Why Isn't My Botox Lasting?

Frustrated because your anti-wrinkle injection didn't last long? Here's some information that could help.

by Linda Robison

Find out why your Botox treatment didn't last and get tips for better, longer results.

Why isn't my Botox lasting longer? Disappointed woman looking at mirror.

 You'll also find answers to common questions like:

  • what to expect with first-time injections
  • why Botulinum toxin injections wear off
  • what to do to make your treatment last longer
  • how to get the best results

Why Isn't My Botox Lasting: And How Long Should It Last

Generally speaking, the duration of botulinum toxins range between 3–6 months.

But results can vary from person to person, and some may experience shorter effects, such as around two months.

Here are a few reasons why your results didn't last as long as you'd like:

1. First Time Injections: Expect Shorter Than Normal Duration

While each individual may have a unique experience, you can expect your first treatment to wear off faster, typically within 2-3 months.

Why? Because it usually takes several injections to get the muscles to respond to botulinum toxin.

The good news; the more cosmetic injections you get, over time, the longer your results will last.

Meaning, the longer you suppress muscle contractions, the weaker the muscle and the better and longer your results will be.

My personal experience: The first time I was treated for my frown lines, the results wore off within 2 months!

And this was despite the fact that my provider injected the highest amount of units for that area. The typical amount of units used for glabellar lines (frown lines) ranges from 6-15 units.

But after my 3rd treatment, the duration increased and now my results last between 4-6 months.

And I no longer need higher doses to smooth wrinkles. This is a good thing for my wallet!

So if this is your first time, just know that with regular treatments, you can expect results to last longer. 

2. Not Enough Units

Perhaps you were under injected. The frozen look is out. The new trend is a more natural look (hence the use of Baby Botox).

As a result, some injectors are using the lowest effective dose to smooth out the appearance of fine lines, not freeze or eliminate them completely.

However, some people have stronger muscles in certain areas of the face and may require more units for longer-lasting effects.

Talk to your injector and see if this applies to you.

3. What is Your Gender

Botulinum toxin injections may not last as long in men, compared to women. It's been found that men may require up to 50 percent more than women.

4. It was Too Diluted

Botulinum toxin type A, comes in a powdered form. Before administering the injections, the healthcare professional reconstitutes the powder by adding a liquid, usually sterile saline solution, to create a diluted solution.

It's possible that the solution was not properly diluted and the concentration of the toxin was too low.

5. Static Wrinkles Too Deep

The aging process and environmental damage can turn dynamic wrinkles (fine lines) into static wrinkles (deep lines etched into the skin).

In this case, the combination of wrinkle-smoothing injections and dermal fillers could offer beautiful results.

The hyaluronic acid in the dermal filler (like Juvederm) helps fill-in and plump up the depressed wrinkle, and Botox can help prevent the muscle contraction that caused the deep wrinkle.

6. Smaller or Active Muscles

The duration of toxin injections can vary depending on the treatment area on the face.

Different parts of the face have varying muscle activity and characteristics, which can influence how long the effects of the injections last.

Here are some examples:

  • Lips and Mouth: Areas of the face with small muscles and lots of movement may require more frequent treatments to maintain desired results.
  • Forehead: The forehead muscles tend to be less active compared to other areas of the face. This reduced muscle activity can contribute to a slower breakdown of the botulinum toxin and prolong the duration of its effects.

7. Poor Injection Technique

If your injector is not properly skilled, your results will be poor. If the injections are too deep or too superficial, results could be poor. That's why finding a skilled provider with experience is important.

8.  Botox Resistance.

Some people, less than 2 percent, may be resistant to certain toxin injections, so their results don't last very long.

Factors such as metabolism and the way the body processes and interacts with the toxin can vary from person to person.

Why this happens is not exactly known. But researches suspect that the immune system can build up a tolerance.

If this happens to you, talk to your provider about what can be done. The injector might try a higher dose, suggest frequent lower dose injections, or try other products such as Dysport or Xeomin.

Why Does Botox Wear Off

As we know, Botox is not permanent.

When botulinum toxin is injected into a muscle, it blocks the release and effects of acetylcholine (ACh), a neurotransmitter that allow muscles to contract. More details on how this works here at when does Botox start working.

But over time, the body makes new neurotransmitters, so the effect wears off, and the muscles can move again.

What helps Botox last longer?

What helps Botox last longer?

So what can you do to make the effect of Botox last longer?

Below are some tips to extend your results, but keep in mind everyone is different, so not all my apply to you.

A – Keep Up With Regular Treatments

It's important to remember you need to keep up with regular treatments.

As stated above, the longer you've been getting treatments, the longer you'll enjoy the desired effects.

If you wait until you have full movement of muscles, then it's like you're starting all over again. 

B - Avoid Activity

Avoid any activity that boosts blood circulation within the first 24 hours of treatment. Why?

Because increasing circulation can cause blood vessels to dilate, which could disperse the toxins faster than usual. It could also cause it to spread to unwanted areas, causing unwanted side effects like droopy eyelids. 

You also want to avoid touching or rubbing the areas of your face near the injection sites. So be careful when washing your face or applying makeup and creams.

C - Try Zinc supplements

Botox belongs to an enzyme group called zinc metalloproteinases. These enzymes require zinc to work. So if you have a zinc deficiency, it's possible that Botox won't work well for you.

A study published online in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (JDD) found that over 90 percent of participants who took 50 mgs of a zinc citrate supplement 4 days before the cosmetic procedure saw a 30 percent increase in duration and desired result.

In another study published in the Medical News Today, participants had success taking 10 MGS of Zinc Gluconate 4 days before treatment. 

So which one should you take?

While more studies need to be done on this topic, it's best to check with your provider to see what they suggest. 

Also, if you have high zinc levels, or you are taking any medications, it's best to speak to your physician before taking any supplements.

How to Get the Best Results from Botox Treatment

Tips to make Botox kick-in faster.Moving your eyebrow and forehead muscles up and down several times after injection can help it set in faster. BUT DO NOT TOUCH YOUR INJECTION SITES!

So, what can you do to ensure you get the best results after your wrinkle smoothing injections?

A – Muscle Exercises

It usually takes 7-10 days to see full results from your treatment. However, you might see results faster with facial exercises.

This may sound contradictory to what is written above about avoiding activity or touching your face after injections.

But we're talking about facial contractions, do not touch your face right after injections.

A study published in the Journal of the American Academy Dermatology (JAAD) found that when participants performed certain facial exercises, they saw desired results (reduction in the appearance of wrinkles in the forehead lines and frown lines) faster than the typical 7-10 day period.

Participants did the following facial contractions: 3 sets, with a 10-minute break in between each set.

  • 40 forehead raises
  • 40 scowls (that's frowning)

* Make sure not to rub your face. And, always check with your injector to make sure this is right for you.

B - Avoid Certain Supplements

You can minimize bruising by avoiding supplements that act as mild blood thinners.

Try to avoid aspirin and blood-thinning supplements like vitamin C, E, fish oils and alcohol at least 2 weeks prior and a few days after your appointment to prevent or minimize bruising.

C - Follow your Provider's Advice

Your provider will offer a list of suggestions to follow immediately after injections. Such as avoiding strenuous activity, lying down, bending over, or drinking alcohol. Some even suggest avoiding sunbathing for that day.