When it comes to getting injectables for cosmetic purposes, the main question people tend to ask themselves (and a few trusted friends) is, "Should I or shouldn't I?"
It turns out there are a lot of other factors to consider before booking an appointment, many of which are not obvious. We talked to top dermatologists and estheticians to learn what to forego before and after visiting your derm's office. Ahead, learn about the 10 surprising things you should skip in the hours, days, and weeks pre and post-injections.
Meet the Expert
- Whitney Bowe, MD, is a board-certified celebrity dermatologist.
- Britta Plug is a holistic facialist and co-founder of the skincare company Wildling.
- Robert Anolik, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and founder of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center.
- Shamara Bondaroff is an esthetician and founder of SB Skin.
Though the risks may be minimal, experts suggest being cautious with makeup application after getting Botox or filler. "You have a bit of an open wound where the needle pierced the skin, and you don't want a product that might be contaminated with bacteria, for example, to penetrate," explains celebrity dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD. "My rule of thumb is to wait at least 30 minutes after your injections to apply makeup to allow your skin to re-epithelialize."
Another critical pointer: When you do apply makeup after Botox, Dr. Bowe says to "use upwards strokes, especially in the glabellar region (between the eyebrows and above the nose) to avoid pressing the botulinum toxin downward into the muscle, which could cause an eyelid droop (also called an eyelid ptosis)."
Gua Sha Stones & Jade Rollers
Rolling a polished stone over your just-plumped face is a mistake, as it could cause fillers to migrate, warns Britta Plug, a holistic facialist and co-founder of the skincare company Wildling. "If you've had hyaluronic acid injections, such as Juvederm, Voluma, Restylane or Belotero, you want to wait one to two weeks before getting a facial massage or doing gua sha, which can increase swelling, bruising and even lead to product migration," adds Dr. Bowe.
The exception? If the injectable is Sculptra. "I recommend my patients massage their face for five minutes, five times per day after Sculptra injections," Dr. Bowe says. "It does two things: it wakes up your collagen-producing cells (fibroblasts) and tells them to pump out more collagen, so you get more bang for your buck from the treatment," says Dr. Bowe, who explains more about that here. "It also minimizes the risk of nodules, which are small bumps that can form deep in the skin."
File this under Who knew? "Though there are no specific studies to reference, some dermatologists opine in the medical literature that dental work could release bacteria into the surrounding facial bloodstream and that rarely this could stimulate an inflammatory reaction around the filler," explains dermatologist Robert Anolik, MD, of the Laser & Skin Surgery Center "Consequently some people choose to wait a couple of weeks before or after dental work for their filler sessions." This one obscure report does connect dental procedure and dermal filler complications.
If you're pursuing skin tautness, monthly microcurrent facials can work wonders— as long as you don't schedule them back-to-back with your dermatologist visits. "You need to wait at least 10 to 14 days for Botox or fillers to settle before getting a microcurrent treatment because there is a chance that it can shift those substances and alter your results in a negative way," says esthetician Shamara Bondaroff, founder of SB Skin.
That's right, no napping on the couch after Botox or Dysport. Dr. Bowe says: "You want to try to stay upright for four hours, which is probably overly conservative, as the molecule is taken up very quickly by the cells, but better safe than sorry."
Scheduling a hair appointment post-treatment isn't ideal either. Like with napping, this is about gravity. Dipping your head back into the washbasin after getting Botox is a no-go.
You're going to want to avoid downward dog right after getting injected with Botox and Dysport. The danger? "It can increase your risk of an eyelid droop," says Dr. Whitney Bowe. In fact, Dr. Anolik says any type of exercise "will likely increase swelling, so it is discouraged after getting injections." You should also refrain from wearing workout gear (like swimming goggles or bike helmets) that can apply pressure to your face post-appointment.
Some Medications and Supplements
To limit bruising, Dr. Anolik advises "avoiding things that can encourage bleeding before treatment, such as aspirin, Advil, ibuprofen, fish oil supplements, and vitamin E."
Drinking booze, beer, or wine "reduces your body's platelet production and makes the platelets you have less sticky—this means it negatively impacts the clotting cascade," explains Dr. Bowe. "If you're starting to develop a bruise after your injections and you have a glass of wine, you might see that bruise become a little bigger. This is more of an issue when getting fillers."
Using a cold pack or ice on your face before Botox or Dysport injections can have an anesthetic effect so that you feel less discomfort," says Dr. Bowe in this video clip. "However, you do not want to ice after your neuromodulator injections because studies have shown that cold temperatures can actually prevent botulinum toxin from being taken up by nerve cells, which can decrease the longevity of the effect."
Dr. Bowe adds that in contrast, "I do encourage my patients to ice the areas where we used filler to help with swelling; we don't have any evidence suggesting that the cold temperatures affect the duration of filler."
Hamman MS, Goldman MP. Minimizing bruising following fillers and other cosmetic injectables. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2013;6(8):16-18.
King M. The management of bruising following nonsurgical cosmetic treatment. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2017;10(2):E1-E4.