You’ve done your research, found a board-certified doctor and set up an appointment for injectable wrinkle-reducers (such as Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, Xeomin, Jeuveau or Daxxify). But before heading to your appointment, experts say to steer clear of these 14 things to make the most of your treatment.
Don’t: Plan a Vacation the Next Day
“Although getting a ‘refresher’ while on vacation or on a girls’ weekend away may sound great, if you have any issues or concerns from your injectables, you want to be able to see the provider who performed your treatment,” says Concord, CA plastic surgeon Eric Mariotti, MD. “Although uncommon, complications can happen and it is best to stay local a few days after your treatment to be properly assessed.”
Montclair, NJ dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD adds that another main reason to avoid planning a getaway right after your injections is because of the risk of bruising and swelling that could interfere with you properly enjoying your vacay.
Don’t: Go in With Unrealistic Expectations
“It is very important before getting injections to not set unrealistic expectations for yourself,” explains Scottsdale, AZ facial plastic surgeon Kelly Bomer, MD. “Be sure to share with the expert injector you have chosen what exactly you are expecting from the injections. It is important to understand that the neuromodulators and fillers do not erase wrinkles. Neuromodulators reduce muscular contractions and help to gradually reduce wrinkles, especially in combination with medical-grade skin care and skin treatments. They also can prevent the formation of wrinkles if started early when a patient is in their mid to late 20s and early 30s. Where there are already wrinkles in the skin, neuromodulators can help reduce and sometimes remove the wrinkles when done in combination with filler when a patient enters their more mature years, mid-30’s and up. But, the only way to become wrinkle-free is to apply medical grade skin care daily and engage in medical grade skin treatments 3-8 times per year in conjunction with injections.”
Don’t: Schedule Your Appointment Right Before Nap Time
New York facial plastic surgeon Lee Ann Klausner, MD also urges patients to not schedule their appointments at a time that would overlap with a nice nap or a trip to the yoga studio, too. “I always tell patients not to lie down immediately after injections or do activities like yoga that involve inversion,” she explains. “This can cause migration of injections further than desired.”
Don’t: Shop by Price
“There are many medical spas that use low-quality products like diluted toxins that are injected by shift-working providers,” says New York plastic surgeon Daniel Y. Maman, MD. “Choose a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon to do your injections.”
Also, not all fillers cost the same. “Lower priced fillers tend to be older, more generic, and last only six months,” says Dr. Maman. “The newer, more specific fillers can last more than one year and typically cost at least twice as much.”
“I always tell my patients that if you buy a cheap pair of shoes and they hurt your feet you can remove the shoes, but clearly it is not the same with your face,” adds Dr. Downie, “Many offices may purchase their fillers from unauthorized vendors that sell counterfeit or expired products, and experience and training always matter when you are injecting both filler and Botox.”
Don’t: Over-Book Yourself
As with any injectable, “you always run the risk of bruising and swelling,” says Prospect, KY dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD. “So, make sure you don’t have a major commitment following your injection appointment.”
New York facial plastic surgeon Dilip D. Madnani, MD adds that it’s important to keep your schedule clear because you might need a tweak or touch-up after your appointment. “These are typically done at the two week mark,” he notes.
Don’t: Take Blood Thinners
Dr. Madnani says it’s important to avoid blood thinners—think Asprin, Motrin, Advil, viamin E or fish oil—a few days before your injectable treatment. “This will improve the healing process and help avoid excess bruising,” says the doctor.
Do: Skip Happy Hour
Remember: Alcohol—particularly red wine—and caffeine also act as a blood thinners, so Delray Beach, FL facial plastic surgeon Miguel Mascaro, MD and New York facial plastic surgeon Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD recommend avoiding them 12 hours prior to your appointment. Along those same lines, Houston, TX plastic surgeon Olga Bachilo, MD recommends avoiding salt too. “Your face may be more puffy than usual after consuming a high quantity of alcohol or salt and therefore you may have certain areas not addressed or under-corrected during treatment,” she says. “Also, excessive alcohol can make you bruise more than normal after injectable treatment.”
