Everything you didn’t know about Botox

Botox clinic in Montreal

So, you’re interested in learning more about Botox but don’t know where to start? Join us to get the inside scoop on all things Botox–from brand comparison to safety information, we’ve got you covered!

What exactly is Botox?

Botox is a neurotoxin, derived from the botulinum toxin. When injected in small doses directly into facial muscles, Botox can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in different areas of the face. Botox was FDA approved in 1989 and since then has been developed for multiple additional uses. Contrary to popular belief, Botox doesn’t work by “filling in” sagging skin or adding additional volume. In fact, this widely-used wrinkle reducer works by temporarily restricting the movement of certain facial muscles which are responsible for the creation of fine lines and wrinkles. Check out our deep dive into the process here.

Wait…there’s more than one type of Botox?

Band-Aid, Kleenex, Popsicle, Botox. What do all these words have in common? Well, they’re all brand names that have become so popular, they’ve made it into our general vocabulary. Just as we don’t normally ask for an “adhesive bandage” or a “frozen juice treat,” most folks don’t differentiate between “Botox” and “botulinum toxin A for wrinkle reduction.” There are countless different brands of Botox, but let’s look at some of the most commonly used brands:

First, the OG: Botox. Not only has Botox as a brand been around longer than the others, it’s also the most recognizable name in the industry. In fact, most of us refer to any injectable wrinkle treatment as Botox. This particular brand is recommended for treatment particularly around the forehead and between the eyebrows. Botox has been FDA approved for forehead wrinkles (specifically those that make the “11” lines between the brows) since 2002, making it most people’s first choice when speaking with their doctor.

There are some differences between the brands, though. Another popular option is Dysport, an injectable alternative to Botox. It’s made from a variation of the botulinum toxin and is slightly less potent than Botox, so you might need a higher dose to see the same results. Due to the specific properties of Dysport, results typically show up sooner with this particular brand. Therefore, it’s often a patient’s go-to choice if they’re looking for quicker results. Finally, unlike the other brands, Dysport contains a specific protein found in cow’s milk, and should be avoided by patients who have a lactose or dairy intolerance.   

Xeomin is another brand in the general “Botox” category. It’s produced in a similar way to the others, but without mixing in additional complexing proteins. This causes it to be slightly more pure in its formulation, and may work better for clients who have noticed that they’re muscles aren’t responding as well to Botox or Dysport. It has a similar onset time, dose recommendation and lasting-effect to the original Botox. 

Finally, Jeuveau is a newer brand, but one that seems to be taking the Botox world by storm! It’s the new kid on the block, so to say, as it received FDA approval for cosmetic use in 2019. Unlike the other brands, Jeuveau is exclusively okayed by the FDA for cosmetic use. (Our other contenders have other approved uses, such as muscle and neck spasms, eye twitching and excessive sweating.) Jeuveau is a bit cheaper than the others; that, combined with its millennial-targeted marketing campaigns, make it a frontrunner for the younger crowd. 

Chic Laser Montreal has you covered!

Still not feeling too sure about which option is right for you? Don’t worry! Most first time Botox beauties need a little bit of help deciding on the right brand, dose, and overall desired look. The team of experts at CHIC Laser Centre in Montreal is ready and willing to help you with all of these details. Choosing the right healthcare provider for your procedure can be a challenge, but the docs at CHIC Laser Centre are experienced professionals who want to give you the best experience possible! 

At CHIC Laser Centre, the doctors are the ones consulting with patients, answering questions and administering the treatments. You can rest assured that you’ll be in great hands with these experts! CHIC Laser Centre works with the brands Botox and Dysport, those who have been around longer and have more scientific backup, not to mention FDA approval for various areas of the face and neck. 

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How are they administered and will Botox hurt?

All of these treatments must be administered by a medical professional. After a comprehensive consultation, your healthcare provider will help you schedule your treatment session. Botox is a minimally invasive procedure involving a very thin needle being injected into the muscles which sit under the skin. A numbing cream can be applied to certain areas before treatment to reduce any  discomfort during the injection process. Generally, Botox injections don’t cause patients a great deal of pain; more likely, you’ll experience a slight pinching sensation during your session. Another positive: your procedure will probably only take about 15-30 minutes, depending on your areas of treatment. 

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How long will the effects last?

Both Botox and its Canadian-made competitor, Dysport, usually have about 3-4 months of lasting power. Dysport treatments typically show up faster results than Botox, but within a week after treatment, you’re likely to see the full effect. Some folks prefer to come back for a follow-up once they see results gently fading, while others like to take longer breaks in between. You’re the only one who can decide what’s right for your unique case, but the team at CHIC Laser Centre will always be available for guidance. 

Most importantly: are they safe?

According to the FDA and Health Canada, Botox, Dysport, Xeomin and Jeuveau are all safe to use in certain areas. Some, like Dysport, are better for larger areas (Dysport is FDA approved for the entire forehead) while others are FDA and Health Canada approved, but for other reasons. Xeomin, for example, was green-lighted by the FDA for the treatment of frown lines in particular. Your doctor can help you identify which brands are best for the specific area you’re looking to treat. 

Quebec has an additional leg-up in terms of safety requirements: there absolutely must be a qualified doctor performing or supervising the injection procedure. In other provinces in Canada, other healthcare professionals, such as nurses or doctors-in-training are allowed to complete these treatments with patients. However, in Quebec, a certified doctor must be present during the entire procedure. 

As your doctor will no-doubt tell you, there are some safety recommendations in place for what to do after your treatment. Minor, temporary side-effects, such as swelling or redness at the injection site or minor bruising can occur. Across the board, doctors advise to avoid strenuous exercises, sun exposure and touching your face for 24-48 hours. Additionally, steam rooms and jacuzzis should be avoided, and wearing makeup isn’t recommended for a few days after your Botox session. Rubbing or touching your face after the procedure can cause inflammation of the muscles or additional bruising. If you experience serious pain or discomfort, contact your doctor straight away. 

Which one is right for me?

Now that you understand the differences between the brands, hopefully you’re feeling more equipped to make the decision about which option is best for you! Other factors to consider are your age, the type of wrinkles or fine lines you have and the areas you’d like to have treated. The most important consideration should always be your safety; choosing a reputable provider, such as CHIC Laser Centre, assures that you’ll have the best experience possible from start to finish. The doctors at CHIC Laser Centre are first and foremost concerned with your safety and wellbeing and will do everything possible to ensure your satisfaction throughout the entire process. Have more questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out using our Booking Page or FAQ page.