The first time you get Botox injections, it’s normal to be nervous. Needles near your face would make anyone think twice, right? However, it’s estimated that there were over 4 million Botox procedures in 2020, so it’s clearly giving many people the results they want.
Before you get Botox, though, there are a few things you should know. And one of those is that you won’t see immediate results.
As a general rule, Botox will take up to 14 days to show full results. Initial results usually become visible 2 to 4 days after treatment. The concentration and volume of botox injected will impact how quickly full results are achieved.
Why Does Botox Take Two Weeks to Work?
Botox works by preventing the targeted muscles from contracting in specific ways to form lines and wrinkles. This also applies to other botulinum toxin injectables, such as Dysport, Xeomin, and Myobloc. I’m going to just refer to Botox in this article since it’s the most popular.
The reason for the delay is that Botox binds to proteins at connections between muscles and nerves. It prevents a chemical called acetylcholine from being released into the muscles. As the acetylcholine slowly is depleted from our system the wrinkles fade away.
Certain treatment areas (usually the ones with just fine lines) tend to see results a little quicker. So it’s very likely you’ll see the fine lines around your outer diminished before you see the 11’s between your eyes, frown lines around your mouth, or a really deep line across your forehead fade. Those lines are formed by larger, stronger muscles, and it takes more time for them to relax.
What Helps Botox Settle Faster?
There’s not a whole lot you can do to help Botox settle quicker. However, there is some evidence that doing facial exercises can help. This study showed that those who exercised their facial muscles saw results one day sooner than the control group.
However, it only worked for seeing results sooner. It didn’t make the results any better or make them last longer. But if you’re ready for results, why not give it a try?
You can gently do exaggerated facial exercises the day after your injections. Don’t put any pressure on the skin by pulling or tugging, this isn’t good for your skin at any time, but particularly while the Botox is still settling.
How Long After Botox Should You Wait Before Laying Down?
When we talk about “settling” there’s also the question of how long it takes to settle into our muscles after it’s injected, until there’s no chance of it migrating away from the injection site to areas where you don’t want it.
Most skin professionals advise waiting at least 4 to 6 hours after getting Botox to lay down. This is because many of us sleep on our sides or stomach, and if you’re like me you end up with your face smashed in your pillow.
The last thing you want to do is put pressure on the treated areas that might cause the Botox to migrate. While it’s not going to harm you in any long-lasting way, you could end up with uneven results.
The same reasoning also applies to anything that may apply pressure to the treated area, like hats, headbands, even washing your face roughly. Try your best to be very gentle on your skin for the full 6 hours. The injections site may be slightly sore, but try to keep your hands away from your face. This is not the time for a facial massage!
How Long Does Botox Last?
In general, Botox lasts about 3 to 4 months. It’s not known what causes some people to metabolize Botox faster than others. I’ve heard it said that those who exercise a lot may have it wear off sooner, but I wasn’t able to find any studies showing this was true.
Besides how you personally react to it, there’s also elements of how it’s prepared that can impact longevity.
Botox is sent to skincare professionals as a powder, and it’s mixed up in varying concentrations at the dermatologist or med spa. It’s speculated that a weaker concentration of botox injected may not last as long. I think it’s pretty obvious but just to be clear: don’t necessarily go to the cheapest place you can find. Always find a reputable provider.
Additionally, Botox seems to last longer on subsequent injections. So you can expect that your first injections will most likely give you the shortest results, possibly only lasting 2 months. But as you continue you will see that you may be able to go longer in between treatments. Maybe you’ll get lucky and be one of the ones that it lasts for 5 or 6 months.
Additional Botox Aftercare Tips
Here’s a few extra tips for what to do after your Botox procedure:
- Avoid Alcohol Before and After Botox – Alcohol could increase the risk of bruising. So to be safe, avoid drinking the day before and after your injections.
- Avoid Facial Treatments For a Week after Botox – We talked earlier about letting the Botox settle and avoiding migration. Both Botox and facial treatments can be expensive. To make sure you get the best results let your Botox settle for a week before those facials or chemical peels.
- Avoid hot tubs, saunas, and spas after Botox – Excessive heat could raise your blood pressure, which will increase your risk of bruising. Best to be on the safe side and wait a few days before jumping in that sauna.
- Avoid Exercise after Botox – Physical activity is going to get that blood flowing! And while it’s great for health, you don’t want to raise your body temperature and blood flow just yet. To be safe, wait just a day or two and then get right back to your workouts.
Final Thoughts on How Long Botox Takes to Settle
Botox is just one tool that can be used to fight fine lines and wrinkles. While it is extremely effective, there are many other options for those who aren’t comfortable with it. I’ve never had Botox myself, but I have many friends who have and all of them have been happy with the results.
If you’re interested in other proven ways to get rid of crow’s feet and fine lines, these articles may be helpful to you.
Hydrafacial vs Microdermabrasion: What’s the difference?
This article is helpful if you’re interested in exfoliating the skin for a bright complexion.
Microneedling vs Chemical Peel- Which is Best for Your Skin?
Medium or deep chemical peels are one of the most effective cosmetic procedures to fade hyperpigmentation and reduce wrinkles.
Red And Blue Light Therapy- Benefits For Your Skin
LED light therapy is perfect if you’re looking for an inexpensive at-home treatment that can really make a big difference in your skin.
Related Skincare Articles:
Microdermabrasion vs Chemical Peel: Which is Right For You?
Hydrodermabrasion: Everything You Need To Know