Whether it’s on our faces or hanging in our closets, investments are worth preserving.
Cosmetic procedures need to be maintained if they’re going to keep staving off those pesky effects of aging. Every treatment, from surgery to injections, facial to body treatments. Post-surgery guidelines help ensure you heal properly with minimal scarring, and the 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. And for treatments like fillers and botox (botulinum toxin) injections, post-treatment protocol will help make sure you get the best and longest lasting results.
There’s plenty of bad advice out there on how to make botox last longer–we’re looking at you, ‘you have to sleep sitting up.’ To help separate fact from fiction, we asked top doctors how to make botox last as long as possible.
Practice sun safety.
Botox Injections and Sun Exposure Don’t Mix
“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.
Make Botox Last Longer with Healthy Skin
“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.
Regular Treatment Creates Muscle Memory
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.
How to Make Botox Results Last with Supplements
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.
Facial Treatment Combinations for Lasting Results
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.
Take Sleep Seriously to Reduce Lines
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: SHHH Silk Pillowcase ($85) which zippers to keep the baby-soft fabric from bunching.
Quality Botox Results Need Good Sleep
Minimizing stress can help ensure the longevity your treatments, as well as generally stave off the effects of aging. long 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.*