Don’t: Forget to Bring Photos
“Don’t forget to bring the photos illustrating what you would want to accomplish with the injection,” says Dr. Vasyukevich. “You may not look exactly like the photo, but it could be a great way to show your preferences.”
Don’t: Wear Makeup to Your Appointment
Before any injections, your doctor will analyze your face and clean the skin with alcohol or an antiseptic to avoid any risk of infection. For this reason, Westborough, MA facial plastic surgeon Min S. Ahn, MD asks his patients to show up for their appointment makeup-free. “There’s no substitute for a freshly washed, makeup-free face as the starting canvas for your treatment,” adds Wayne, NJ facial plastic surgeon Jeffrey B. Wise, MD. Dr. Downie agrees; “I urge patients to only wear light sunscreen and moisturizer, but never any makeup.”
Rochester, NY dermatologist Lesley Loss, MD also agrees, saying “having clean skin to start will not only save time, but also ensure nothing gets under your skin besides the product.”
Don’t: Skip the Conversation
It is crucial to have a comprehensive conversation with your physician before undergoing treatment, ensuring the following questions are discussed: What are the specific concerns that bring you in today? What are your priorities from most important to least important? Is there a specific event—such as a wedding—in the near future for which you’re choosing to have a treatment today? Is an injectable actually the best treatment choice for the concern at hand? Being open and honest with your doctor will help ensure a favorable outcome.
Don’t: Exercise Rigorously
Dr. Madnani suggests skipping your sweat session within 24 hours after your treatment. If you don’t want to take the day off, “plan ahead and hit the gym first or make sure to cross any post-[injectable] sweat sessions out of your calendar altogether,” says Dr. Wise. Similarly, Dr. Downie advises patients not to exercise for a full 48 hours after injections to be safe.
Don’t: Get Too Many at Once
“Remember: too much of a good thing is not always better,” says Dr. Vasyukevich. “Many people feel very uncomfortable when the change is too drastic and are much better off with a gradual approach to cosmetic enhancements.”
Don’t: Overlook the Cost
An important know-before-you-go is the cost of treatment. Botox Cosmetic typically lasts three to five months and an average treatment costs between $300 and $600, while prices for different injectables will vary based on your needs and location. Depending on the type of filler used and the location of treatment, fillers last between six and 24 months. The average cost for a syringe of filler is between $500 and $800.
Don’t: Visit the Dentist Before Your Treatment
“Getting dental work done, including standard cleanings, can significantly increase your risk of bacterial infections,” says Dr. Wise. “Thus, if you’re planning on plumping your lips, make sure to plan for at least a week between your filler appointment and dentist visit.”
Don’t: Ignore Your Medical History
Charlotte, NC dermatologist Gilly Munavalli, MD adds that it’s crucial to let your doctor know if you plan to get a vaccine (Influenza, Shingles, COVID-19) close to treatment time. “They may want to you hold on your injection appointment in the case of dermal fillers for two weeks after the vaccine, he says. “It’s also important to keep track of the type of fillers you have had and where they are placed. In the event of a delayed inflammatory reaction, that information can help guide treatment, which may include dissolving the filler. The doctor should keep accurate records of this information and you, of course, should have access to those records for your own medical filers. There is good published evidence that fillers can last fo more than five years, so even if a reaction happens down the line, your information can help make a difference!”
New York plastic surgeon Mokhtar Asaadi, MD adds a few other precautions: “If you have a facial infection, a cold sore, a sebaceous cyst, a history of allergic reactions to previous filler treatments or you are pregnant, stray away from receiving fillers.”
Don’t: Exfoliate Your Lips
“Do not exfoliate your lips prior to lip injections,” says Dr. Loss. “Exfoliating can increase sensitivity to not only the injector’s needle, but also to the numbing cream applied before your treatment.”