If you look in the mirror and don’t love what you see, you’re not alone. Many people have issues they want to change, especially as they age. One of the most effective solutions for those issues is Botox. But you might have questions like, “How much Botox do I need? How often should I get it done? How long will it last?”
These are all valid and important questions, and your aesthetician is a wonderful resource for answers.
However, you might want those answers before you make an appointment.
So, here’s everything you need to know about getting started with Botox injections.
As with any medical procedure, every person is a bit different. We have standards for where we inject Botox and how many units we use per area, but your specific face and individual goals direct our treatment plan.
One thing we assess is how thick and strong the muscles are in the area that you’d like treated.
You’ve probably never even thought about this, but some people have stronger forehead muscles than others. Not only can this cause deeper forehead wrinkles, but those people will also need more units of Botox to improve them.
Another factor is how experienced you are with Botox.
Your aesthetician may want to ensure you handle this neurotoxin well, so they’ll start with fewer units. You’ll get the optimum amount on your next visit, often about two months later.
Finally, how much Botox you need depends on what results you want to achieve. Some people have very shallow wrinkles that we can quickly smooth with a few units. And others don’t want their signs of aging wholly erased. So they may want to treat only their deepest wrinkles, requiring fewer injections.
Since these factors affect how much Botox you’ll receive, the only way to know precisely how many units you’ll need is to visit your aesthetician.
However, there are standards that we start with that lead us in the right direction with our treatment plans.
Each area of the face has specific injection sites, and most sites usually receive 2-5 units per injection. However, some areas vary more than others.
The forehead is the most popular area for wrinkle-reducing Botox and has one of the largest surface areas.
The forehead has five injection sites: two along the hairline, one above each temple, and one in the middle.
Most people will need 2-5 units per injection and up to 6 for people with deep lines or strong forehead muscles. The total units required will be between 10 and 30.
Most people have frown lines to some degree. As you age, they can remain visible even when you’re not frowning, making some people less happy with their face.
Like the forehead, there are five injection sites to improve frown lines. But they are all very close together in the area between your eyebrows, called the glabella. The five sites form a wide V shape.
The manufacturer recommends 2-5 units per area. However, because these muscles are powerful and often used, many technicians use the higher range for most people, totaling 25 units overall.
The third most prevalent area for Botox injections is the wrinkles at the corners of your eyes, known as Crow’s Feet.
The skin around your eyes is significantly thinner than your forehead, so fewer units are needed to address wrinkles.
However, Crow’s Feet can be deep and bothersome for some people. So, your aesthetician will likely start small but may work up to more units over time.
Most people will get between 2-4 units per site, with three injection sites per side, resulting in 12-24 units total.
A less common area for Botox is an area around the nose called Bunny Lines. These little wrinkles occur when you scrunch your nose or smile wide.
Some people don’t have them at all, and some who do don’t mind them. But Botox is an excellent solution for people who don’t want their Bunny Lines.
Again, your skin is thinner here, so fewer injections usually do the trick. Most people only get 2-3 units per side, but some might need up to 5.
The chin can become wrinkled and dimpled from frequent muscle use as you age.
Fortunately, it usually doesn’t take many units to solve this problem. There are three common injection sites, forming a triangle on the chin. Treatment usually consists of 2-3 units per site.
The thinning skin of our necks is one of the most evident signs of aging for most people.
Over time, you may start to develop always-visible platysmal bands. We all have them; they are the vertical muscles you see if you clench your neck and lift your head.
Botox can relax these muscles and make both vertical and horizontal bands and wrinkles in your neck smoother and less noticeable.
Treatment of this area varies a lot depending on age and how apparent the bands and wrinkles are.
While some people only need 24 units of Botox for their neck, others receive 50 or more, with as many as 6 injections per side. Your aesthetician will determine the best course of treatment during a consultation, but it may take multiple visits to determine the best injection sites and number of units.
Botox doesn’t just treat wrinkles!
Some people may be unhappy with how their eyebrows or smiles point down. Botox can help perk them up. And a lip flip can give the illusion of fuller lips without lip filler.
These treatments typically require fewer units, often 2-4 for lip flips and per side for lifts.
Finally, Botox can be used to change the shape of your face, something that many people think can only be done with plastic surgery.
The most common type of facial slimming people look for with Botox is along the jawline.
This treatment can require many units with multiple injection sites per side. Many people achieve stunning results with 25 units on each side, but some may need as many as 50 per side.
While that may seem like a lot, avoiding costly and painful plastic surgery and still looking the way you want makes it worth it for many people.
The other question we hear is, “How long will the results from Botox last?”
Again, this partially varies based on the individual.
Some factors can make results fade faster because your body metabolizes the neurotoxin quicker. These can include the strength of the muscles being treated, how frequently they’re used, and how active you are.
Fortunately, the longer you receive Botox in an area, the longer the results typically last because those muscles weaken over time.
On average, the results from Botox will last 3-6 months. The above factors may lengthen or shorten this time, but often only slightly.
Your aesthetician will develop a more specific treatment plan that includes how often you should receive Botox injections to achieve and maintain optimal results.
Every medical procedure comes with the potential for risks and adverse side effects.
Fortunately, these risks are very uncommon with Botox, especially when you get it from an experienced and licensed professional.
Some of the possible side effects and risks include:
Even more rarely, Botox can spread where it shouldn’t, causing muscle weakness and associated symptoms, visual difficulty, and allergic reactions.
Again, these are exceedingly rare occurrences if you receive treatment from a licensed injector in a professional setting.
Across the almost 3 million injections provided per year, many people only have minor and temporary side effects, if they have any at all. The FDA approved Botox for aesthetic purposes over 20 years ago, and it continues to be considered an exceptionally safe and effective treatment.
As much as we strive to provide accurate and helpful information on our site, the best source of information is your aesthetician.
We need to see your skin and listen to your hopes and goals to provide the best guess of what you can expect.
Every face is unique, and we want to make sure you look and feel exactly the way you want. That’s why we offer free consultations with Visia scans. The more we know about you and your skin, the easier it is to develop personalized treatment plans.
So, when you make an appointment for a free consultation, be sure to make a note of every question you want to ask, including, “How much Botox do I need?” We’ll be able to answer those questions when we see your beautiful face!