'ANTI WRINKLE' COSMETIC INJECTIONS - BOTULINUM TOXIN
Do you want to get rid of those ‘eleven’ lines – you know, the vertical tramlines – between your eyebrows so you don’t look permanently irritable? One way of reducing or eliminating these lines is by having wrinkle-reducing cosmetic injections to reduce the ability of the underlying muscles to contract and produce the lines.
Botox – or botulinum toxin A if you want to get technical – is one of the best-known drug names in the world. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Botox is the proper term for all cosmetic injections, but it’s actually just one of a number of brands on the market. It is the best-known brand of wrinkle-relaxing cosmetic injections which is why people often get confused like how Kingsmill or Warburton's are brands of bread at the supermarket. Cosmetic injections are extremely popular in the aesthetics world due to its relatively cheap cost (compared to a surgical facelift, for example), reliable results, minimal pain level, and the short time it takes to perform the procedure.
FAQ ABOUT COSMETIC INJECTIONS
WHAT ARE COSMETIC INJECTIONS?
Cosmetic injections are neurotoxins that reduce the ability of specific muscles to contract, and thus relax wrinkles in the skin above those muscles. Wrinkle-relaxing injections are widely used on the face to reduce dynamic lines and wrinkles on the forehead or around the eyes. ‘Dynamic’ lines are the ones formed as a result of muscle movement. When you raise your eyebrows and your forehead crinkles, those are ‘dynamic lines’. They are also used on other areas for advanced treatments such as gummy smile or facial slimming.
COSMETIC INJECTIONS VS BOTOX: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
Botulinum Toxin is a neurotoxin that reduce nerve connections. Some of these neurotoxins are used for cosmetic purposes; of these, Botox is the best-known brand and the public use the term 'Botox' to cover all brands regardless to if they are using a different product! In the same way that ‘Hoover’ became the name that many of us use for all brands of vacuum cleaner, or Kingsmill / Warburton's are brands of bread; ‘Botox’ has become the catch-all term for all types of botulinum toxin injections. But it is actually a brand name, which is why it always has a capital B.
COSMETIC INJECTIONS VS DERMAL FILLER: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
There is a huge difference between cosmetic injections and dermal fillers. A lot of people seem to get really confused between the two or think they are both the same thing but the truth is they are in no way related however they do compliment each other well.
Cosmetic injections are injections of botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin, and Botox is the best-known brand of these. Injections of cosmetic injections have the effect of softening lines and wrinkles on the area into which they’re injected. The neurotoxins work by reducing the ability of the muscles to contract. They are most commonly injected into the forehead, to soften frown lines or for crows feet around the eyes.
Dermal fillers – hyaluronic acid fillers that are injected into the skin – are completely different from neurotoxins. Fillers are used to add shape and structure to the face, and to replace the volume that gets lost as our fat pads shrink with age. For example, fillers are frequently injected into the cheeks and lips, to stop them looking deflated, or along the jawline, to make it look firmer.
Cosmetic injections relax muscles to soften wrinkles.
Dermal Fillers add shape and volume, to sculpt the contours of the face.
DO WRINKLE RELAXING INJECTIONS WORK?
Yes. Treatment with cosmetic injections is straightforward and effective. The main question is how strong you would like the results. We will listen to what you want in terms of treatment and offer advice in terms of realistic expectations. This means you can decide to still have natural movement or a full frozen look and will discuss it all thoroughly before moving on to the treatment.
ARE COSMETIC INJECTIONS SAFE?
Let’s address the elephant in the room. As its full name suggests, Botulinum Toxin is a toxin. A nerve toxin, to be precise, that, let’s be honest, someone else is going to inject into your face. However, because of its toxic nature and widespread usage, there have been a lot of studies done to ensure its safety in the cosmetic industry. It is widely accepted that, when administered by a skilled and responsible practitioner, you have nothing to fear.
Cosmetic injections are considered safe. As with any toxin, the effect depends on the dose: the neurotoxins can be lethal in extremely large amounts – but then, so can alcohol, paracetamol or aspirin.
HOW DO COSMETIC INJECTIONS WORK?
