In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift in men’s attitudes toward cosmetic treatments. As they become more aware of the benefits of “tweakments,” they are increasingly seeking simple options to combat aging. One technique that has gained popularity is micro-injections of neurotoxin. This approach offers a way for men to easily dip their toes in the injectable pool without getting overwhelmed. We spoke to top expert injectors about why micro-doses of wrinkle-relaxer may be the best first step in a man’s anti-aging journey.
What Is “Micro-Dosing Toxin” or “Micro-Botox?”
According to Campbell, CA dermatologist Amelia K. Hausauer, MD, micro-dosing generally refers to using small, less than FDA-approved, doses of neurotoxin (Botox Cosmetic, Xeomin, Dysport, Jeuveau or Daxxify) to soften muscle contraction in a natural and subtle way. “This is not a technical or medical term and doesn’t have a strict definition, so what is considered ‘micro’ may vary for every patient and every provider,” she explains. “Another way this is often called is “baby Botox.” In my practice, most patients—men and women—fall into the category of wanting results that look untouched and organic with the ability to move and express themselves.”
Traditional usage of Botox Cosmetic for dynamic wrinkles of the forehead or crow’s feet is different for men and women says New York dermatologist Elaine Kung, MD. “Typically, men may require more units because their face muscles may be stronger,” she says. This approach allows for a more even spread of the product in the target areas.
“There are studies where [men] have used up to four times the FDA-approved dose of Botox to the eleven lines muscle with very nice effects,” says Dr. Hausauer. “This emphasizes the importance of a customized plan based on your body and your desires. There is no one size fits all here, especially when it comes to dosing.”
Benefits of Micro-Dosing vs. Traditional Injections
Beverly Hills, CA facial plastic surgeon Kimberly J. Lee, MD says micro-dosing offers a more delicate approach that prevents the frozen or overly smooth look that can sometimes occur with higher doses of Botox Cosmetic. “By starting with microdoses, men can become acquainted with the treatment, gain confidence, and better understand the expected results,” she says. Dr. Lee highlights that micro-dosing neurotoxin helps patients overcome the fear of the unknown. “For some, micro-dosing Botox may be all they need, particularly younger individuals and those seeking preventative measures,” she adds.
Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias emphasizes that micro-dosing neurotoxin aligns with the evolving expectations and desires of men seeking nonsurgical cosmetic enhancements. “The benefit over traditional methods is the smooth, natural look you can provide without giving a glazed or frozen effect, which is highly desirable in men,” he says.
Dr. Lee advises not to undergo the procedure right before important events, as temporary swelling or bruising may occur. Schedule the treatment a few weeks ahead to allow side effects to subside and the full effect to be visible. “Understanding the anatomy and desired outcomes specific to men is crucial for achieving natural and desired results,” she adds.
Nanuet, NY dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD says if the wrinkles are etched in deep, opt for the traditional injection technique. “For the right patient, microdosing can give a uniform subtle effect,” she says. “However it is unlikely to treat the deep wrinkles of the forehead and between the brows that are the primary concern of most of my male patients. It is more likely to be beneficial in a younger man who has not yet developed deep lines.”
“First timers should start low and slow with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon, allowing for gradual implementation,” adds Dr. Elias. “More can always be added, but once it’s injected you can’t take it away.”