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Botox aftercare – nine top tips for when you've had the treatment

Medically reviewed by
Dr. Eslam Alshawadfy from Zo Skin Center by Zein Obagi, Abu Dhabi

Botox usually has very few after-effects. That said, by undertaking some basic Botox aftercare, you can improve the results and longevity of the treatment.

1. No need to perform gentle facial exercises

It was once thought that gentle facial exercises could speed up recovery time. However, these could actually spread the toxin to unneeded areas.

Instead, the very light movements your facial muscles perform during the day by default will have the necessary effect.

2. Gentle touching only

Avoid touching the treated area with any pressure or force, even if it feels itchy and uncomfortable. You’ll want to ensure you’re not putting any pressure on the affected area, as this can dampen the success, especially doing facials, scrubs and massage.

Try to stop touching your face as it can affect how your skin heals, or it could even move the Botox under your skin to a different area of your face. Plus, you run the risk of infecting the area while it’s healing.

3. Wait at least 24 hours before exercising

Steer clear of strenuous exercise for 24 hours after your procedure – it's a great excuse for a rest day from the gym. Weight training, long-distance running or inverted yoga positions are all to be avoided. These can increase the blood flow and move the toxin to other unwanted areas. It’s a good idea to avoid swimming too, or any exercise that might get the treatment area wet or involve you putting your head down too much.

You can, however, undertake normal life tasks, including:

  • Walking.
  • Gentle housework, such as vacuum cleaning, or gardening.

4. Don’t apply makeup for 24 hours

Go fresh faced for at least a day after your procedure. Your face is likely to be a little sore and swollen, but don’t be tempted to cover up the treatment area with concealer or foundation.

Makeup application won’t help the skin heal, plus rubbing the affected area with a brush or your fingers could move the Botox to a different area of your face.

5. Remain sitting up for at least four hours after injections

Lying down or putting your head down could risk moving the Botox to other areas of your skin. If you have to, be careful not to lean down more than 45 degrees.

Sit up for at least four hours after your treatment or stand if there’s nowhere to sit. Botox takes a few hours to set, so it could still move if you’re lying flat or bending upside down.

6. Don’t drink alcohol for at least 24 hours afterwards

Drinking alcohol leaves you dehydrated, which can dry the skin and thin the blood, increasing the likelihood of any swelling and bruising.

Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours after your treatment, or even a few days if you can. It’s also best to avoid alcohol in the few days leading up to your treatment. This ensures your skin is in the best condition to start the healing process.

7. Make sure you don’t use other skin treatments

Other skin treatments should be avoided for about a week post-Botox. Further treatments can reduce the success of your Botox treatment or even damage the skin, which could slow the healing process.

Some of the treatments to avoid include:

It’s also advised that you also avoid:

  • Sunbeds.
  • Eyebrow treatments, such as shaping or waxing.
  • Facial massages.

Giving your skin a week to heal before undertaking another treatment leaves it in the best place to heal successfully.

8. Keep out of the sun for at least four hours

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can damage skin, even when you’re wearing strong sun cream. It’s best to stay out of the sun for at least four hours after your treatment to lessen potential sun damage in the affected area.

Of course, you can still make your way home from your chosen clinic – you’ll just want to avoid sunbathing or sitting out in direct sunlight.

9. Don’t sleep on the area treated the day after surgery

You may feel sleepy after your Botox treatment – drowsiness is one of its more common side-effects.

But it’s recommended that you don’t nap until six hours after your treatment. This gives the Botox time to set.

When you do eventually sleep, don’t lie on the treated area for at least a day or more. So, if you’re a stomach sleeper, try falling asleep on your back to keep your face away from the pillow.

Summary

By taking a few simple steps and adjusting your lifestyle, you can improve the results of your Botox treatment in the days after your procedure.

Find what works for you and what you feel comfortable with, but by following the advice above, you’ll make the most of your Botox treatment.