The toxin interferes with the transmission of nerve impulses that tell muscles to contract. It does this by blocking the acetylcholine receptors in the muscle. It is injected into the muscles to soften the appearance of frown lines and other ‘dynamic’ wrinkles which form where we use facial muscles to make expressions. Botulinum Toxin reduces the ability of these muscles to contract, so it can soften frown lines, or lift downturned corners of the mouth. The product is injected into the muscles responsible for making these expressions, to weaken them which in turn will soften your frown lines, or lift downturned corners of the mouth.
The practitioner carefully injects precise quantities of the neurotoxin into the muscles underlying the area in which you want to relax the wrinkles. The neurotoxins work by reducing the ability of the muscles to contract.
Although you may see signs of the product working in the first few days, it takes 2 weeks for the neurotoxin to be fully activated. You are invited back for a review at this point to check if we have achieved the desired results and a top up is offered if required.
You can expect results to last between 3-6 months and we recommend scheduling your next appointment every 3 months to maintain your results rather than let the product wear off completely. Exact results are dependent on lifestyle and metabolism however it is noted usually after more treatments clients find their results last longer between visits.
WHAT CAN COSMETIC INJECTIONS BE USED FOR?
There are so many ways in which Botox can be used, but some of the more common ones are:
In the forehead, to soften horizontal lines.
The ‘eleven’ lines between the eyebrows from frowning (glabella)
Crow’s feet wrinkles at the sides of the eyes from smiling.
In the ‘bunny lines’, the horizontal wrinkle-lines at the top of the nose.
In the eyebrow to raise them slightly for a delicate brow lift.
At the tip of the nose for a 'Pixie' nose lift and slimming of the nostrils.
Above the upper lip to reduce the look of smokers lines.
In the upper lip, to reduce the lip retraction which makes a smile look ‘gummy’.
In the jaw, to reduce muscle clenching of the masseter, the main chewing muscle.
Beneath the corners of the mouth, to reduce a habitual grumpy downturned-mouth expression.
In the chin, to relax a ‘cobblestone’ dimpled chin.
In the upper lip to relax the muscles the pull the lips inwards to create a plump pout without dermal fillers.
Excessive sweating in the underarms (hyperhydrosis)
In the gluteal muscles which lifts them for a Bubble Butt bum lift.
HOW MUCH DO COSMETIC INJECTIONS COST?
The process of aging and repeated facial expressions, such as squinting and frowning, gradually creates permanent creases and lines which often leave the face looking tired and negative.
Our anti-wrinkle solutions are tailored to each client following a free consultation. Results leave wrinkles with a reduced appearance and work as a preventative measure against the future formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
The treatment only usually takes 10-15 minutes and full results are seen after 2 weeks.
ANTI WRINKLE 15min
Glabella (frown) lines
Crows feet (smile) lines
Bunny (nose) lines
1 AREA £120 2 AREAS £170 3 AREAS £220
Brow lift_______________________________________________________________ £120
Pixie nose lift & Nostril slimming______________________________________ £150
Smokers lines_________________________________________________________ £120
Gummy smile_________________________________________________________ £120
Facial slimming (masseter & anti teeth grinding)______________________ £200
Downturned mouth (DAO)____________________________________________ £150
Dimpled chin _________________________________________________________ £150
Lip flip ________________________________________________________________ £120
Excessive sweating underarms (hyperhidrosis) _______________________ £250
Bubble butt bum lift __________________________________________________ £400
HOW LONG DO COSMETIC INJECTIONS TAKE TO WORK?
You’ll start seeing the effects take hold within a week and the treatment will reach full effect in 10-14 days. The procedure itself takes hardly any time. About 10 minutes if you’re getting one or two areas done. The initial consultation is a longer process so set aside 30 minutes for your first time.
I would always recommend always booking in for a review two weeks after treatment, by which time the full effects of the treatment will be showing. That way, if you end up with, say, one eyebrow arching higher than the other, your practitioner can make a small adjustment to even things out.
HOW LONG DO THE EFFECTS OF COSMETIC INJECTIONS LAST?
Cosmetic injections typically lasts from 3-6 months, depending on how much is used and the level of muscle activity in the area. A very light treatment, perhaps described as ‘babytox’ or a ‘microdose’, will be wearing off quicker after 2-3 months. An average treatment will last for 3 months. A stronger treatment of more toxin will give a more obvious result (it will stop all movement in the area where it is injected) but can last for 5-6 months.
You are invited back for a review 2 weeks post appointment to check if we have achieved desired results and a top up is offered if required.
