We will be the first to say it: there’s no shame in the anti-aging game. But we also know that wrinkle relaxers can be an investment, so we want you to leave your appointment with your best face forward. A few of the most common questions new patients have about their wrinkle relaxers are how can they speed up the process of Botox wearing off in the event it’s not for them, and of course, how can they prolong the effects to get the most out of their appointments. We enlisted the help of Xochitl Renteln, PA-C and provider at Facile Dermatology + Boutique, to shepherd us through the ins and outs of anti-aging injections.
So what exactly are wrinkle relaxers? Botulinum toxin, commonly known under the brand name Botox or Dysport, is a neurotoxic protein that in small doses can help relax muscle movements offering our skin a smoother surface. This treatment can not only benefit you in terms of targeting current aging concerns, but also be used as a means of preventing further development of lines (less movement, fewer wrinkles). Not to mention Botox can have many unexpected benefits beyond just the cosmetic. Is it a toxin? Yes, but it is not toxic to our bodies in these quantities!
While practitioners will tell you that Botox or Dysport can last between 3 to 5 months, that time frame varies from patient to patient depending on your lifestyle and physical makeup. How active you are, how expressive your face is, and how fast your metabolism works are all factors that could speed up the process of your wrinkle relaxers wearing off. “If I have a patient training for a marathon they may notice their botox wearing off more quickly,” Xochitl tells us. The biggest factor though? The number of units used. “A patient who does ‘baby botox’ (20-30 units) might only feel like their results last 2-3 months,” Xochitl says. “Someone who does a more appropriate therapeutic dose of 40-70 units will likely get 4 months or even more.”
“How active you are, how expressive your face is, and how fast your metabolism works are all factors that could speed up the process of your wrinkle relaxers wearing off.”
So while there is no quick fix for wearing off unwanted Botox, it’s comforting to know that if you don’t like your results, they aren’t permanent and your body will metabolize it within a few months. Most commonly, when people dislike their Botox, it’s due to things like asymmetry or unevenness. Just as everyone’s metabolism is different, everyone’s facial structure is different and a great way to address this is to return to your practitioner to solve the symmetry.
For those with speedy systems who want to savor the effects of their appointments for months to come, think about adding zinc to your supplement routine. In addition, a study published by the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology found that using zinc can potentially aid in your body’s ability to retain Botox for longer. While the science for zinc being the savior of our Botox isn’t extensive, zinc in SPF and as a supplement can have incredible benefits on protecting your skin, as well as boosting your immune system, and reducing inflammation. Lastly, to prolong your botox, Xochitl’s suggestion is simple: “get more units at a time.” Communicating with your practitioner about your maintenance goals is a great way for you to decide together on the right number of units for you.