How BOTOX® Cosmetic Became the Beauty World’s Go-to Product
Posted November 25, 2019 in BOTOX® Cosmetic
6 Minute Read
Table of Contents
- It is more versatile than many people realize
- It is OK if you had an injection while unknowingly pregnant
- It is probably more affordable than you thought
There were more than 7.4 million BOTOX® or BOTOX®-like injections performed throughout 2018, according to a report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
That is an increase of more than 6.5 million treatments since the year 2000, when only 786,911 were performed.
So, the question that everyone’s asking is, “Why is BOTOX® so popular?”
To put it simply, it’s popular because it works. If it didn’t, there wouldn’t have been an 845 percent growth of injections being performed in less than 20 years.
Thanks to BOTOX®, millions of people around the world have been able to smooth wrinkles throughout their foreheads and around their eyes.
But to fully understand why every other cosmetic procedure pales in comparison to BOTOX®, you have to understand a bit about how BOTOX® works.
What Is BOTOX®?
While most people understand “BOTOX®” to be a substance for cosmetic use, “BOTOX® Cosmetic” is the actual name of the drug that is used to prevent the contraction of facial muscles and the subsequent development of fine lines and wrinkles.
BOTOX® (without the “cosmetic”) was originally developed in 1977 to treat an eye muscle condition called strabismus.
It wasn’t until 12 years later that two doctors in Vancouver named Jean and Alastair Carruthers accidentally discovered the cosmetic use of BOTOX®.
Now, BOTOX® is used to treat a host of different medical conditions, including chronic migraines, overactive bladders, excessive sweating, and muscle spasms.
And BOTOX® Cosmetic has become the single-most dominating cosmetic procedure offered on the market.
Not even soft tissue fillers like Radiesse® or Restylane Lyft®, which have soared in popularity over the last few years, come close to reaching the popularity of BOTOX®.
How Does BOTOX® Cosmetic Work?
BOTOX® Cosmetic is made from botulinum toxin type A, a chemical derived from bacteria that blocks the contraction of facial muscles.
Wrinkles are caused by the repeated movement of these muscles and exacerbated when someone is making an expression.
By cutting off the body’s signal to those muscles, the face is able to smooth itself over time, similar to how laundry would become less wrinkled after being laid out on a smooth surface.
But BOTOX® Cosmetic also gives an immediate effect by preventing expressions from folding the skin.
While this might make it sound like undergoing BOTOX® Cosmetic is a sure way to create an appearance that looks artificial and swollen, these side effects only occur when BOTOX® Cosmetic is administered in excess.
Most patients enjoy a subtle yet defining change in their facial appearance following their injection by a skilled professional.
Dysport® vs. BOTOX® Cosmetic
Dysport® and BOTOX® Cosmetic are extremely similar.
The only substantial difference is that BOTOX® Cosmetic is approved to treat forehead lines, crow’s feet, and frown lines (glabellar lines), while Dysport® is approved only for frown lines.
This means, in most cases, a cosmetic spa will likely be reaching for BOTOX® Cosmetic when it comes to treating wrinkles on the face.
While BOTOX® Cosmetic is a more versatile product, Dysport® treatments take effect much more quickly, with results that are visible after a couple of days.
BOTOX® Cosmetic usually starts to show within a week, but the full results could take up to a month to surface. A study by the Karolinska Hospital Department of Neurology in Stockholm, Sweden, found that BOTOX® injections could be up to three times as potent as Dysport®.
With that being said, both injections typically last up to a few months, but BOTOX® Cosmetic has been reported to last up to six months.
Is BOTOX® Cosmetic Safe?
In 2005, the Food and Drug Administration did a study on every reported adverse effect of botulinum toxin type A injections between the years 1989 and 2003.
During that period, only 36 serious cases of adverse effects were reported for cosmetic procedures.
In six of those 36 cases, the development of the adverse effects appeared to be unrelated to the injected toxin.
While there is some increased risk to botulinum toxin type A injections if you are using them to treat medical conditions such as cerebral palsy or an overactive bladder, BOTOX® Cosmetic is considered to be extremely safe for cosmetic use.
Many people are concerned about disliking the way a procedure will make them look and then having to deal with the consequences of that decision long term.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is probably one of the best options for people with this fear since it is a temporary treatment that will wear off if you are unhappy with the results.
What Are the Side Effects of BOTOX® Cosmetic?
Patients who develop side effects after their BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment experience the following:
- Nausea, headache, or other flu-like symptoms
- Redness, bruising, and/or pain around the treatment area
- Temporary facial ptosis (drooping)
While extremely rare, the injection can spread to other parts of the body, which can cause botulism-like symptoms.
3 Things to Know Before Having BOTOX® Cosmetic Injections
1. BOTOX® Cosmetic is mostly used to treat forehead lines, but it can also be used in a host of other areas.
This product earned its reputation by removing millions of horizontal lines in the last few decades, but many people don’t know that BOTOX® can be administered throughout the entire face to treat:
- Frown lines
- Bunny lines
- A gummy smile
- Chin wrinkles
- Lip lines
- Droopy eyebrows
- Crow’s feet
- Under-eye wrinkles
- An undefined jawline
- Neck cords
- Neck lines
2. There has been no link between BOTOX® Cosmetic use and adverse effects on pregnancy, but most physicians will tell you it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“In total, 396 physicians (44%) returned questionnaires, of whom only 12 physicians reported injecting pregnant women with [botulinum toxin type A]. Sixteen pregnant women were injected, mostly in the first trimester, and only one patient, who had prior spontaneous abortions, suffered a miscarriage. Another woman had a therapeutic abortion. All other pregnancies went to term and there were no fetal malformations.” 
The authors of the study came to the conclusion that, based on the limited survey, botulinum toxin type A appears to be relatively safe for pregnant women and any child they are carrying, but it is best to avoid the injection unless the benefits outweigh the risks.
This means that if a patient had a BOTOX® injection while being unknowingly pregnant, it is likely that there will be no adverse effect on the unborn child.
3. BOTOX® Isn’t Only for the Wealthy—It’s Probably More Affordable Than You Thought
The average cost of BOTOX® Cosmetic is between $250 and $500.
When you consider the cost of high-end skin care creams (which can also cost hundreds of dollars) and how much more effective BOTOX® Cosmetic is at providing results, that cost becomes much more worth it.
Learn More About BOTOX® Cosmetic
References: www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2018/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report  https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/beauty/birth-botox/  https://www.botox.com/  https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/botulinum-toxin  https://www.healthline.com/health/dysport-botox#results  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2169916/  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16112345  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2117417/  https://www.healthline.com/health/how-many-units-of-botox-for-forehead#what-is-it?