What is Botox® and how does it work?

What is Botox® and how does it work?


Botox is a toxin produced in nature by the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum. The toxin is used to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles by relaxing overactive facial muscles. While botulinum toxin is found in nature as a toxin the product we use in aesthetic treatments is a purified version free from contaminants and used in very small doses.

How popular is it as a treatment?

Botox is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment worldwide with 5,145,189 botox® treatments carried out in 2013. 87% of people having treatment are women but there are also many men having treatment too and this number is increasing.

Is it safe?

Botulinum toxin was first used medically in 1950 and it has been used in cosmetics since 1991 with an excellent record of safety.

How does it work?

Botulinum toxin blocks the messaging system used to tell muscles to contract. This leads to temporary weakening in the muscle lasting about 16 weeks. Repeat injections of the toxin approximately every three months are required to maintain the desired effect. The effects of botulinum toxin treatment are not instant, you will start to notice a difference about 5 days later with maximum results visible at two weeks.

Studies have shown that with repeated treatments the effects build-up meaning that you need less toxin, less frequently to achieve the same results.

A smoothing of wrinkles will be apparent after the first treatment but the longer the skin over the muscle is free of stimulation the greater the effect.

The aim of botox is NOT to freeze the face but to gently smooth lines and give you a refreshed, rejuvenated appearance.

What areas of the face are usually treated?

  • Crows feet, the lines around the eyes usually formed by squinting, smiling and sun exposure
  • Forehead lines
  • Frown lines, the vertical and horizontal lines between the eyebrows
  • Jaw slimming/ treatments to teeth grinding