Botox® and soft tissue fillers have gained immense popularity over the years. The two accounted for nearly 60% of all minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures in 2020 — and there’s good reason for it. Relative to other, more invasive, cosmetic surgeries, Botox® and dermal fillers are much more affordable, require significantly less downtime, and carry fewer health risks. That being said, there is one major drawback: the results are temporary. Fortunately, there are certain behaviors and habits that we can introduce — or eliminate — to get the most out of our treatments.
How Long Do Injectables Last?
For better or worse, injectables like Botox® and dermal fillerswear off over time. Botox® typically lasts three to six months and most dermal fillers last around six to 12 months. There are a number of factors that play into the longevity of the injections — some in our control and others not. The location of the injection is a key factor for how long the injectable will last. In general, muscles that are used more frequently will break down the toxin or filler at a faster rate. Muscles around the forehead, eyes, lips, and mouth are typically more active and, as a result, Botox® and filler may fade away more quickly when targeting those areas. Our metabolisms are another factor that impact injectable lifespan. Having a strong metabolism is a blessing for a number of reasons, but not when it comes to Botox® and dermal fillers. A fast metabolism can break down the toxin and filler at a higher rate.
“Making sure the patient is the right candidate and accurately determining which injectables to do and where is highly important to ensure best results,” says Amanda Doyle, MD, a board certified dermatologist at Russak Dermatology in NYC. “Going to a board certified dermatologist and / or plastic surgeon is likely to yield the best outcome. Even with the right doctor and right injections, if you have a fast metabolism, it’s possible that the treatments may not last as long.”
For patients who want longer-lasting results, the release of DAXXIFY™, a new anti-wrinkle injection and Botox® alternative, may be a better option once it’s commercially available in 2023. DAXXIFY™’s effects have been shown to last six to nine months, making it an appealing option for those wanting fewer injections. According to Dr. Doyle, maintenance for DAXXIFY™ looks similar to Botox® and other neuromodulators like Dysport® and Xeomin®. Whether it’s DAXXIFY™, Botox® or filler, the following expert advice is sure to help you get the most out of your treatment.
Expert tips on how to maximize Botox® and filler injections
Be extra attentive the first 24 hours
Given the hefty price tag, the last thing you want to do is disrupt the injections as they make their way through the face. With that in mind, it’s best to leave the targeted area stationary and isolated to prevent the injections from dissipating. NYC-based board certified dermatologist Brendan Camp, MD, warns against lying down for at least four hours post procedure to avoid diffusion of the product. Further, Dr. Camp says facial massages, exercises with inversions, like yoga, and hats or headbands are all a no-go for at least the first 24 hours. Washing your face within the first day is doctor-approved, but you’ll want to be extra gentle and wait at least a few hours after the treatment.
Avoid sun Damage
It’s no secret that the sun’s harmful rays can cause skin damage in the form of redness, discoloration, and wrinkles. While it’s always important to protect the skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays, it’s even more pertinent for those undergoing dermal filler treatments. Research has found that the sunlight’s UV rays can degrade the hyaluronic acid found in fillers. Dr. Camp explains that unprotected sun exposure can stimulate enzymes in the dermis, which contributes to the breakdown of normal skin and injected hyaluronic acid. Not only would unprotected sun exposure decrease the lifespan of the fillers and demand more frequent injections, but Dr. Camp says it can also continue to cause fine lines and wrinkles and a need for a higher dosage of neurotoxins to relax the skin.
We know, easier said than done. We’re not suggesting you need to eliminate stress completely, but it’s beneficial to work on stress management — if not for your mental and physical health, then for your Botox® and filler. Increased stress can trigger the release of the hormone cortisol which has been known to sometimes reduce our own body’s ability to produce hyaluronic acid. “When this happens, volume loss may become even more noticeable more quickly even when hyaluronic acid filler is part of the regimen,” says Dr. Doyle. Further, stress can cause us to inadvertently change our facial expressions and recruit more muscles between our eyebrows and around our eyes. When muscle movement is increased, Dr. Doyle explains that the effects of the toxin injections may not last as long. Consider incorporating a stress-relieving activity, like yoga or meditation, into your daily routine.
Skip the high intensity workouts
High intensity workouts may be good for your overall well-being, but they’re not good for the longevity of your Botox® or filler. Exercise can stimulate your metabolism which, in turn, increases the rate at which the neurotoxins and fillers are broken down. “If someone is committed to making their aesthetic investment last as long as possible, it is recommended to integrate more low and moderate intensity workouts into their routine,” says Dr. Camp. The takeaway? Next time you’re thinking about attending your gym’s HIIT class, consider a long-distance run instead.
Keep a healthy wellness routine
Practicing healthy habits is another critical piece to maximizing Botox® and filler injections. While the treatments help reduce the signs of aging, they have their limitations. Botox® and dermal fillers won’t clear up your skin’s complexion, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle sometimes can. Sugar and unhealthy fats can cause inflammation, breakouts, and uneven skin while inadequate hydration can lead to dry skin, eczema, and discoloration. Maintaining a good skincare routine, refraining from smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption can also lengthen the results of fillers and Botox®.
Integrate hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine
Botox® and dermal filler can do wonders when it comes to smoothing out fine lines and rejuvenating the skin, but to achieve even better results, Dr. Doyle recommends pairing with hyaluronic acid serums and Revision Revox. The hyaluronic acid helps support and hydrate the skin and the Revision Revox can mimic the toxin injections by softening fine lines and wrinkles. Adding these two products into the mix can improve the results of the filler injections and make your skin look even more flawless.
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