How Much Botox Do I Need? Hint: It Depends On Your Muscles…

An aesthetician shows a brochure to a patient while explaining a procedure.

Back in the day, when medical aesthetics was getting its footing, providers would inject based solely on the area of concern. For example, there was a certain number of “units” associated with freezing the forehead, so you’d be administered that amount, and then they’d send you on your wrinkle-free-ish way.

However, as with any specialty, Botox-injecting clinicians are advancing and learning as we go. Nowadays, providers—such as ours here at Mint & Needle—are starting to move away from thinking about treatment in units or single area.

Instead, we focus on an evaluation of each individual patient’s anatomy (AKA your facial muscles), and then we inject accordingly.

Your Unique Muscles

Your face, like any other part of your body, is unique. Your muscles might be naturally stronger or weaker, or some muscles can be more or less pronounced depending on your facial features. Those diagrams of muscles or bones you see in doctor’s offices are just that—diagrams. Real live people all have anatomies with characteristics as different as our personalities.

Our muscles work synergistically together, with muscles either serving as depressors or elevators. If we inject one area but neglect another, we can cause compensation from the other muscles. We don’t want that. With muscle compensation, you could lose that natural look you’re going for. Put simply, correctly-done-Botox should involve a thorough evaluation of your face and muscles.

Results Over Units

In the Botox clinical trials, they used 64 units for the upper face for a three- to four-month duration. This doesn't mean you will automatically get 64 units for your anti-wrinkle goals, but this does give us a good reference point: some people need fewer units and others will need more.

Rather than giving everyone 10 or 20 units in the forehead to start, Mint & Needle clinicians will examine your muscles to determine their tension, size, and potential response to Botox. Then we will adjust your treatment based on muscle strength, facial structure, and past history of anti-wrinkle use and results. Why? Because some Minted Beauties may not benefit from as many units in the lower forehead, because their structure might put them at risk of Botox causing brow heaviness (just one example). 

Think of it like this: When your primary care doctor prescribes a certain dose of a medicine for your particular illness, they factor in things like your age, weight, and your unique diagnosis. Just like you wouldn’t want to be underdosed for your illness, you wouldn’t want your injector to underdose your Botox, because you would end up with suboptimal results. Your medical aesthetics providers should approach your treatment with all your individual attributes in mind.

When you are seen at our Mint & Needle office, we evaluate, treat, and reassess after the treatment has settled. Sometimes we find that with one anti-wrinkle medication, we are not seeing the longevity or the desired results, so we will adjust. Our providers may switch it up or increase the dose, because dose equals duration. If you are unhappy with your anti-wrinkle duration, you can talk to your provider about increasing the dose or trying another product (or both).

So how does this approach create different results for you? Basically, they’re better: you’ll see the benefits of decreased wrinkles and increased smoothness without looking “frozen,” asymmetrical, or unnatural.

The next time you hear someone offering Botox only based on units, you know better, Minted Beauty! When your provider is focused on your full-face results, we bet you’ll be much happier with your outcome. And if you’re interested in getting to know a results-based provider, feel free to book an appointment with us today.