It can be a little frustrating, having just got your Botox done, to find that you don’t instantly look like the supermodel of your dreams. There will be a bit of a “settling down” period before everything is perfect and exactly how you imagined it – but how long does it take for Botox to work, exactly? What does Botox feel like when it starts to work? Let’s have a look at it in a little more depth.
What is Botox?
Botox is a treatment that is used medically, to treat some muscular conditions, and cosmetically, to smooth out wrinkles. It does this by temporarily paralysing muscles – which sounds pretty terrifying!
It’s actually a safe procedure, despite the fact that Botox comes from the Botulinum toxin, a very poisonous substance that can cause paralysis and even death.
It is a highly popular cosmetic technique however; in 2016 it is estimated that over 7 million people had Botox treatments to smooth out wrinkles and to improve their overall look.
How does Botox work?
Tiny amounts of Botulinum make up the injections of Botox that most of us know about; there is too little of the actual toxin to be dangerous so it is a safe procedure.
Cosmetic Botox injections work by blocking the nerve signals to targeted muscles, which relaxes those muscles and reduces the appearance of wrinkles by preventing the muscles from contracting again.
Most people opt for Botox on the crow’s feet around the eyes; lines around the mouth; frown lines, and lines by the side of the mouth.
As well as relaxing the muscles to remove the appearance of lines and wrinkles, Botox treatments can actually prevent new wrinkles forming by preventing the muscles from moving in the same way, and thus causing the wrinkles.
The effects of Botox will last for a while, but they are not permanent – you will notice a fresher, more smooth face for about three months before the injections start to wear off, and by 6 months your face will have completely returned to how it was before the Botox.
What does Botox feel like when it starts to work?
When you have Botox treatments, you will notice a few things:
- Straight after the treatment you may notice some stinging around the injection sites.
- You may have the odd, mosquito-bite sized lump at the injection sites too – these will fade very quickly.
- After about a week, you will start to notice that can’t contract your facial muscles the way you could before.
- You may feel a certain “tightness” around your face where you had the injections.
- The skin will not feel numb in any way; it will feel just the same apart from the fact it does not move as it did before.
How long does it take for Botox to work?
Botox will start its work at reducing the communication between your brain and your nerves and muscles as soon as it is injected, however you may not notice the full effects for a few days – usually between seven and ten days.
After this time, you will notice a significantly tighter and more youthful look to your face, and effect that will last until the effects of the injections start to wear off.
At around day 10, your practitioner should contact you to check your progress and check that you don’t have any problems – now is a good time to talk through any issues that you may have.
How long does Botox last?
It will take between three and six months for the effects of your Botox treatment to fade away completely. At around three months you will notice small changes in the areas that ere treated; by six months your face will have completely returned to how it was before the treatment.
If you want to go on removing lines and wrinkles in this way, you will need further treatments to continue the effect.
How to maximise the effects of Botox
Although the effect of Botox are not permanent, there are a few things you can do to maximise its impact on your skin, and keep yourself looking as youthful as possible for as long as possible.
- Straight after the treatment, frown repeatedly over and over again, for around 4 hours. This will spread the Botox out through your facial muscles.
- Avoid lying on your front, facial massage and too much touching of your face for at least a fortnight.
- Always use appropriate sun protection, and minimise your exposure to the sun’s damaging UV rays.
- Drink plenty of water and take a multivitamin.
- Avoid too much alcohol and stress.
- Don’t indulge in sunbathing, and avoid tanning beds. If you want a healthy glow, go for a bit of fake tan – no danger of increasing wrinkles with that option.
Botox may not be an overnight miracle cure for your wrinkles and fine lines, but it really can work wonders at making your face look more youthful, smoother and more relaxed. Even if it takes a few days, I am sure you’re willing to wait a bit longer for a few fewer wrinkles!