We recommend scheduling your next appointment after 3 months to maintain your results rather than let the product wear off completely. Exact results are dependent on lifestyle and metabolism however it is noted usually after more treatments clients find their results last longer between visits.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I STOP GETTING COSMETIC INJECTIONS?
After 3-6 months, the effects of cosmetic injections will be wearing off as the muscle develops more acetylcholine receptors to pick up signals from the nerves, and the muscles will fully recover their function. Amazingly, this is a reliably observed process that happens time after time, even with serial neurotoxin fanatics. More seriously, this effect has been studied over many years with patients who have repeated treatment with botulinum toxin treatment to control muscle spasticity . With this sort of treatment, much larger doses of botulinum toxin are used than in a cosmetic treatment. The upside of this is that if there’s something you don’t like about the result then you can tell your practitioner and they can make sure to adjust your treatment accordingly for your next treatment.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS TO COSMETIC INJECTIONS?
As with any injections, there can be bruising or bleeding at the injection site, but the main issues with cosmetic injectables stem from over-treatment. Aesthetically, too much of it results in a frozen-looking face that can’t express emotion. If muscles are treated for too long or too often and don’t get a chance to regain their full range of motion, they may begin to waste away through lack of use. Too high of a dose in your forehead too close to the eyebrow can lead to drooping (ptosis) of the eyelid or brow, which will last until the effects of the toxin start to wear off — another good reason for starting with a low dose. As we say in clinic, we can always add more but we cannot take it away once it's in there.
After getting cosmetic injections, it’s typical to have redness, tenderness, and swelling. These side effects usually disappear in 1 day.
Bruising is also common.
Wrinkle-relaxing injections can have the following side-effects:
Drifting from the injection site - The product can drift a little from the injection site, but usually not by much, and only within the first hour after injection. Practitioners advise you not to lie down for four hours after treatment and don’t rub the treated area, or have a facial massage, for a day or two afterward.
Bruising or bleeding - These can occur at the injection site. Depending on how easily you bruise, these bruises may take a week or so to clear up. We recommend that if you are prone to bruising you can take some arnica tablets a couple of days before to reduce bruising and to avoid any blood thinning agents pre treatment such as aspirin, ibuprofen, caffeine garlic etc. However if you are prescribed blood thinning medication please do not stop treatment without authorisation from your physician.
Frozen face - If your practitioner uses too much product you may end up with a frozen looking face. Too much neurotoxin can prevent your face from expressing emotions. Although some clients desire this look, most clients prefer a natural looking result so we would rather use a lesser amount on the first treatment then follow up after 2 weeks with a review session to see if a top up is required.
Ptosis of the eyelid or brow - Ptosis means ‘drooping’; the eyelid or brow will droop until the effects of the toxin start to wear off. This can happen if the product is injected too low to your brow line or has moved post treatment from a client not following correct aftercare. Eye drops can be prescribed from your doctor if this were to happen however we advise all client to not rub the area following treatment and to never push product towards the eyes.
WHAT ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS ARE THERE?
Nothing will relax the muscles that create dynamic wrinkles in the way that botulinum toxins can. But if you don’t fancy it, there are many other approaches to try. You could:
Try other treatments that will reduce the appearance of lines by boosting collagen growth within the skin, such as microneedling.
Use stick-on patches that will remind you when you are frowning, such as frownies.co.uk. Relax your forehead and stick on a patch. When you frown, the patch will tweak at your face and remind you to relax your expression.
Try serums containing Argireline. This is a peptide that has a relaxing effect on dynamic wrinkle lines around the eyes. It will not have as marked an effect as cosmetic injections, but studies suggest that it can help, if used at a concentration of 10%.
Use a night cream containing retinol. This will stimulate the growth of collagen within the skin and this will reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
DO COSMETIC INJECTIONS HURT?
You’ll feel the injections, as usual, but the needles are very small and the volume of liquid injected is minuscule, so there’s very little pain. If you are sensitive to pain, you can numb the treatment area beforehand with anaesthetic cream or an ice pack; discuss this with your practitioner beforehand.
HOW LONG DOES A COSMETIC INJECTION TREATMENT TAKE?
Wrinkle-relaxing injections normally take only 10-15 minutes. If you need anaesthetic cream, that will add 15 minutes to the treatment time.
