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What is Botox Made Of?

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A woman smiling receiving Botox treatment in her forehead to achieve a rejuvenated look

If you’ve ever thought about cosmetic treatment, you know of Botox. With a certified professional, these injections can offer you smooth skin by reducing fine lines and wrinkles. If you’re interested in these treatments, you’re likely wondering what Botox is made of? 

Learning more about this treatment can help alleviate any anxiety before you make your final decision. Continue reading to learn more about Botox, what it’s made of, and more. 

What is Botox? 

Botox is a neuromodulator used to treat wrinkles and other fine lines. Neuromodulators block the signals causing your muscles to contract, temporarily smoothing skin for 3 to 4 months. Many use botox to achieve a younger, rejuvenated look, but these injections can treat several medical conditions, such as: 

  • Lazy eye
  • Neck spasms
  • Chronic migraines 
  • Hyperhidrosis 
  • Eye twitching
  • Overactive bladder 

Botox and other neuromodulators are common treatments to obtain the looks you desire. In 2018 alone, there were over 7.4 million treatments.

Injections with a certified professional are quick and relatively pain-free, with Botox taking effect within 24-72 hours. It can take up to 14 days for visible results to appear. 

How Does Botox Work? 

After your botox injection takes effect, it begins to interact with the nervous system. Botox is a neurotoxin, working to interfere with the nerve signals that process muscle contraction. Specifically, Botox prevents the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. 

Muscle contractions stop without acetylcholine, smoothing wrinkles and stopping muscle spasms. Botox essentially numbs your facial muscles to reduce wrinkles and smooth your skin. With time, this numbing effect fades, and you can receive additional treatments.

When Should You Start Receiving Botox Treatments? 

The choice is ultimately yours. 

You can begin Botox treatments whenever fine lines and wrinkles bother you. A common idea is to start treating your skin in your 30s when collagen production slows down. Some people may choose to receive Botox in their 20s as a preventive measure. 

What Happens if You Stop Getting Botox? 

Botox requires more treatments for its effects to continue, but what happens if you stop receiving them? 

You don’t need to worry. After around 3 months, the effects will wear off. Botox provides a temporary effect, so the results of these treatments aren’t permanent.

Where Can You Receive Botox? 

Botox has many cosmetic applications; it can treat various fine lines and wrinkles. You can receive injections in several facial locations, such as: 

Your Upper Face

Throughout life, lines and wrinkles can develop in the forehead. When you smile, laugh, or make any facial expression, lines develop. 

Several wrinkles may develop in this area, like forehead wrinkles, frown lines (also known as “11 lines”), and bunny lines

All of these lines are naturally occurring, but they can make you feel self-conscious. Botox and other neuromodulators can help reduce the appearance of these fine lines and wrinkles. 

The average Botox dose depends on the location of the injection. For “11” lines, you can receive up to 40 units. Horizontal forehead lines can vary between 15 to 30 units

The Eyes

We express ourselves through our eyes, and many people will develop wrinkles over time. One of the most common lines near the eyes is known as crow’s feet. These wrinkles come from the outer corners of the eyes when you smile. 

Many people use Botox to reduce these wrinkles. The average dosage for treating this area is between 6 to 10 units

Lower Face

The lower half of your face has several areas Botox can treat. Some people may look to reduce lipstick lines, the vertical wrinkles appearing above the upper lip. Another common treatment area is chin dimpling

Finally, a person may be interested in a lip flip, where a small amount of Botox relaxes the muscles around the upper lip. It can give your lips a fuller look. 

The average amount of Botox for the lip area is between 4 to 6 units. In general, you should receive the lowest recommended Botox dose if you’re receiving treatment for the first time. 

If you’re interested in neuromodulators, you’re likely wondering what’s in these treatments. What is Botox made of? 

A bottle of Botox sitting on a tray ready for use

What is Botox Made Of? 

Botox comes from botulinum toxin type A. This neurotoxin originates from a bacterium found in many natural settings like lakes, soil, and forests. 

This bacterium is generally harmless until the spores transform. This transformation creates botulinum toxin, the neurotoxin responsible for botulism.

Botox features this same toxin but in small, controlled doses. The original bacterium has a total of 8 different strains, but only serotypes A and B have clinical use.

It’s natural to find Botox a little scary, especially with the origins of this neurotoxin, so how safe is this treatment? 

Are These Ingredients Safe? 

Botulinum toxin can seem dangerous, but remember Botox treatments are specific and controlled doses. Prior studies have found when seeing a certified professional, less than 1% of patients experience issues. 

While Botox is a safe procedure, there are still temporary side effects you may have. They can vary for each person, but you may experience:

  • Mild bruising 
  • Minor discomfort 
  • Headache 
  • Fever
  • Chills 

The most important thing to remember if you’re interested in Botox treatments is to find a reputable clinic for your procedures. Injections must be precise, and Botox can be dangerous if incorrectly used. 

A skilled and certified professional can answer any of your questions, guide you through this process, and advise you on which treatment is best for your needs. Botox is only a brand name for a specific type of botulinum toxin; alternative treatments are available, such as Dysport and Nuceiva

Alternative Neuromodulators 

Many call all forms of botulinum toxin Botox, but this is a single brand. All of these neuromodulators work similarly, but they have differences in how they react within the body. 


Dysport is a botulinum toxin injection, abobotulinumtoxin A. Dysport treatments reduce the appearance of lines in the area around the eyebrows, known as the glabella. These wrinkles occur over time due to frowning and squinting and can become more prominent with age due to collagen loss

Dysport reduces frown lines without changing the overall look of your face. These treatments firm the face, smoothing your skin and slowing down wrinkle development without removing your character. 

You can typically see results from Dysport within 24 hours, and the injection diffuses easily. 


Nuceiva, also known as Jeuveau, is a neurotoxin called prabotulinumtoxin A. It’s a newer injectable for the vertical frown lines near the glabella. While less known than Botox, this treatment has similar effectiveness. 

A 2019 placebo-controlled study found Nuceiva can address fine lines and wrinkles as effectively as Botox.  

No matter the type of neuromodulator treatment you choose, make sure you’re visiting a respected and certified professional. Your clinic can help you achieve the results you want, firming your skin and improving your confidence. 

Obtain Skin You feel Confident in  

Botox treatments are a great way to achieve smoother skin, helping reduce wrinkles and other fine lines. It’s normal to be a little anxious about receiving cosmetic treatment, but you can feel confident in your decision by visiting a certified and experienced professional. 

If you’re interested in Botox, book a consultation. You can bring up any questions or concerns you have before making your final decision. 

Written by Sarah Noble

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