Mamamia’s executive editor Leigh Campbell’s been a beauty journalist and editor for 15 years.
For 10 of those, she’s also been getting Botox. Not religiously – her relationship with wrinkle reducer injectables has been more on and off than monogamous – but enough to know what she’s talking about.
Leigh gets asked about Botox and cosmetic injectables a lot. Over the years, she’s not only picked up knowledge from experts, but learnt some Botox lessons the hard way (i.e. freezing her face).
Here’s what Leigh tells people when they ask her these common questions about Botox.
Side note – Mamamia and the You Beauty podcast are no judgement zones. Botox isn’t for everyone, neither are fillers, but we believe you can do whatever you want with your face. Our job is to provide you with the best information.
What is Botox?
The first thing to know about Botox is that’s a brand name, and just one of many brands of wrinkle reducers on the market.
“Botox is a brand name, it’s a type of wrinkle reducer, there are others on the market… it’s a bit like saying Kleenex instead of tissues,” Leigh explained to co-host Kelly McCarren on Mamamia’s You Beauty podcast. (You can get the full episode in your ears below.)
“Botox is basically a bacteria (botulinum toxin) that blocks nerve activity and paralyses all your muscles. There are 140 strains of the bacteria, and one strain is so potent, it’s under lock and key with the federal reserve because 50mg of Botox would kill the entire planet. What you’re using in your face is diluted, but you’re using the tiniest, tiniest amount.
“There are lots of different brands out there – a common one is Dysport – which is why it’s hard to talk about it in general. You need to understand what [your injector] is using because that will vary how much it will cost, how many units you need.”
How much Botox do you need?
How much Botox or Dysport you’ll need depends on where in your face you’re looking to inject.
“Generally for Dysport, you need two or three times the amount of Botox,” Leigh said.
“For example, if you’re getting it between the eyes, the frown lines they call the 11s, you’ll generally need 11 or 12 units of Botox to treat those muscles in there. If you’re using Dysport, you’ll need around 40 units, so it’s not apples for apples.”
How much does Botox cost?
Leigh said you can expect to pay around $12-20 per unit of Botox, and you’ll pay anywhere between $3-7 per unit of Dysport.
“Dysport is much cheaper but you’ll need a lot more. There are no set rules, there is no recommended retail price, so the cost depends where you go.”
“Botox is not the kind of thing you want to save a couple of hundred bucks on. Getting Botox between the eyes should only cost you around $200-300, so save your money elsewhere. Go to a really reputable place with a qualified doctor or nurse.”