Recent reports estimate that at least 11 million people worldwide have used Botox. While it’s one of the best treatments for wrinkles, the question most patients have is, “How long does Botox take to work?”
While individual experiences vary, Botox typically takes two to three days to start working. The full effects can take up to two weeks to be seen. However, this can depend on factors such as where you had the injections, the amount of Botox used, and even your metabolism.
Follow along as we break down everything you need to know about how long Botox takes to work so you can make an informed decision about your next beauty treatment.
How Do Botox Injections Work?
Botox injections are a popular cosmetic treatment that involves injecting small amounts of neurotoxin into the skin to temporarily paralyze muscles and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
A Closer Look at the Science
When injected, Botox works by blocking the release of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which is responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells and muscles. Since the muscles can no longer receive signals from the nerves, they cannot contract as strongly as they usually would. This, in turn, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
How is Botox Administered?
A trained healthcare provider or licensed aesthetician typically administers Botox injections. The procedure is simple and relatively painless and involves injecting small amounts of the neurotoxin directly into the facial muscles using a very fine needle. The process is typically so painless that most patients don’t require topical anesthetics.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Like all cosmetic treatments, Botox injections can have some side effects. The most common side effects include bruising, swelling, and pain at the injection site. However, these side effects are usually mild and subside within a few days.
How Long Does Botox Take to Work?
So, how long does Botox take to work? As mentioned at the beginning, the answer is, unfortunately, not straightforward.
Typically, the effects of Botox start to show within two to three days after the injection. However, some people may not see any visible results until up to two weeks later. Botox requires time to target the muscles and nerve endings beneath the skin.
On the bright side, the results can last from three to six months, making it a long-lasting solution for youthful-looking skin. Ultimately, we suggest speaking with a licensed medical professional when figuring out how long it will take Botox to work for you. As you explore your options, here are some common factors to remember.
The injected area is critical in determining how long it takes Botox to work. The thicker the muscle, the longer it takes for the effects to show. The treatment may work faster around the lips or forehead than around the chin and jaw areas.
The amount of Botox used in the injection impacts how long it takes for the effects to show. A larger dosage may take longer to work, but its effects may last longer than a smaller dosage. When you book your consultation, your provider should tell you how many units of Botox you’d need to get your desired effects (and how much that will cost!).
Age and Health
The age and overall health of the individual receiving the injection can impact how long Botox takes to work. Younger, healthier individuals may see results faster than older individuals in poor health.
Previous Botox Treatments
Individuals who have received Botox treatments in the past may find that the effects of their current treatment work more quickly, as the muscles have already been “trained” to respond to the injection.
Types of Botox
Before getting any cosmetic treatment, it’s important to know what you’re injecting into your face or body. That’s the case with Botox, too, and many people don’t realize that “Botox” isn’t the name of the treatment – it’s the name of the registered brand owned by Allergan.
In recent years, several similar injectables that work in the same way have been introduced on the market. These products are all made with botulinum toxin, the same neurotoxin that makes Botox effective at relaxing facial muscles and reducing wrinkles.
And while some people may assume that all botulinum toxin injectables are interchangeable, there are a few key differences between them.
As the original botulinum toxin injectable, Botox has the most name recognition among the general public. As mentioned above, Botox typically takes two to three days to start working and reaches full effectiveness after about two weeks. The effects of Botox typically last for around three to four months before additional injections are needed.
Xeomin is considered a “naked” injectable, meaning it contains no additional proteins or additives. This can make Xeomin a good choice for people who have developed a resistance to other botulinum toxin injectables.
Xeomin typically takes two to five days to start working and reaches full effectiveness after about two weeks. Its effects also last for around three to four months.
Dysport is another botulinum toxin injectable that’s been on the market for quite some time. It’s made with a slightly different formulation of botulinum toxin than Botox or Xeomin.
Dysport is known for spreading more easily than other injectables, making it a good choice for treating larger areas like the forehead. It typically takes about the same time to work and lasts just as long as Botox and Xeomin.
Bocouture is a newer botulinum toxin injectable that hasn’t been on the market for as long as the other options listed here. Like Xeomin, Bocouture is a “naked” injectable that contains no additional proteins or additives. This makes Bocouture a good choice for people sensitive to certain ingredients in other botulinum toxin injectables.
Aside from its “naked” status, Bocouture typically takes about the same time to start working and reaches full effectiveness after about two weeks, too.
