Can You Wash Your Face After Botox? Here's the 411 on Post-Injection Skincare

woman washing face

Stocksy

As interest in treating and preventing static lines has grown, so has the interest in Botox. Additionally, many have started to turn to the injectable for hyperhidrosis, migraines, acne, TMJ (teeth grinding), and more.

For those who are less familiar with Botox, there are some things you need to keep in mind post-injection—like whether or not you can wash your face post-treatment. We tapped board-certified dermatologists Marina Peredo, MD, and Simran Sethi, MD, to get the 411 on what you can expect post-Botox treatment. 

Meet the Expert

Your Face After Post-Botox

Immediately after Botox is injected, there will be tiny pink dots at the injection sites. These spots will fade away within five to 10 minutes, or at the latest, within a few hours. By the time you leave your Botox appointment, you most likely won’t look like you had an injectable treatment performed. “It is important to remember that you will not feel any tenderness or swelling in the area treated and that Botox does not go into effect immediately after your treatment," says Sethi. "In most cases, it starts working within a few days and takes full effect in about two weeks."

Can You Wash Your Face After Botox?

You can definitely wash your face and resume normal skincare after Botox injections, but use tepid water and be gentle while cleansing—and be sure to pat your face dry instead of rubbing or tugging. You'll also want to give it a few hours before going in with your favorite foundations or blushes: “I recommend waiting at least four hours after a Botox treatment to apply makeup on top of the treated area," Sethi warns. "This reduces the chances of contamination and allows the small puncture sites where the Botox was injected to fully heal."

How to Wash Your Face After Botox

“In order to avoid skin sensitivities, I recommend using a cleanser that does not contain AHA or BHA for at least a day after Botox injections,” says Sethi. There isn't a specific face-washing method you should follow after your Botox injections; just be mindful not to scrub, rub, or tug at the skin that was injected. “Use warm or cold water instead of hot water. Don’t use any facial treatments such as microdermabrasion or a chemical peel until a few days after your treatment,” adds Peredo. 

Risks and Benefits

While Botox is generally considered safe, there is a risk of migration if you scrub your face too aggressively afterward. Because Botox is injected in a liquid form, it can migrate through the muscle fibers where it is injected into other muscles. The key is to avoid lying down or participating in any intense exercise for a few hours after injection. Thankfully Botox does wear out, so if it ends up migrating it will resolve within a few days or weeks. “As long as you are gentle, there are no risks,” says Peredo. 

And while you want to make sure you're washing your face gently, it is crucial that you wash your face: According to Peredo, it’s beneficial to keep the injection sites clean after the treatment. This will prevent any irritation or infections from occurring.

The Final Takeaway

It's always a good idea to follow your dermatologist's instructions post-Botox treatment. Don’t tug at your skin, drink alcohol, or consume any medications like ibuprofen or aspirin within 72 hours of Botox as they thin blood and prolong bruising. You can—and should—wash your face after Botox, just be gentle and don’t scrub too hard. Keeping your face clean, especially around the injection sites, will help reduce the risk of irritation or infection. 

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