touch or rub any treatment areas.
Touching the treatment areas could cause the BOTOX to spread. If this happens, it can potentially mean seeing BOTOX effects in areas you don’t want them.
- Avoid Sun Exposure
Sun damage can cause premature aging, making your skin look older than it really is. But when you have BOTOX treatments, you have another good reason to avoid the sun for the first few days afterwards.
Sun damage causes blood vessels in your skin to dilate, increasing surface circulation. That can make BOTOX disperse into your skin faster and further, reducing how much BOTOX is absorbed by nerves in the target treatment areas and making treatment less effective.
Avoid sun exposure as much as possible. If you’re unable to avoid it completely, protect your skin by wearing a hat with a wide brim and using a high SPF sun block.
- Avoid Strenuous Activities and Exercises for 24 Hours
BOTOX treatments don’t have any downtime, meaning you can resume most normal activities right away. You can even go back to work right after a treatment session. But there are a very few activities that should be avoided for the first 24 hours after having BOTOX injections.
In particular, avoid strenuous exercise after BOTOX. This is important because, like sun exposure, exercise makes blood vessels dilate and increases circulation. Exercise can have the same effects on BOTOX as sun exposure and should be avoided for the same reason. It’s fine to resume your normal exercise routine after a few days once the BOTOX has had time to take effect.
- Manage Your Stress
Has stress contributed to the development of your wrinkles and fine lines? If so, managing your stress levels may help maintain your BOTOX results. Reduce your stress, and you’ll also reduce your inclination to make those facial expressions that reinforce:
- Forehead lines
- Glabellar lines between the eyes
- Crow’s feet wrinkles
With time and repeat treatments, this can actually “train” your facial muscles so they don’t make those wrinkle-inducing expressions as intensely as before.
- Take Good Care of Your Skin
No single skincare treatment is enough to give you perfect skin—and that includes BOTOX! To get the best results from treatment, combine BOTOX with a consistent skincare regimen, including:
- Regular cleaning with gentle skin cleansers
- Non-abrasive exfoliation
- Sun protection
- A nutritious, healthy diet
- Good hydration
- If You Smoke or Vape, Try to Quit or Cut Back
While vaping is considered a less-harmful alternative to smoking, both habits damage your skin and contribute to facial wrinkle formation and premature signs of aging.
The physical act of smoking or vaping encourages the formation of wrinkles and fine lines around the mouth, due to the muscle contractions involved in inhalation. Smokers also tend to have heavier crow’s feet wrinkles. Among its many other harmful effects, nicotine also reduces collagen and elastin in the skin, exacerbating wrinkles and causing premature skin sagging and signs of aging.
All of this means smoking and vaping can reduce the effectiveness and the lasting effects of BOTOX injections. If you smoke or vape, quitting—or at least cutting back—may help increase the longevity of your BOTOX results.
- Maintain a Consistent Treatment Schedule
Because BOTOX results are temporary, you’ll need to schedule regular treatments if you want to maintain the effects long-term. BOTOX results last for three to four months for most people, so that’s usually a good time to schedule your next appointment. You can always adjust the frequency if necessary.
Ask Your BOTOX Practitioner for Expert Advice and Recommendations
BOTOX is one of many skincare wrinkle treatments that can help you look and feel your best. And getting accurate information, such as how long BOTOX lasts, can help you achieve the best possible results. For expert advice on the best BOTOX routine for you, how to care for your skin after BOTOX treatments, or a plastic surgery question, schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our aestheticians today!