”Micro-Botox” is an injectable technique in which itty-bitty amounts of a neuromodulator (like Azzalure or Vistabel) are used to tighten pores and tame oil and sweat production, in addition to providing more natural-looking line reduction. According to top dermatologists in Los Angeles and New York, the procedure is a rising star in doctors’ offices everywhere, where it’s also nicknamed baby Botox, microtox, mesobotox, or skin Botox.
Of course, there are nuances to the burgeoning trend — and, as with any injectable, there are still risks, so studying up is the best jumping-off point. So, what does it really mean to microdose Botox, and what do you need to know before you book an appointment?
WHAT IS MICRO-BOTOX?
“Micro-Botox refers to the injection of multiple small doses of Botox into the skin,” ”It’s injected superficially and therefore only targets the skin, where oil production, facial flushing, and acne occur. But it differs from conventional Botox as it does not iron out wrinkles caused by muscle contractions.” That’s right: Botox injected at the top layer of the skin works to control oil and redness while making pores appear smaller, which could mean fewer breakouts, but won’t stamp out wrinkles.Perhaps the biggest caveat is that, because this treatment goes by many names, it can mean different things for different injectors. Where one doctor might stick to subdermal injections just at the surface level of the skin for a patient who wants to reduce sweat (similar to an armpit injection) or oil, another might go a little deeper to also lightly paralyze the muscle for added fine-line reduction. Like all parts of dermatology, it’s not an exact science, so it’s very important to ask questions, do your research, and ultimately make sure you and your injector are on the same page about your goals.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Just like Botox applied in the traditional way (injected into the muscle), micro-Botox lasts up to three or four months; however, there are some potential long-term benefits when mixed with H.A. filler.
SHOULD YOU MIX MICRO-BOTOX WITH OTHER INJECTABLES?
Cocktailing or layering Botox with hyaluronic acid dermal filler isn’t just common — our experts say that the technique is actually more valuable than the sum of its parts. “You get a synergistic effect when you decrease muscle contraction and put a little stretch [on the skin] with fillers,” Dr. Grossman says, noting that this is believed to be one way to prompt your body to make more collagen, a building block of youthful skin that tapers off as we age.
“My favorite cocktail for this treatment is Botox, hyaluronic acid filler, and vitamin C,” Dr. Díaz says. “It results in smooth, plump, glowing skin. I will often also add PRP to the mixture for a truly sublime result.”
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN AN INJECTOR?
Necessary qualifications vary by state, but Dr. Díaz says that finding a skilled injector is very important, on top of checking out their qualifications. “Intradermal injecting is a more difficult skill to learn than the subdermal,” she says. “It’s a precision thing.” Pick someone who lacks skill, she says, and you could put yourself at risk.
SO, WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
“After treatment, minor swelling and redness and the possibility of slight bruising are expected, similar to regular Botox injections,” says Dr. Díaz. Adding in H.A. filler? Uneven texture is also a possibility, says Dr Grossman, who adds that while occlusions — which is what happens if an injector accidentally enters a vein — are rare, they can occur whenever injecting into vascular areas, even the skin. “There’s never no risk,” Dr. Díaz says.
WHO’S A GOOD CANDIDATE?
Essentially, anyone who is looking for any of the aforementioned benefits is a candidate, but Lee says those with dry skin should avoid the treatment or risk making skin drier due to decreased oil and sweat.
IS MICRO-BOTOX MORE POPULAR THAN REGULAR BOTOX?
Our experts say that, while it hasn’t usurped traditional Botox injection techniques, the trend shows no signs of slowing. “As issues like excess oil production are a relatively unmet need, I do think that micro-Botox will continue to gain popularity,” says Dr. Díaz. Different iterations of the treatment are also taking off.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Around 450 €
DOES IT HURT?
Dr. Díaz notes that, the closer the injection is to the surface of the skin, the more painful it is. Plus, since the product needs to be properly diffused, many injections are necessary. “It may be uncomfortable, as many pinches are given to the skin,”