How Long Does Botox Work For, Anyway?

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When you wake up every morning, look in the mirror and only notice the crow’s feet, frown lines, and other wrinkles on your face becoming more prominent, you can’t help but be reminded that you’re getting older by the day.

However, you’ve done some research and have now decided to take the plunge and get botox in order to look more refreshed and youthful.

Of course, there are many factors to consider before having your first treatment, and you’ll also want to know how long does botox work in reducing wrinkles after it’s been applied?


How Long Does Botox Work?

Botox is one of many cosmetic treatments that are now in mainstream use to help you look younger. It doesn’t actually get rid of wrinkles. Any registered nurse, doctor or another medical physician who tells you otherwise should be avoided.

Instead, Botox stops the facial muscles from moving by injecting them with the neurotoxic protein. This paralyzes the nerves of the muscles temporarily and eventually wears off.

While the botox is activated, the underlying facial muscles won’t contract, leaving your skin looking smoother and more youthful.

How long Botox will last depends on the dosage given and how strong your facial muscles are, the particular muscles targeted, and the number of treatments that have been given.

But in general, most patients find that their treatments last between 3-6 months. It is also common that if it’s your first time having botox, you may notice that it only lasts for around two months, but this time span will most likely increase after your second procedure.

If you continue getting botox past your initial two or three procedures, then you will begin to notice the pattern of how your body metabolizes the ingredients in the injectable, or how long it takes for your muscles to return to their original state.

And since everyone is different, this metabolizing pattern will be unique to you.  

Switch It Up

There are ways to switch up your injections so that the optimal youthful effect will last longer overall. With your doctor’s advice, you can choose to inject in different areas of your face.

For instance, if you normally get your crow’s feet injected, you can try injections in your forehead or jowls instead to relax different facial muscles.

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that the botox will break down faster in the larger facial muscles which move a lot more. This means in the smaller facial muscles, the effect of the botox that’s injected will last longer.

Of course, this treatment method will require more visits to your practitioner but will prolong the life of your injections as all areas of the face can be affected.

And it also has the potential of stopping future wrinkles from forming, because having different facial muscles inactivated will prevent lines from either getting worse or not materializing at all.

What Not to Do

There are a few important things to consider before you decide to have botox treatment. For starters, if you’re planning on going on a vacation, visiting the beach, or a tanning booth, then do it either before or not until at least two weeks after you have your botox injections.

Having a dip in a hot tub or a session at a sauna will also be a no-no for the first two weeks.


Because for starters, it can take up to two weeks for the full effects of your treatment to be seen. Most importantly, though, heat causes your heart to beat faster and your blood to flow more.

This means you’re more prone to sweat, which can make the botox wear off faster.

So intense strenuous exercise should also be avoided, while you should also steer clear of having facials, massaging, electrolysis or waxing.

Besides the heat avoidance, if you’ve experienced a trauma to your face or neck, then doctors advise you don’t get botox injections for at least six months after the event.

This is because your body needs time to recover from a traumatic incident or accident, and if your face is cut or wounded, the scar tissue needs time to settle first.

Finally, if you are breastfeeding or even considering getting pregnant, talk to your doctor about it. The doctor will probably suggest that you have your last injection before you conceive.

Botox is a bacterial toxin, so possible side effects that could affect both you and your baby should be considered.

What Botox Can’t Do

High expectations can lead to huge disappointment, so you need to take a practical approach about what exactly botox can and can’t do. Your practitioner should be able to explain to you why botox won’t produce miracles.

For instance, yes it will help to smooth out fine wrinkles when administered properly.

What botox won’t do, however, is turn back the clock.

So while you can definitely expect noticeable improvement, you will not look 10 years younger. It just won’t happen.

Unless, of course, you find an unscrupulous doctor who will over-inject until you end up looking like a new Instagram filter.

So, if you want your botox treatments to enhance your appearance, you need to be realistic about what it can do and only get injected by an experienced doctor or esthetician who you trust.

What About Fillers?

Dermal fillers, although they are also injected into the face, act completely different from Botox. These injectables can treat fine lines like botox does, but they are used to actually fill the lines, not relax the underlying muscle.

Dermal fillers can also fill out or plump up areas like the lips and cheeks.

Fillers come in different guises, from the more natural collagen to more synthetic man-made materials.

The length of time collagen fillers work is about four months, while man-made options, like polymethylmethacrylate beads, can create a permanent filled effect.

Therefore, some fillers have the potential of lasting much longer than botox injections.

However, this doesn’t come without risks.

Although dermal fillers can produce results that will last longer, they are associated with more side effects. A large part of this has to do with the fact that there is a lot of unregulated use with fillers, which aren’t always administered by registered healthcare professions.

Temporary numbness, long-term swelling, itching, and allergic reactions to the filler can be issues.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).