Site Logotype
Dermal Fillers

When Does Botox Start to Work?

Do not expect to see wrinkles vanish immediately after botulinum toxin injection. The toxin takes time to be absorbed and prevents facial movements for a complete result. This blog highlights factors affecting how long the anti-wrinkle treatment takes to work by explaining what Botox is and when the effects of the injections occur.

Botulinum toxin treatment is mainly used to improve facial complexity by eliminating pronounced wrinkles and folds. However, it can reduce the impact of certain complications that affect a patient’s muscular system. Moreover, the cosmetic procedure is quick, painless, and provides an immediate result that lasts for months.However, the time required for the customer to notice mere changes or full results depends on various factors, such as the depth of wrinkles.  Some patients notice improved effects two days after the injections, while others take a week or a month.

When Do Botox Injections Take Effect?

Botulinum toxin injection is a quick procedure that provides an immediate result depending on various factors.  Most patients merely notice the softening of facial wrinkles 3 to 5 days after the cosmetic treatment.  However, the maximum result completely manifests after 14 to 30 days.  Unfortunately, the treatment’s result is temporary because body mechanisms gradually metabolise the neurotoxins.  Therefore, botulinum toxin effects last for 3 to 12 months, depending on the depth of wrinkles and the amount injected.

What is Botox?

Botulinum toxin treatments are used to administer cosmetic and medical treatments. It is arguably an effective technique to reduce facial wrinkles and deep-rooted lines by injecting a well-diluted amount of botulinum toxin into patients’ facial muscles. According toSatriyasa(2019), the botulinum neurotoxin binds with certain compounds in the nervous system to block the signalling of electrical impulses to facial muscles.As a result, the muscles relax, making the facial surfaces smoother. Some of the facial areas that cosmetic injections can treat include:

  • Pronounced horizontal lines on the forehead
  • Frown line
  • Crow’s feet
  • Deep-rooted nasolabial lines

Khalil et al. (2014) explained that the Food Standard Agency (FSA) approved the use of the neurotoxin in treating the following complications:

  • Cervical dystonia. This conditioncontracts the neck muscles and twists the head intoan uncomfortable position
  • Overactive bladder
  • Migraine
  • Excessive sweating due to muscular disorders

Factors Affecting How Long Botulinum Toxin Treatments Start to Work

Patients respond to medications differently. Some will take a few minutes to benefit from the drug, while others hours.The period botulinum toxin treatment takes to relax facial muscles completely can depend on the following factors:

Recovery Period

Botulinum toxininjections are considered safe by FSA. However,they can be accompanied by mild side effects like bruising, swelling, and skin redness. However, the negative effects decrease within 2 to 4 days after the injection. In rare occasions, the swelling and bruising can prolong for a week or two, depending on the professionality of the aesthetic doctor and the patient’s lifestyle. These effects interfere with the interaction of the toxin with the muscle’s nerve structure.Therefore the more time a patient takes to recover from the bruises, the longer the improved facial result starts to manifest. According toWerner et al. (2014), you can hasten the recovery period by adhering to the following aftercare tips:

  • Stay hydrated since water is essential in boosting the body’s healing process
  • Stay in a cool environment without doing extreme exercises. Heat and increased blood flow caused by extreme exercises can worsen swelling.
    Don’tapply makeup for at least 24 hours after the injection
  • Avoid consuming alcohol and blood-thinning medications like Aspirin for the next two days since they can delay the healing process.
  • Don’t fly for a week since the air pressure in planes worsens
  • Sleep with your head elevated to avoid applying pressure on the injection site.

The Amount and Frequency of Injection

The amount of neurotoxin injected into facial muscles can also determine the period required for the toxin to settle. However, the amount injected depends on the depth of the facial fillers and how frequently you receive the treatment.Therefore people with deep-rooted facial lines will have a prolonged period to see the full result of the anti-wrinkle treatment. Additionally, the frequencyat which the patient receives the treatment can affect the longevity of botulinum toxin treatments. The more the treatment is done, the more likely the toxin will take less time to settle.

Professionality of the Aesthetic Doctor

Choosing a highly skilled and experienced doctor for the treatment is crucial since wrongly placed neurotoxins can take time to settle and cause serious complications and side effects.Before venturing into cosmetic treatments, you can review other customers’ comments and ratings about the practitioner.

The Area Being Treated

Constant facial muscle movement causesdifferent magnitudes of wrinkles and folds in various areas. For instance, forehead lines are more pronounced and deepthan crow’s feet. Therefore, it might require more time for the Botox neurotoxins to settle and soften the deep-rooted facial lines than shallow wrinkles.

The Elasticity of the Skin

Patients have different skin conditions and structuresbased on their age and health.According to Bonaparte & Ellis (2015), young people have high collagen and elastin production, making their skin more flexible and elastic to muscle relaxation caused by the neurotoxin. However, seniors are more susceptible to chronic illness and have low production of skin proteins, making their skin more resistant to movements.

Frequently Asked Questions about Botox

What is An Alternative to Botox Injections?

There are many ways to soften facial wrinkles without using Botulinum toxin. The most common technique proven safe by the FSA is dermal fillers. The cosmetic treatment involves injecting a determined amount of fillers like hyaluronic acid into the facial tissues to eliminate facial folds or wrinkles by plumping the skin. The injection is temporary and lasts for approximately 3 to 24 months, depending on the patient’s metabolism and the amount injected.

How Much Time Does Botox Treatment Take?

An experienced cosmetic doctor will first do a facial assessment and health diagnosis to determine if the patient qualifies for the injection. A qualified candidate will be injected with a well diluted dose of botulinum toxin in the facial muscles to eliminate the wrinkles. The procedure takes roughly 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the assessment period and the doctor’s skills.


Botulinum toxin injection is a safe way to improve facial appearance. It eliminates deep-rooted wrinkles and lines by preventing the muscles responsible for muscle relaxation. Additionally, its temporary results are immediate since a patient can merely see the neurotoxin effects manifesting on the 3rd to 5th day after the treatment. However, its full result manifests roughly from 14 to 30 days, depending on factors like the amount of toxin injected, the recovery period from bruises, the professionality of the injector, the area being treated, and the elasticity of the patient’s facial skin.


Bonaparte, J. P., & Ellis, D. (2015). Alterations in the elasticity, pliability, and viscoelastic properties of facial skin after injection of onabotulinum toxin A. JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery17(4), 256-263.

Khalil, M., Zafar, H. W., Quarshie, V., & Ahmed, F. (2014). Prospective analysis of the use of OnabotulinumtoxinA (BOTOX) in the treatment of chronic migraine; real-life data in 254 patients from Hull, UK. The Journal of Headache and Pain15(1), 1-9.

Satriyasa, B. K. (2019). Botulinum toxin (Botox) A for reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles: a literature review of clinical use and pharmacological aspect. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology12, 223.

Werner, M., Ford, T., Pacik, P., Ferrara, M., & Marcus, B. (2014). Botox for the Treatment of Vaginismus: A Case Report. J Women’s Women’s Health Care3(150), 2167-0420.

Marie Salbuvik