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Why Does Botox Take 2 Weeks to Work?

Most cosmetic injectables take some days to deliver the dream result fully. Botox toxin treatments are not exceptional, but why do they take approximately 14 days to work? The article explains what Botox is, why it takes time to work, and the factors that affect how Botox toxins work. It also answers some frequently asked questions about Botulinum toxin injections.

The popularity of Botox injectables is growing daily,with many people aware of its cosmetic effects. It temporarily improves patients’ facial appearance by eliminating deep-rooted expression lines and wrinkles. Over the years, one of the main causes of these ageing signs is repeated muscle movements from squinting, frowning, and other pronounced facial expressions. The cosmetic procedure is quick and provides an immediate result that lasts3 to 12 months depending on the amount of toxin injected and the patient’s metabolic rate. The word primary means that within the first two weeks to a month, the patient will fully see the benefits of the injection.

What is Botox?

Botox is a popular brand representing a chemical substance called botulinum toxin used for cosmetic concerns and medical conditions. It is primarily injected into the facial muscles to relax them and soften wrinkles, fine lines, and other facial folds. These wrinkles include horizontal forehead lines, a frown between the eyebrows, crow’s feet, and deep-rooted Nasolabial lines. According to Shaterian et al. (2022), the Food Standard Agency has also approved the use of Botox toxins not only for treating frequent headaches or migraines but also for treating the following muscular conditions:

  • Overactive bladder
  • Excessive sweating
  • Neck spasms ( cervical dystonia) that twist the head in an uncomfortable position

Why Does It Take Time for Botox Neurotoxin to Work?

The facial effects of Botox neurotoxin are merely noticeable 3 to 5 days after the treatment. However, full results are more pronounced after the 14th to 30th day of the treatment, depending on various issues. According to Park et al. (2021), the Botulinum toxin binds to a protein called Snare at the motor endplates of the facial muscles that lie between the nerves and muscle tissues. It causes the muscles to relax and block the signalling of chemical nerve messages that induce muscle contraction. Although the neurotoxins bind quickly, shutting off snare proteins and silencing the muscle movements may take several days to implement fully.

Additionally, the settlement of the neurotoxins in facial muscles can be highly affected by the patient’s recovery period. The treatment is considered safe by The FSA, but in some cases, it may be accompanied by mild side effects such as bruising, redness, minimal bleeding, and swelling. These effects prolong the Botox neurotoxins’ connectivity with the facial nerve proteins.  Fortunately, the side effects go down within the first 1 to 3 days after the injection. However, in rare occasions, the effects can prolong for weeks or days, depending on the patient’s lifestyle and the professionality of the aesthetic doctor. Therefore, the more time it requires for a patient to recover from Botox bruises and swells, the longer it will take for the neurotoxins to work fully.

According to Alaqeely et al. (2021), cosmetic patients can hasten the recovery period and fasten the settlement of Botox neurotoxins by practising the following aftercare tips:

  • Sleep with the head elevated to avoid applying pressure on the injection sites
  • Stay hydrated since water is essential for the skin healing process
  • Avoid extreme exercises for at least 48 hours since strenuous activities increase blood flow to injected areas, worsening the bruising and causing toxin migration.
  • Stay in a cool room away from sun damage for at least the first 24 hours
  • Don’t drink alcohol and blood thinning medications or supplements for the first 489 hours
  • Plane air pressure can worsen the bruising and swelling on the injected site. Therefore don’t fly for a week
  • Sit up the first 4 hours after the treatment to avoid toxin migration if you bend your head below 45 degrees
  • Don’t applymake-ups for the first two days to avoid applying pressure on the treated area.

Factors That Affect How Botox Toxins Work

An individual does not necessarily see full results immediately two weeks after Botulinum injections. Some patients can see optimal outcomes as early as seven days, while others can see them as late as 30 days. It all depends on the following factors:

Facial Muscles Characteristics

Patients with thick facial muscles may require more botulinum toxin to achieve the dream result. As a result, it might take time for such patients to fully benefits from the cosmetic effects of the injection. Additionally, for facial muscles that are frequently used, such as crow’s feet that surround the eye, Botox toxin will take more time to settle compared to merely constant muscles like Nasolabial.

Patient’s Lifestyle and Body Structure

People have a different body chemistry that reacts with medication differently.  Some bodies will quickly allow the binding of Botox toxins to muscle receptors, while others will resist the toxin. Therefore, it is important to be honest with the aesthetic practitioner about the health status before the injection. In addition, if one has an active life after the treatment, it might take time for the Botox products to settle on the facial muscles due to frequent disturbances from the muscle movements.

The Frequency of Treatments

Repetition is one factor that can affect the settlement of Botox toxins in a positive vibe. It is because the muscle receptors become more acceptances of the interactions of Botox neurotoxins with certain proteins in eliminating facial wrinkles.  The more injections you take, the less time it will take to see optimal results.

The Experience of the Cosmetic Doctor

The skills of the injector are a very important factor that entirely affects the Botox result. According to Borba et al. (2021), wrongly placed Botox neurotoxins can take time to settle and cause serious complications and side effects such as cold sores infections, frozen look, and prolonged swelling or bruising. Before trying botulinum toxin treatments, review other customers’ comments and ratings about the cosmetic practitioner.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Botox

How Long Does Botox Toxin Injection Last?

Like most medications, how long botulinum toxin last in the patient’s facial muscles depends on the patient’s metabolic rate and the amount injected. In most cases, Botox effects last for approximately 3 to 12 months depending on additional factors like the professionality of the cosmetic doctor, depth of the fine lines, and areas being treated.

Does aBotox Neurotoxin Injection Hurt?

Every type of injection can have slight discomfort or pain, but the needles used to administer botulinum toxin are very thin, so the irritation is minimal. Additionally, the most experienced cosmetic doctor uses numbing cream to sterile the injection site to minimise any chances of the patient feeling pain.


Botulinum toxins are safe products administered in patients’ facial muscles to eliminate deep-rooted wrinkles and lines.  They work by preventing the muscles responsible for the wrinkles from contracting.  Additionally, the treatments provide nearly an immediate result that lasts for months depending on the patient’s body metabolism. The patient can start to see mere changes on the 3rd to 5th day after the injection, and the full result manifests roughly between 14 days to 30 days. It takes time for the result to manifest since the connectivity between the Botox toxins and certain receptors require several days to shut off fully or silence muscle contractions.


Alaqeely, R., Alzahrani, E., Aljaloud, A., & Alzahrani, S. (2021). Botox and Fillers are they Cosmetic or Therapeutic? Saudi Journal of Oral and Dental Research6(1), 1-8.

Borba, A., Matayoshi, S., & Rodrigues, M. (2021). Avoiding complications on the upper face treatment with botulinum toxin: a practical guide. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 1-10.

Shaterian, N., Shaterian, N., Ghanaatpisheh, A., Abbasi, F., Daniali, S., Jahromi, M. J., … & Abdoli, A. (2022). Botox (OnabotulinumtoxinA) for Treatment of Migraine Symptoms: A Systematic Review. Pain Research and Management2022.

Park, M. Y., & Ahn, K. Y. (2021). Scientific review of the aesthetic uses of botulinum toxin type A. Archives of Craniofacial Surgery22(1), 1.

Monika Wasserman