Updated: Aug 1
Remember, Botox needs to be done every 3-4 months or so--it is not a permanent solution.
If you’ve recently had Botox injected, you might be wondering what the timeline for needing more is. This article will cover some of the signs and symptoms of aging that can be lessened with Botox injections, as well as how long it takes for a Botox injection to wear off.
As we age, our muscles naturally weaken and loosen. For most people, this means a very noticeable decrease in muscle tone on their foreheads--giving us an “X” across our brows instead of a smooth line. In order to help combat this issue, Botox is usually injected into the area about every 3-4 months at regular intervals to maintain that smooth line across your brows. However, there are no hard and fast rules that will give you an exact timeframe for when you need to have Botox done. There are many different factors that go into the amount of time it takes for your Botox to wear off, including how often you use Botox, what type of muscles it is injected into, and what kind of person you are.
Now on to some of the signs and symptoms that can give you an idea of how long it will take your Botox to wear off. These signs and symptoms can all be used against you as a guideline for when your Botox should be redone, but they are not concrete rules. The best thing to do is have an open dialogue with your dermatologist so that you can figure out the timing that works best for you.
Signs of Botox wearing off:
1. Your forehead lines look less pronounced than they used to.
If you were to look at photos of yourself recently and then look 3-4 months later, your forehead lines will be much less noticeable. This is most common when you’ve had Botox just around the corner of your eyes and your eyebrows, but this can also be true in areas such as the outer corner of your eyes or the corner of your lips. This is actually a good thing because it means that more muscles are relaxing and loosening after having Botox shots. It’s helpful when deciding when to redo Botox if you see this.
2. You start to see crow’s feet around your eyes that weren’t there before.
Crow’s feet, or smile lines, are a sure sign that your Botox is beginning to wear off. This is because the muscles around the corners of your eyes are the first ones to be affected by Botox shots--those muscles should relax and loosen so that you don’t get frown lines when you smile. If you see lines developing in this area it means that your Botox is wearing off and should be redone soon.
3. Your eyebrows start to droop or go lower than they did after the actual injection of Botox into them.
Similar to the above, if your eyebrows start to lower or droop after they appear to be fairly still, it can mean that you’ll need more Botox soon. This is because Botox is usually injected into the muscles that affect how high or low your eyebrows go. If those muscles aren’t as relaxed as they used to be, your eyebrows will begin to droop and look different than before. Typically this means you should have more Botox done within a month or so of noticing this change.
4. You notice a decrease in how smooth and even your skin looks from day-to-day or from looking at photos of yourself from earlier in the week versus later in the week.
The collagen in your skin should be moving around that much that you should not be noticing a difference in it. Collagen is that protein that makes up the majority of the structure of your skin, and it should also be fairly even and smooth. If you’re noticing a change in how your skin looks, it means there are less muscles relaxing or moving around than before. If this is happening, it’s helpful to schedule another injection soon.
5. Your hair starts to thin faster than usual.
Similar to the collagen in your skin, Botox is supposed to streamline the muscles that control when you’re shedding hair. If you notice that your hair is thinning faster than it used to, it means that your Botox is not effective anymore. Another injection should be given within a month or so after noticing this problem.
6. You feel tense or uncomfortable when you smile or laugh.
If you feel more tense when smiling or laughing than you used to, it can mean there are more muscles contracting in the areas where Botox was injected in. This is another sign of Botox wearing off and will need to be redone soon. If you’re noticing this feeling more than you used to, make sure to make an appointment with your dermatologist.
7. Your eyelids droop or become puffy.
This is also similar to the crow’s feet that I mentioned before; it means that the muscles around your eyes are relaxing and losing their tightness. This can be caused by Botox wearing off, but it’s usually related to other problems that cause eyelid muscle contractions (such as glaucoma). If you notice your eyelids drooping or getting puffy, it means another injection is needed soon.
8. Your lips start to sag.
This is caused by the muscles that control your lip shape. If you notice the muscles in these areas are loosening, it can mean that it’s time for another Botox injection. If you noticed this happening last year but your lips didn't sag much after the treatment, it can mean that your Botox has worn off more than usual, so schedule another appointment at your next regular checkup or visit.
9. You start to see lines on your face or noticed wrinkles appearing around the eyes--especially in areas where your Botox was injected in previously.
This is yet another sign that you’ve had Botox shots too long and need to reschedule your next appointment. At this point, if you notice wrinkles appearing around the eyes or deep creases on your forehead, it means that your Botox has worn off more than usual. As with the drooping eyelids, make sure to schedule an appointment at your next regular checkup or visit.
10. Your eyebrows are not as lifted as they were before.
Botox is supposed to relax the muscles around your eyebrows, allowing them to lift up and off of your forehead effectively. If you notice that the muscles are contracting more often or that your eyebrows are not lifting up as much, you’ll want to have another injection within a month or so after noticing this change. This can be tricky because it may seem like they are lifting more, but if you look at photos from before, they aren’t actually doing so. This means it may be time for another injection of Botox.
If you notice any of these changes and/or you feel like more Botox is needed, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist as soon as possible. Remember, Botox needs to be done every 3-4 months or so--it is not a permanent solution. If it is working as effectively as normal (and not wearing off too quickly), it can continue to help reduce wrinkles and fine lines for years to come!