What Is “Baby Botox”? Plastic Surgeons Explain the New Trend in Injectables
Original Article By Macaela Mackenzie.
“Baby Botox” (which doesn’t actually involve babies — phew!), might just be the future of injectables.
Simply put, “Baby Botox” uses a lower volume of Botox (a.k.a. botulinum toxin injections) than a traditional injection to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. “Instead of using 25 units in an area, you may use 10 units,” Melissa Doft, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City, tells Allure. “I have many patients who ask for half the normal dose, as they do not want to look frozen but are tired of wrinkles in photos. First-time Botox patients are perfect for this.”
Besides the volume of product used, Baby Botox is about the technique, says Doris Day, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and author of Beyond Beautiful. “If you’re very precise in where you put the product, you can use lower doses,” she tells Allure. These super targeted micro injections deliver the more natural, tailored look Baby Botox is so coveted for.
As compared to standard-size injections, Baby Botox lowers the risk of your features appearing to be frozen. Take the forehead, for example: “The risk is that you weaken your frontalis muscle, which causes your eyebrows to drop,” Darren Smith, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City, tells Allure. “If you’re getting micro doses of Botox, that’s a lot less likely to happen.”
Baby Botox can be used pretty much anywhere on your face, but it’s best to create subtle changes or to erase fine lines. “Something like this is especially nice for an area like the crow’s feet, which is a very delicate area where a subtle treatment is more effective,” explains Smith. “If someone has very deep folds, micro Botox probably isn’t going to cut it. I would offer this to someone with moderate to fine lines.”
Here’s everything you need to know about Baby Botox.
This is not a one-size-fits-all injection.
Botox often gets a bad rep for leaving patients looking a little frozen, but that’s the fault of bad technique, not necessarily the procedure itself, explains Day. “In many places where it’s not a trained aesthetic physician doing the injection, it’s really just inject by number,” she says. The problem with this is that no two faces, or even two sides of a face, are the same. “That cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all approach is what often gives these treatments a bad name,” says Day.
Baby Botox takes the exact opposite approach. The goal of the teeny targeted injections is all about personalization. “For me, the goal of Botox is to rebalance and restore the face so you look your most beautiful best,” says Day. “I’m so over that look of sameness.”
Of course, for your most tailored look you might need a bigger dose. When considering Baby Botox, keep in mind, “The lower dose of Botox may not remove all of the lines,” says Doft. “Sometimes patients will try the lower dose first, and if in two weeks they do not see enough improvement, we will invite them back to have the full dose.”
It can be used to prevent lines.
The subtle nature of Baby Botox makes it perfect for those hoping to prevent lines in the first place by starting treatment in their 20s. “Baby Botox is designed for patients who are on the younger end of the spectrum of Botox users who wish to prevent the formation of wrinkles,” says Doft.
The idea is to prevent wrinkles before they form by using Botox to manipulate the way wrinkle-causing muscles move, explains Day. “My goal is to watch how you animate and how your face is aging and redirect it.” In other words, Baby Botox can help you hold onto your baby face.
It can be a subtler way to maintain results.
Baby Botox can also be used as an upkeep strategy. “I really think of it as small maintenance doses of Botox over time instead of standard doses given at three- to six-month intervals,” says Smith. “The other term that describes this well is ‘tweakment’ — subtle changes done over a longer period of time using lower doses of product at each treatment.”
Instead of letting your injection totally wear off after three to six months, monthly Baby Botox injections, which use about a quarter of a standard dose, can maintain the original look. Think of it as a bangs trim between haircuts.
If making monthly injection appointments doesn’t seem feasible, you might want to forego Baby Botox in favor of a traditional dose of Botox every three to six months, says Smith.
It’s potentially cheaper.
Using less product should mean spending less money, right? Maybe, but not necessarily.
In some practices, the cost of the actual product determines the price, but in others, “The cost of the treatment is based on the skill set, not the product,” says Day. In other words, seeing a trained aesthetic physician, who has the time and technique to give you tailored, micro injections, might actually be more costly than larger, more formulaic doses.
Before going under the needle, it’s important to understand the pricing structure so you don’t end up spending a fortune, stresses Smith. Monthly micro doses could end up costing you more than standard-size injections every three to six months. Talk to your doc about a Baby Botox strategy before getting injected.