Which Injectable is Right For You? Here’s How to Decide

When it comes to cosmetic injectables, the choices have never been better, the results never more effective. But with so many options, you may think you need a chemistry degree to figure out whether to select Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, or what! Not to worry: Here’s a kind of “cheat sheet,” a handy consumer’s guide to understanding the basic way each injectable works--and which will work best for you.

If you read the fine print in a Botox® Cosmetic ad, you’ll encounter terms like  “OnabotuabotulinnumtoxinA,” an ingredient that’s effective for treating “glabellar lines.” Um, English please? It simply means Botox improves the appearance of moderate to severe frown lines. Now we’re talking.

Though Botox was the original is what’s known as the neurotoxin field, there are other contenders--specifically, Dysport and Xeomin. Are they an improvement over Botox? Do their effects last longer? How do you make an informed choice of one over the other?

Actually, all three products work pretty much the same way: They’re designed to block the signal of nerve impulses to specific facial muscles. As a happy result, muscles can’t make the contractions that cause wrinkles. Best yet, this creates a smoother, more attractive appearance where lines used to be. 

All three products offer temporary results, which tend to vary from patient to patient. Those are the similarities. Here’s what makes Botox, Dyport and Xeomin a bit different:

Botox is the original, and probably the best known. It works effectively on moderate to severe frown lines--unfurrowing that “furrowed” look between the eyebrows--and can also improve the appearance of crow’s feet. After a Botox injection, the full results show up in 7 to 10 days. According to their literature, the effects last up to 4 months.

Dysport works more quickly—you’re likely to see results in 2-3 days. It also tends to “spread” more than Botox, a plus if you wish to treat a larger area of the face, such as the forehead (fewer injections may be needed). However, because of this “spread” feature, Dysport should only be administered by a skilled medical professional who’s familiar with the delicate musculature of the eyes and face. In the hands of someone less experienced, the product could spread into unwanted areas of the face. Nix the idea of bargain-shopping when it comes to Dysport!

Xeomin, the newest neurotoxin in the field, was first approved by the FDA to treat cervical dystonia, a rare condition that causes excessive pulling in the neck and shoulders. Doctors are now permitted to use it off-label to eradicate facial lines, since it works in much the same way as Botox and Dysport. Some differences: Xeomin does not have to be refrigerated before use, which can make it easier to distribute. Plus, it has no additives, so patients may have a lower of developing antibodies to the formula. Much like Botox, Xeomin offers results in about a week, and they’re likely to last from 3 to 6 months.

The take-away message? Botox, Dysport and Xeomin are all safe and effective tools to help your complexion look more youthful, relaxed, and gorgeous. So take your choice, and you’ll undoubtedly love the results.