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Botox or Botox-in-a-Bottle? - What You Should Know

Botox, for some, is still a bit of a mystery. What exactly does it do? Does it fill lines? How often should I get it, etc.  

Although we currently do not offer Botox treatments at The Summit, we work with clients who do. We work to maximize their results from their Botox injections through effective clinical skin treatments and knowing when to perform them after Botox. We also work with clients to extend the life of their Botox treatments through protecting, improving texture, enhancing repair and hydration. We also recommend solutions that mimic Botox and lengthen the time between treatments!

botox injections

 What is Botox? 

Botox is a patented drug that is considered a neuro-modulator. 

Botox is the brand name to the cosmetic treatment but the active ingredient in the injections is botulinum toxin. The toxin is produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum and it is staggeringly toxic. It is seven million times more toxic than cobra venom. Thankfully a toxic dose is not what is injected! Typically one to three-billionths of a gram is used and over 25 years of use has proven to be one of the safest injectable cosmetic treatments.

What does Botox do?

The neurotoxin protein in Botox blocks communications from the nerve endings to the targeted facial muscles responsible for your dynamic wrinkles, such as the forehead lines, frown lines, and crow’s feet. It is widely considered the most effective cosmetic injectable for wrinkle relaxation. 

compress vs expression lines

 What doesn't it do?

 It doesn't work on compression wrinkles. It works only on expression lines. Expression wrinkles are caused by repeated muscle movements such as smiling, frowning, squinting and puckering. Compression  wrinkles come from compressing the skin for extended periods of time. This happens when you sleep on your side (75% of us do!) or resting your face in your hands A LOT. Most compression wrinkles (non-Botox-able wrinkles) are vertical in nature and will achieve no results with Botox. 

What is the best treatment for compression wrinkles?

 Simply to not sleep on your side or compress your face with your hands. Since it is very difficult to stop side sleeping, we highly recommend our favourite pillow designed specifically to limited compression wrinkles - enVy Anti Aging Pillow! The company is owned and created by two Ontario nurses - one that was a Botox injector/educator/trainer! 

regular pillow

envy anti aging pillow for compression lines

 How long does Botox last? 

Botox typically lasts 3 to 4 months, after which the results dissipate. Once the Botox wears off, you need maintenance doses to retain the results. When the Botox wears off, the neurotransmitters engage the facial muscles again, making the associated wrinkles appear on your face again. As such, the gradual dissipation of Botox leads to a re-emergence of facial wrinkles, such as the forehead lines, frown lines between the eyebrows, and the crow’s feet around the eyes. 

 Where does the Botox go? 

Over time, the Botox components are broken down into harmless particles called amino acids. The broken-down components are excreted from the kidneys as waste, or they're used in other proteins. As such, Botox either leaves your system completely or gets recycled in a harmless form.

 How much does Botox cost? 

The average cost of each Botox treatment session is $500. This is a treatment you don't want to try to get a "deal" for. This is when you want a reputable Dr or Nurse Practicioner with a lot of experience and a reputation for natural-looking treatments.

What are potential Botox side-effects?

 Common very temporary side effects can be swelling, slight pain, redness and bruising. Not- so- great side effects can be droopy eyelids! When Botox is done poorly and exaggerated you can be left with a waxy, expressionless face. 

How can I extend my Botox treatments or achieve results for expression lines without Botox? 

We have three key tips for extending your Botox treatments and/or achieving results for expression lines without Botox.

  1. Wear sunscreen and reapply regularly.
  2. Improve your skin care routine. Poor quality skin with Botox is still a poor quality skin but just with a small improvement in a few wrinkles. The healtier your skin prior to Botox, the better the results will look and last after your injections.
  3. Add treatment creams or serums with an effective formulation containing the peptide Argireline. 

What is Argireline and how do I use it? 

Argireline®  is a topical patented ingredient that can be used at home daily. It is a peptide called Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 or Acetyl Hexapeptide 3. Commonly referred to as ‘Botox in a jar’, it is a peptide compound used to reduce the appearance of fine lines causes by repeated facial expressions, such as crow’s feet and nasolabial lines. This ingredient blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles, these muscles can no longer retract, causing the wrinkles to relax and soften. 

It also promotes the skin’s natural production of type 1 collagen, the crucial protein that helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Research has shown that it can reduce wrinkle depth by up to 30% when used for 30 consecutive days. It also restores the skin’s natural water barrier, and helps bind water to the skin, improving dry skin. It also helps to improve skin elasticity.

Due to its similar structure to botulinum toxin, acetyl hexapeptide 8 in considered an excellent, non-invasive alternative to Botox. This is why we recommend it for all of our Botox-users to extend the life of their Botox treatments! 

Acetyl Hexapeptide 8

What products contain Argireline®? 

These are our favourite at-home treatment products that contain effective quantities of  Argireline®.

GM Collin Bota Peptides Serum - apply twice a day under any of your favourite skin creams. 

 GM Collin Bota Peptides Cream - apply twice daily with or without Bota Peptides Serum (GM Collin Vital C15 is an excellent serum to use if not using Bota Peptides Serum). Before and after photo below:

GM Collin Bota Peptides Eye Contour Cream apply twice daily.

gm collin before and after bota peptide cream

GM Collin Diamond Eye Cream - apply twice daily.

GM Collin City D-Tox Eye Contour Cream - apply twice daily


 When is it okay to have other facial treatments after I have had Botox? 

You MUST wait two weeks after Botox injections before having any facial treatment or facial massage. 

What is the best skin treatment to have when I am having Botox treatments? 

That depends on your other skin care concerns. If you also have aging concerns that include uneven pigment or redness, then our Photo Facial/BBL Treatment will give you terrific results. If you have textural, tone, inflammation or wrinkle concerns then our Signature Skin Transformation Treatment, 8 Week Skin Transformation Treatment, Peptide Power Rejuvenating Facial, or Advanced Skin Refining Peel.

 Click here to read the MacLeans article about the Vancouver couple who pioneered Botox. 

We hope this article has helped to better understand Botox, your skin and how to keep it looking it's best whatever your choice - to use Botox or not.