Botox Results: What to Expect
So, you’ve decided to get Botox, but what happens after the procedure? Below, we’ll walk you through the post-treatment process daily so that you know exactly what to expect. We’ll also offer tips on when you can expect to see the full results and let you know about the free Botox touch-up that most treatments include two weeks after your initial appointment.
Before diving into post-treatment details, let’s briefly review the Botox procedure. It’s a non-surgical treatment that involves injecting a purified form of botulinum toxin into the muscles of the face. The Botox procedure lasts 10-15 minutes, and you can return to your normal activities immediately afterward.
On the first day after your Botox treatment, you may notice slight bruising and swelling around the injection sites. This is a normal part of the healing process and should subside within a day or two.
You should avoid lying flat for at least four hours after the treatment and keep your head elevated. You should also avoid massages and facials, extreme sweating, and rigorous physical activity for at least 24 hours.
By day two, any bruising and swelling should have reduced significantly. You can start to apply makeup again, but be gentle around the injection sites and don’t massage your skin deeply, as doing so can move the Botox around to other areas of your skin. You should still avoid any strenuous exercise for the next 24 hours.
By day three or four, you should start to notice a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. However, the full results of your treatment may take some time to show. You should contact your practitioner if you have any concerns at this stage or notice any weird symptoms like extreme redness or swelling.
By day seven or ten, you should start to see the full results of your treatment. Your face should look smoother and more youthful, with a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. If you’re unhappy with the results, contact your practitioner to discuss a free touch-up treatment.
Most treatments come with a free touch-up two weeks after your initial appointment. This allows your practitioner to make necessary adjustments to achieve the desired results.
Factors Influencing Botox Results
What else can influence how long it takes for Botox to work and how long you can expect to enjoy the anti-aging results? Here are a few other factors that can make your Botox injections less impactful or take longer to see your desired effects.
Your activity level immediately after your appointment influences how quickly Botox starts working. If you start sweating heavily after your appointment, it can impact how the Botox settles in your muscles, potentially leading to reduced efficacy or delayed results.
To prevent this from happening, avoiding doing anything too strenuous or engaging in any activity that might cause you to sweat for at least four hours after your appointment is a good idea.
Excessive Facial Movements
Another critical factor impacting your Botox results is excessive facial movement in the days and weeks following your appointment. When you make repetitive facial movements, you can disrupt the way the Botox settles in your muscles, leading to a slower onset time or less dramatic results overall.
To maintain your Botox results and ensure they last as long as possible, avoid making excessive facial movements in the days and weeks following your appointment. This is a good general tip to follow well after your appointment, as making exaggerated facial movements can reduce the effects of Botox long after you’ve gotten the injections, too.
Diet and Lifestyle
Eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help support healthy skin and may improve the results of your Botox treatment. Avoiding excessive sun exposure and smoking can also help the effects of Botox last longer.
What to Do Post-Botox Treatment
Now that you know how long Botox takes to work, how can you ensure those effects last as long as possible? Here are a few things to do in the week or two following your appointment to get that healthy post-Botox glow.
After your Botox treatment, it’s essential to stay upright for at least four hours to prevent the Botox from migrating to other areas of your face. If possible, avoid lying down or doing strenuous activities for the rest of the day.
Avoid Touching Your Face
Don’t touch your face after the treatment, as the pressure from your fingers could cause the Botox to spread to other muscles. It may also introduce bacteria that could cause infections.
Don’t Wear Makeup
It’s recommended to avoid applying makeup for at least 12 hours after your Botox treatment. The chemicals in makeup could cause irritation, leading to swelling or bruising. It’s best to wait for the Botox to set in before applying anything to your face.
Avoid Certain Medications
Certain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and blood thinners can increase the chances of bruising after the treatment. Avoid taking these medications for a few days before and after your Botox treatment if possible.
Drinking plenty of water after your Botox treatment can help keep your skin hydrated, allowing the Botox to spread evenly. It can also help flush out toxins from your body, improving the overall appearance of your skin.
Expecting immediate results is one of the biggest mistakes people make after getting Botox. Be patient and give the Botox time to work its magic. Remember that you’ll likely go back for a touch-up in two weeks, too, meaning that you can only expect the results to look better and better with time!
So, how long does Botox take to work? While the effects aren’t instantaneous, the treatment can produce noticeable results within a few days.
At St. Pete Wellness & MedSpa, we pride ourselves on offering personalized and comprehensive care to help you achieve your desired results. From Botox to laser treatments, our highly trained and experienced staff is dedicated to helping you look and feel your best.
Don’t wait any longer to take the next step toward your aesthetic goals. Book a consultation with us today!