In 2017 alone over 1.5 million Botox injections were administered in the United States. It’s safe to say that it’s a popular cosmetic procedure—and for good reason. For one thing, it helps individuals ward off pesky wrinkles for longer, providing them with a smoother and more relaxed appearance. It’s especially great if you’re a poker player.
If you’re new to cosmetic injectables though you probably don’t know that there are other products out there besides Botox. Or, you probably don’t know the difference between Botox and Xeomin. Or Dysport for that matter.
Here’s a hint: Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are technically the same thing—to an extent that is. Consider this your comprehensive guide to the three popular cosmetic injectables. Keep reading, especially if you want to combat father time.
Xeomin vs Dysport vs Botox 101
Xeomin, Dysport, and Botox are all cosmetic injectables that aim to temporarily reduce fine lines and wrinkles in adults. More specifically, we’re talking about the wrinkles aka static lines that appear due to facial expressions and movements that cause the muscles in our face to contract and pull on our skin.
This would include frowning, smiling, squinting, crinkling, and so on.
All three cosmetic injectables—also referred to as neuromodulators—contain the same main ingredient: botulinum toxin A. Botulinum is a neurotoxin found in the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria can be found in most natural settings and within certain animals, and causes botulism, or food poisoning, in high concentrations.
The bacteria is mixed with human albumin (a protein found in blood plasma) and sodium chloride to form these safe, wrinkle-smoothing, cosmetic injectables. The most interesting fact about these neuromodulators is that the man who created Botox—Alan Scott—intended its use to treat eye-related disorders.
Now that we’ve got the fun facts out of the way, let’s take a more in-depth look at the three cosmetic injectables to see how they differ:
Botox is arguably the most famous non-surgical cosmetic procedure on the planet. The term “Botox” is actually the nickname and brand name for botulinum type A (the aforementioned neurotoxin) injectable.
It’s mainly used to treat moderate to severe “frown lines”, but it’s often used for other areas on the face as well. However, sever wrinkles caused by sun damage won’t respond to the injectable.
Cosmetic Botox injections work to by blocking the nerve signals sent from the brain to certain muscles. In other words, it relaxes the targeted muscles by means of paralyzation. This prevents muscle contractions in the face that inevitably cause wrinkles. Over time it can soften those fine lines and give the skin an overall smoother appearance.
Botox takes effect within three to seven days and results typically last between four and six months. Once the effects wear off and the muscle begin to contract again, the wrinkles and fine lines will reappear.
Dysport is an alternative to botox but it’s also made from a form of botulinum type A. Like Botox, it’s an injectable that’s used to “relax” the muscles to prevent wrinkles from forming. It can also soften existing wrinkles over time—as long as they aren’t already prominent.
Glabellar lines are the vertical lines that mainly appear in between the eyebrows (frown lines) and this is where most people choose to administer the majority of their Dysport. This would also include laugh lines that appear on the sides of the mouth.
It’s important to note that Dysport is also not a dermal filler, and so it won’t fix any static lines that appear on the face or enhance volume. It’s also measured differently than Botox. Typically only half the amount used for Botox is needed when using Dysport. This is because Dysport tends to spread, which allows it to stretch over larger surface areas much easier than Botox.
Results with Dysport are usually seen within two to three days and results last up to four months.
Xeomin has been coined the naked botox, and for good reason. It’s a form of the botulism toxin which is also used in Botox and Dysport, however, it’s a purer form of the toxin. In other words, Xeomin injections don’t contain any proteins or additional additives.
Xeomin undergoes an extra step during the purification process. This process rids the naked injectable of any complex proteins, which means that it minimizes the risk of the human body developing antibodies against in. It also doesn’t need to be refrigerated for storage, making it much safer and less expensive to transport.
It’s not a filler either, so it won’t have any “filling effect” on deep wrinkles that have existed for a period of time. Instead, Xeomin works to inhibit muscle movement in the areas where muscle movement contributes to wrinkles. (Think—the 11 lines between the eyebrows, frown lines, etc.)
Xeomin typically takes effect within a maximum of ten days, and the results last anywhere from three to four months.
The Same But Different
Here’s what all three have in common: They all aim to relax the muscles in the face to prevent the contractions that cause static wrinkles. They all share the same main ingredient. They’re all cosmetic procedures with high success rates when administered correctly.
So how do they differ? Although it’s slight, they all diffuse differently. One of the main reasons for this is their protein signature—which Xeomin doesn’t have because it’s purified to rid itself of any protective proteins. Since Botox and Dysport contain protective proteins that add weight to the mix, they migrate much slower.
Overall the difference between the three cosmetic injectables is minor and many patients consider them interchangeable. Although some people have favorite, you don’t have to choose just one and stick with it forever. Many practitioners believe it’s best to change it up from time to time so the body doesn’t get used to one protein over time possibility diminishing the results.
Which One is Right For Me?
The choice between Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin should only be made after speaking with a professional. During your first consultation, your doctor should explain the different characteristics of each cosmetic injectable to you and help you decide which one is best for you.
When you’re ready to take your first steps towards anti-aging or are just looking to do some self-care in general, we’re here for you. Call us today with any questions about our procedures or to book an appointment.