What’s Unexpectedly Ruining Your Botox

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The sun gets a bad rap for so many skin-aging issues, and now there might be a new negative side effect to add to the list: The cause behind Botox breaking down. Here, the experts debate this snag in anti-aging—and make the case for one more reason you need to be wearing sunscreen.

It might make it metabolize quicker.
According to New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD, at certain times, a patient may metabolize Botox quicker than other times—meaning, it doesn’t last as long as it had in the past. “There may be many factors responsible for this, one of which is ultraviolet exposure, which increases the metabolism of Botox,” she says.

You May Also Like: I Got My First Botox Injections at 28 and Here’s What It Was Like

It’s the loss collagen that’s doing the damage.
“The sun does not directly affect Botox,” says New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD. “It’s the UV radiation inducing collagenase in fibroblasts, which in time causes degradation of collagen. This is what leads to lines and wrinkles.” One thing Dr. Peredo says she does see shorten the duration of injectables at certain times: Concomitant treatments (procedures performed at the same time, such as lasers), when performed in the same area on the face.

Either way, you need SPF.
Regardless of whether or not you are worried about your injectable treatments having a shorter span because of the sun, the American Academy of Dermatology stands by its recommendation that you should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or higher, every day, rain or shine.

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