What Makes Botox for Men So Different?

What Makes Botox for Men So Different? featured image
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Let’s face it, frown lines don’t discriminate. Regardless of gender, it’s hard to ignore those pesky “number 11s” contributing to a perpetually unhappy expression. In recent years, the demand for neurotoxins among men has soared, challenging traditional notions of cosmetic procedures being predominantly female-centric. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “brotox” is now the leading cosmetic procedure requested by men, experiencing a staggering 400 percent increase in treatments administered since 2000.

When addressing the nuances of a male face compared to a female face, injectors must consider various factors, including placement, dosage, and desired effect. So, why the distinction in wrinkle-relaxing injections for men? Here, experts share essential insights to consider before taking a seat in the injector’s chair.

Featured Experts

  • Chet Mays, MD is a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Louisville, KY
  • Sue Ellen Cox, MD is a board-certified dermatologist based in Chapel Hill, NC
  • Usha Rajagopal, MD is an board-certified plastic surgeon in San Francisco
  • Dr. Karan Lal is a board-certified dermatologist based in Phoenix

Motivating Factors

“As a 41-year-old male myself, I definitely enjoy the benefits of neurotoxins to help soften the fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes, forehead, and brow area,” says Louisville, KY plastic surgeon Chet Mays, MD. “Most men usually come in because their partner suggested they come or maybe the partner’s getting treatments and they notice how great the partner’s looking, and they want to start getting the injections too. That is most commonly how we get men in the office.”

Chapel Hill, NC dermatologist Sue Ellen Cox, MD says her male patients’ purpose for getting wrinkle relaxers like Botox Cosmetic, Xeomin, Dysport, Jeauveau and DAXXIFY is different than for women. Men usually do it more because they want to advance in their careers, she tells us. At her practice, Dr. Usha has also seen career advancement as a motivator. “Certain factors, such as ageism in the workplace, continue to influence men’s attitudes towards aging and their appearance. In competitive environments like the Bay Area, where youthfulness is often equated with vitality and success, men may feel pressure to maintain a youthful and refreshed look to remain competitive in their careers.”

Why Is Botox for Men “Different?”

The anatomy of male faces differs significantly from female faces, influencing the approach to Botox treatments. Phoenix, AZ dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal adds: “Men do not want to be frozen. They want to maintain flat brows and often are bothered most by their 11 lines and crow’s feet.” Additionally, societal perceptions of masculinity play a role in shaping men’s preferences for Botox. Dr. Lal notes, “It’s often men in finance and real estate that need to keep a certain appearance for their job.”

Men and women often have different aesthetic goals when getting Botox. Women tend to prefer a more pronounced brow arch and a smoother, more youthful appearance, while men generally want a more subtle, natural look that maintains their masculine facial features. “Males tend to prefer a flatter brow, avoiding the arched appearance typically associated with females,” says Dr. Cox. “It’s crucial to consider this preference to ensure that the treatment aligns with their desired outcome, aiming for a straight or flat brow rather than an arched, feminine look.”

Male skin is also typically thicker with higher collagen content and more vascularity compared to female skin. “Technically, we all have the same anatomy. We just have different masses of our muscles, different thicknesses of the tissues, etc.,” notes Dr. Mays. This can impact the way Botox is metabolized and the risk of side effects like bruising.

Do Men Need More Botox than Women? 

Men typically have greater muscle mass than women, necessitating higher doses of Botox to achieve similar results. Dr. Lal explains, “Muscle mass is greater in men which means more units are required to achieve the same result in women. Men usually need one and a half to two times the number of units in the glabella and crow’s feet for softening.”

“For instance, in addressing the glabella or the ’11s’ between the eyebrows—a common concern for both genders—women generally require an average dose of 20 to 24 units, whereas men typically need between 28 to 32 units for effective treatment,” explains Dr. Rajagopal. When targeting the forehead, precision is key, she says, especially for women who often desire a subtle arch in their eyebrows. “Male patients often prefer a more straightforward brow, necessitating a higher Botox dosage to achieve a smooth, unlined forehead. This may entail approximately 30 units, rather than 10 for women, around the forehead.”

What Is the Best Age For Men to Start Botox? 

Determining the ideal time for Botox treatment varies from person to person, but dermatologists suggest that it’s never too early to start preventive measures. “If they tell me that people think that they look angry, I’m going to be treating their frown lines so that they no longer have those lines between their eyes,” says Dr. Cox.

How Long Does Botox Last in Men? 

The longevity of Botox results varies from person to person and depends on factors such as metabolism and muscle activity. Dr. Cox highlights the significance of achieving optimal duration: “You kind of have to take that into consideration to make sure that you’re not feminizing a male brow, as more of a straight or flat brow as opposed to an arched feminine brow. And using a larger number of units with whichever toxin you’re using just so that you achieve the best possible effect for them.” Increasing units does not equal longer duration, so injectors suggest returning for maintenance at the three to four month mark.

What Side Effects Can You Expect? 

Like any medical procedure, Botox carries potential side effects, although they are generally mild and temporary. Dr. Lal stresses the importance of careful dosing and monitoring: “I always counsel men that Botox will not ‘change’ their face, instead it will soften those coarse wrinkles that may make one look constantly angry. I also dose men lower in the beginning and have frequent close follow-up to achieve the appropriate dose and outcome.”

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