Why My Botox Didn’t Work For Me

Why didn't my botox work?
Botox is the single most popular cosmetic procedure in the world, and it’s no wonder.  Botox injections are quick, relatively painless, comparatively inexpensive, and most importantly, Botox works.  Except  when it doesn’t.

Although it’s extremely rare, some people have had Botox treatments that didn’t work or didn’t last for the expected duration of 3-4 months.  Why?

It’s Been 2 Days!  Why Isn’t My Botox Working?

Botox takes 5-10 days to take effect.  Sure, the temptation is to stare at your face the next day looking for signs of improvement, but as they say, a watched pot never boils.  Give the Botox time to do its magic.

Did I Get a Bad Batch of Botox?

The most common cause of ineffective Botox treatments is probably old or stale Botox.  Botox is so temperature sensitive that it is actually shipped overnight on dry ice.  It must be kept cold, or it loses its effectiveness.

If the shipment is delayed or damaged, the Botox could be compromised.  If the receptionist forgets to put the Botox in the fridge, it could be compromised.  If the fridge is too warm, the product might be compromised.  If the injector forgets to put Botox back into the fridge or leaves it sitting out too long between patients, it could be compromised.  As you can see, there are many opportunities for Botox to “go bad.”  These scenarios don’t mean that the Botox is dangerous, and it might even still work, but it won’t last as long.

But wait!  There’s yet another way for Botox to lose its magic powers.  Botox is shipped as a dry, white powder in a tiny vial.  The provider injects saline into the vial to activate the medicine and create, or constitute, an injectable liquid.  Once the Botox is mixed with saline, it is good for about 7 days (if kept cold).

Sadly, some providers may cheat to save money and use older Botox instead of throwing it out.  Again, it’s not dangerous, but the effects will be minimized and not last as long.  When choosing a Botox provider, use the same thought process as you do when choosing a restaurant.  The busier the place, the more likely the goods are to be fresh.

Did I Get Enough Botox?

Botox is measured in units.  Stronger muscles need more units.  Therefore, you need more Botox between your eyebrows than in your crow’s feet and less in your upper lip area than on your forehead, etc.  Some people have naturally stronger muscles and need more units than the average person.  Men will require more units than women because their muscles are typically bigger and stronger.

If you are seeing an injector for the first time, he or she may over or under estimate the number of units that you need.  If possible, keep track of how many units you receive in each area at every appointment so that you’ll know what typically works for you when visiting a new provider.

Does Having a Fast Metabolism or Working Out Often Make Botox Not Last?

There is no evidence that being thin and fit is ever a bad thing, even when it comes to Botox.  While rumors abound that a high metabolism may decrease the amount of time that Botox lasts, it just has not been proven.

Am I Immune to Botox?

While most doctors dispute the possibility of anyone developing an immunity to Botox, Allergan (the makers of Botox) have gone on record to say that, yes, it is possible.  Unlikely, but not impossible.

Botox is a protein complex and in some patients the body’s immune system responds by producing antibodies capable of breaking down the protein complex.  This is more of a concern in patients who are receiving large doses of Botox in areas of the body other than the face for medical conditions such as cervical dystonia, and even that is extremely rare.  Rare as in super rare, about 1 to 3%.  But still, technically, it could happen.

You can minimize the risk of immunity by getting the lowest possible effective dose of Botox at the longest feasible intervals.

Is My Injector Just Bad?

Botox should be injected into the muscles that you want to be less active.  If Botox is injected into the skin, and not into the muscle, it will not be as effective.  If Botox is not injected into quite the correct areas or muscles, it will not be as effective.  Your injector is not bad, but perhaps inexperienced.  Always trust your face to a highly trained and experienced professional.

Botox results, when effective, are hard to beat.  To maximize your chances for success, make sure to:

  • Wait several days for Botox to take effect.
  • Ask your provider about the date the Botox was mixed and ask to touch the outside of the vial to see if it’s cold.  Visit a busy practice.
  • Keep track of the units you receive in each area so that you’ll know what typically works for you.
  • Not get too much Botox too often
  • Visit a highly trained and experienced injector.


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About Victoria Strander

Writes about the latest beauty procedures. Her articles are available for syndication. Use Contact Page for inquiries.


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