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 • Skincare  • Aesthetics Guides  • How Long After Your Appointment Does it *Really* Take for Botox to Work?

How Long After Your Appointment Does it *Really* Take for Botox to Work?

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Botox can be pretty effective at reducing the effects of ageing, like fine lines and wrinkles, but it does take *some* time and patience before you’ll see results.

It’s completely normal for patients to have to wait a bit before Botox makes a huge difference when it comes to reducing wrinkle appearance. But how long does it really take for Botox to start working?

We spoke with board-certified dermatologists Dr William Kwan and Dr Alexander Zuriarrain to find out the exact timeline for Botox and how long you’ll have to wait to see the muscle-freezing results.


Increasing dependence on injections of hyaluronic acid, botox and collagen. Syringe and ampoules on a pink background.

Image – Andrii Zastrozhnov/Adobe


What is Botox and how does it work?

Botox works by blocking chemical signals in your nerves so that muscles stop moving. This happens because Botox stops acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter that plays a role in muscle movement) from being released.

This, in turn, stops wrinkles like crow’s feet and 11 lines from forming in the first place. Botox also helps to smooth the skin, making wrinkles and fine lines appear less prominent.


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Image – Svitlana/Adobe


How long does it take for Botox to work?

According to Dr Kwan, “The onset of Botox’s effects can vary from person to person.

“Typically, you may start noticing some changes within a few days, but the full effect may take up to 1-2 weeks to become apparent.”

Many patients may notice some changes in the appearance of wrinkles on the face after only five days. But patients really should wait two weeks to be sure that they’re seeing the full results of treatment.

Dr Kwan adds that “if you have any concerns about the progress or results, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation.”

Dr Zuriarrain – a quadruple board certified MD who founded Zuri Plastic Surgery in Miami – backs this up and adds, “The full effect of Botox usually takes between 10 to 14 days to see after injection.

He also tells us that you can expect your “Botox to typically last approximately 3 to 4 months. This all depends on the patient.”


Why does it take Botox time to work?

Botox starts to have an effect once the injected muscles in the face stop releasing acetylcholine.

It takes some time for the acetylcholine that is already being released by the muscles to become used up, once those muscles stop contracting, the lines or wrinkles release, resulting in an improved appearance of the skin. This is why patients don’t get to see the full effect of Botox right away.

The amount of time it takes to see the full results of Botox can depend on a few factors. These include the thickness of the skin on the face and the strength of a patient’s facial muscles.


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How to get the best results from your Botox

There are plenty of things you can do before and after yo get your Botox to ensure that you enjoy the best results possible.

Healthline says “Generally, on the day you get Botox, it’s a good idea to:

  • gently exercise your face
  • relax for the rest of the day
  • maintain a normal heart rate
  • avoid touching, rubbing, or physical pressure on the affected area
  • leave the treated area alone”

It’s also a good idea to avoid makeup for 24 hours after your appointment, avoid other skin treatments, stay out of the sun, avoid lying down or sleeping on the affected areas, and avoid very hot showers, baths or hot tubs.

Dr Zuriarrain says “it is very important to avoid putting any pressure on your face. You can unintentionally put pressure at the injection site which will spread the Botox causing unintended cosmetic outcomes. Do not apply any pressure for 24 hours.”

In addition, patients should also make sure that they don’t do any workouts for at least 24 hours after the procedure. 

Dr Zurriarrain also advises against alcohol consumption after Botox. Both alcohol consumption and the use of NSAID medications like Aspirin can aggravate bruising after Botox. “To avoid bruising you should also avoid excessive alcohol consumption and the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (eg. ibuprofen) for 24 hours,” he tells LTG HQ.

If you’re recovering from Botox and you want some relief from bruising, you should use arnica cream. Make sure to carefully schedule any facial treatments you undergo around Botox treatments. It’s recommended for patients to avoid facials for at least two weeks after they’ve had Botox done. 

Follow all these recommendations after Botox and you’ll enjoy the best possible results as quickly as possible. It’s important to schedule Botox carefully around your workout and facial schedule so that you don’t inadvertently put your Botox success at risk. 


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The takeaway

Botox is a really popular treatment because it is one of the best ways to smooth out wrinkles on the face. Just don’t be impatient and get dissatisfied while you’re waiting a week or two to enjoy full results from the treatment.

Once you see the full effects of Botox, you’ll get to enjoy the results for months afterwards. Botox is a simple, non-invasive procedure that doesn’t require surgery and, over time, you can customise your Botox treatment to your unique needs.

You can schedule repeat Botox treatments around once every four to six months to enjoy constant results and to reduce the appearance of wrinkles over the long term!


Meet the experts

Dr William Kwan is a board-certified dermatologist at Lasky Skin Center in Beverly Hills.


Alexander Zuriarrain, MD, FACS is quadruple board-certified in Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, Facial Cosmetic Surgery and General Surgery.


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Senior Beauty Editor

Laura Kemp started her journalism career as a news reporter for one of the largest newspaper groups in Europe before moving into features and editorial writing. Combining her love of hard-hitting journalism with her passion for beauty, she’s now Senior Beauty Editor at Live That Glow. When she’s not writing, researching, or interviewing her favourite experts, you’ll find Laura practicing her downward dog or drifting on her paddleboard.

Expertise: Hair care, nails
Education: University of Salford

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