WHY SHOULD I GET COSMETIC INJECTIONS?
Look good, feel good! Enhancing your look by subtly removing wrinkles caused by aging and stress will result in a more confident and youthful self. Many patients that have visited tell us that using cosmetic injections to reduce their wrinkles results in a boost of confidence and overall self appreciation.
Simple non-surgical solution to reducing lines - The thought of surgery scares people away, and with good reason. Cosmetic injections are a non-surgical procedure that has grown leaps and bounds in terms of popularity as a solution for reducing wrinkles, to lift drooping eyebrows and creating smoother skin.
Hyperhidrosis Reduction - Excessive sweating can be an embarrassing problem. While prescription anti-perspirants can solve milder cases, people suffering from severe hyperhidrosis can find a solution with advanced cosmetic injections which can mitigate the problem for months at a time.
Safe - Your treatment is administered by a qualified advanced aesthetic practitioner who will make you feel comfortable and answer any questions you have during a consultation before treatment.
Powerful for smoothing existing wrinkles - Including frown lines ('elevens'), crow's feet and forehead lines
Effective at preventing future wrinkles - As these areas will have reduced movement they will not be subjected to regular creasing during your expressions thus preventing wrinkles forming.
Able to stop still-forming wrinkles from becoming permanent - The same concept as preventing future wrinkles, your current forming wrinkles will not form to become permanent lines and will smooth out.
Ideal for the forehead and skin around the eyes - These high risk sensitive areas on the forehead and eyes are not suitable for dermal filler use due to a higher risk of vascular occlusion however they are perfect treatment areas for cosmetic injections.
Sustainable - Regular application prevents reversion to visible wrinkles
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER MY COSMETIC INJECTION TREATMENT?
Generally, on the day you get cosmetic injections, it’s a good idea to:
Gently exercise your face
Relax for the rest of the day
Maintain a normal heart rate
Avoid touching, rubbing, or physical pressure on the affected area
Leave the treated area alone
Return to your normal activities - Cosmetic injections don’t require any recovery time. Therefore, you won’t have to take off work. You can resume your usual activities right after.
Wait 24 hours to exercise - If exercise is part of your daily routine, wait at least 24 hours to work out. Physical activity increases blood flow. This could potentially spread the toxin to unintended areas and reduce its effectiveness at the injection site. It also increases the risk of bruising. Exercise also contracts your muscles, which may decrease the toxin’s effectiveness.
It’s safe to do facial exercises like frowning, smiling and raising your eyebrows. These movements can help the effects show up sooner.
Go makeup-free - If you received a cosmetic injection in your face, take a break from makeup for 24 hours. Applying makeup will rub the skin, potentially dispersing the toxin and could cause an infection at the injection site.
Sit up - Sit up for the first 4 hours after getting Botox. Bending or lying down might spread the toxin and promote bruising.
Ask your practitioner about medications - Some medications might increase your risk of bruising. Be sure to ask your doctor when it’s safe to start taking them again.
Aftercare precautions. On the day of your procedure, here’s what you should keep in mind.
Don’t drink alcohol - Before getting your treatment, you’ll be asked to avoid alcohol for 24 hours. Alcohol increases the risk of bruising. This holds true after the procedure, too. Wait at least 24 hours after your injection before consuming alcohol.
Don’t touch your face - To avoid spreading the toxin, don’t touch your face for at least 1 day. If you got cosmetic injections in another part of your body, you should also avoid touching those areas. This includes professional massages on the treated areas. It’s best to schedule your next massage for several days later.
Avoid other skin treatments - Cosmetic injections need some time to settle into the muscle. For the first 24 hours, avoid other skin treatments like facials, facial massages, exfoliating scrubs, dermal fillers. Getting these treatments too soon may reduce the effectiveness of your injections.
Don’t sleep on the treated areas - Try your best to avoid sleeping on the injected areas. This will minimise the physical pressure and let the product settle into your muscles. Also, avoid sleeping within 4 hours after your procedure.
Stay out of the sun - Avoid sun exposure for at least 4 hours. The heat can promote flushing and increase your blood pressure, which may encourage bruising. To be extra safe, avoid the sun for 24 to 48 hours. It’s also best to avoid other forms of heat exposure, such as tanning beds, hot tubs, hot showers or baths and saunas.