How to Make Injectable Wrinkle-Reducers Last Longer: 8 Expert-Approved Tips

How to Make Injectable Wrinkle-Reducers Last Longer: 8 Expert-Approved Tips featured image
Photo Credits: svetikd / Getty Images

Whether it’s on our faces or hanging in our closets, investments are worth preserving. As such, cosmetic procedures need to be maintained if they’re going to keep staving off those pesky effects of aging. Pre- and post-treatment guidelines help ensure you heal properly with the best possible results. Case in point: Recommendations to remain out of the sun after a chemical peel or microneedling keep you safe from dangerous UV radiation while your skin is vulnerable. For treatments like fillers and neurotoxins such as Botox Cosmetic, Xeomin, Dysport, Daxxify and Jeuveau, post-treatment protocols will help make sure you get the best and longest-lasting results.

There’s plenty of bad advice out there on how to make neurotoxins last longer. To help separate fact from fiction, we asked top doctors how to make your neurotoxins last as long as possible.

Featured Experts

  • Marina Peredo, MD is a dermatologist in New York
  • Daniel J. Liebertz, MD is a facial plastic surgeon in Kirkland, WA
  • Francesca Lewis, MD is a dermatologist in Delray beach, FL
  • Robert Anolik, MD is a dermatologist in New York

Prep for your appointment

Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Francesca Lewis, MD says prepping for the best neurotoxin results actually begins before you step foot in your doctor’s office. And that starts with avoiding anything that will thin your blood—this can lead to bruising—including alcohol. “Alcohol can make you bleed more easily, so avoid that for a few days before your appointment,” she says, along with aspirin ibuprofen, vitamin E and fish oil. “If people are big on supplements, vitamin E and fish oil are two that will also make you bleed more.” If you’re unable to skip aspirin, that’s OK, says Dr. Lewis, just be prepared for a little more bleeding.

Take the first 24 hours seriously

The first 24 to 48 hours after your neurotoxin treatment are pivotal to ensure your investment lasts as long as possible, says Dr. Lewis, who says to avoid heavy exercise for 24 hours after your injections. “Avoid any very exertional exercise where your heart rate is going to kick up,” she says. Another no: flying. “It’s all theoretical, but the gravity, the altitude, it might affect the distribution of the neurotoxin. We don’t want the Botox to diffuse,” she says. Finally, avoid stretching or yoga where you’ll be in upside down position for 24 hours after, “as we don’t want it to diffuse downward.”

Practice sun safety

Neurotoxins and sun exposure don’t exactly mix, experts say. “The number-one culprit for Botox and filler not lasting as long as it should is smoking and excessive sun exposure,” says New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD. “Patients who smoke or are constantly in the sun have a tendency to break down collagen faster because they have an enzyme called collagenase and the Botox will not last as long,” explains the doctor.

“Patients should try to avoid smoking and always wear sunscreen to extend the results of Botox,” continues Dr. Peredo. While completely staying out of the sun may be out of the question for some, Kirkland, WA facial plastic surgeon Daniel J. Liebertz, MD says to definitely avoid it at peak UV times during the day. Both doctors agree using an SPF of at least 30 every day is a non-negotiable. 

Use the right skin care

“If you’re starting with skin that’s healthy, your Botox and fillers will last longer,” contends Dr. Peredo. Her medicine-cabinet recommendations include products that contain retinol, hyaluronic acid, peptides and antioxidants. “Having good skin care will also help extend your results. I recommend using products that promote collagen to strengthen the skin,” she says. Ones to try: SkinBetter Science AlphaRet Overnight Cream ($125) and SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator ($120). 

Be consistent with maintenance

According to Dr. Peredo, her patients with regular toxin appointments will develop muscle memory in the treated areas and “eventually end up looking flawless.” Another key component to loving your injectable wrinkle-reducer’s results? Ensuring you’re seeing a professional who understands the science—and art—of injections. “Appropriate dosing of the toxin to the muscle will ensure a full three-month treatment,” says Dr. Liebertz.

Load up on zinc

New York dermatologist Robert Anolik, MD says that although it’s not shown in multiple or large studies, some argue Botox Cosmetic may have longer-lasting effects when paired with zinc supplements. “There have been a few studies that show that taking zinc can extend the results of neurotoxin injections,” explains Dr. Peredo, noting it is sometimes known as the “Botox Booster.”

“The general consensus is that [taking zinc] will not make a difference,” says Dr. Anolik, “but I support someone trying it if done safely as part of a multivitamin regimen. I caution people not to take excessive amounts of zinc as anything good for you can be harmful in too great a supply.”

Consider combination treatments

Dr. Peredo says that in her experience, combining neuromodulators with different treatments can contribute to fillers and neurotoxins lasting longer. Some favorite add-on treatments from Dr. Peredo: Clear + Brilliant for younger patients, and Secret RF (microneedling with radiofrequency) for more mature skin.

“For the upper face, such as the forehead, I like to use a combination of Botox and filler,” she says, explaining the filler will help to relax the muscle as well as make the neurotoxin last longer. “For the lower face, such as the neck area and around the eyes, I like to use a Firmatherapy treatment, which is a combination of Ultherapy, fillers and neurotoxins, which helps the Botox last longer, too,” says Dr. Peredo.

As always, a conversation with your board certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon will help determine the best course of action for you. 

Snooze carefully

While needing to sleep upright is an post-Botox myth, sleeping on your back isn’t. Dr. Peredo recommends using a silk pillowcase, too, which she says will help minimize lines and creases on the face and neck. Our go-to: Slip Pure Silk Pillowcases ($89), which zipper to keep the baby-soft fabric from bunching. 

Chill out

Minimizing stress can help ensure the longevity of your treatments, as well as generally stave off the effects of aging. Along with a well-balanced diet, Dr. Peredo says a lack of stress and full eight hours of sleep every night will help keep levels of cortisol down. “Excess cortisol can cause an inflammatory cascade and a breakdown of collagen, fillers and Botox.” *Cue the self-care playlist.*

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