Botox injections have many cosmetic benefits including reducing wrinkles, improving the appearance of the lips (Botox lips) and minimising crow’s feet. They also have other medical benefits such as treating excessive sweating but the vast majority of people use Botox for cosmetic purposes. Over 2 million individual Botox injections are administered each year which is testament to the impressive results that it produces.
For people considering having the procedure, one of the most common questions they ask is ‘How long does Botox last’? It is important to know how long it lasts so that you can calculate the true price of Botox.The average person can expect Botox to last for around 4 months but there is some variation. The typical spread is likely to be between 2 and 6 months depending on individual circumstances. The following are the most important factors that affect how long Botox lasts for:
- Extent of frown lines/wrinkles: Botox works by effectively paralysing the targeted muscle. People who have deep frown lines tend to have stronger forehead muscles and consequently the muscles will start working again sooner following the injections. Such people may find the effects of Botox only last around 2 – 3 months.
- Repeat procedures: Botox tends to last longer if you continue to have the procedure repeated. Initially you may need to have the procedure repeated every 4 months to maintain the same results but overtime most people find they can reduce this to every 6 months and still maintain the same appearance. The reason for this is that although the Botox has stopped working, there will still be some weakening of the muscle (muscle atrophy) meaning it will take longer for it to start contracting again.
- Your age: Unfortunately the older you are the quicker the effects of Botox will wear off.
- Individual physical responsiveness to Botox: Some people respond better to Botox for reasons that are not always fully understood. It is thought that there may be some variation in how quickly different people’s bodies metabolise Botox. A very small percentage of people may find that they are actually completely immune to the effects of Botox.
- How the Botox is mixed: Higher concentrations of Botox will produce longer lasting results. Some practitioners will mix the Botox with greater amounts of saline meaning it is not as potent. This is something you should check with your practitioner before going ahead with the procedure.
- How the Botox is stored: If the Botox is not stored correctly or it is stored for too long, then it will lose some of its potency and the results with not be as long lasting.
- Sun damage: If your skin has extensive sun damage it will not respond as well to Botox and the results will be shorter lasting.
In summary there is no way of knowing for certain how long Botox will last but the average is generally agreed to be around 4 months. Repeat procedures will generally lengthen the effects of Botox to the point where it could last up to 6 months. If you want a longer lasting solution then you should probably consider a dermal filler such as Restylane, Juvederm, Teosyal and Belotero.