Some figures that may give you a clearer idea: Popular Beverly Hills cosmetic dermatologist Simon Ourian, M.D., estimates $3,900 to $5,900 as the average cost per area for facial contouring fillers. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons lists the average cost of hyaluronic-acid-based fillers as $682 per syringe but notes that most patients require multiple syringes. (On the other hand, if you’re subtly treating a small area like your lips, you won’t need a full one.) Botox is estimated at $397 per treatment (averaging $10 to $15 per unit), but that number can quickly climb based on how aggressively you want to erase fine lines and wrinkles or how much surface area you’d like to cover. It may also cost more if you’re going for a targeted option like Baby Botox.
Ultimately, if it sounds too affordable to be legitimate, it probably is. If in doubt, get a quote from several clinics near you. Golueke warns against injecting products without being able to trust exactly where they came from. “There’s a black market for Botox and fillers, so people get Botox and fillers which look like the original product, but they are fake,” he says. We’ve already seen the many deals floating around online, but this is one case in which you should definitely stick to reputable professionals. You just don’t want to risk it.
“Board-certified dermatologists and plastic surgeons are the only providers fully trained and qualified to administer injectables,” says dermatologist Jessica Weiser, M.D. “It’s always appropriate for a patient to ask the provider what their training and qualifications are for providing the suggested treatments.”
The consultation should cover a few key things.
We’ve all seen cases of objectively bad injectables. Beyond going to a board-certified expert, make sure you and your derm (or surgeon) are on the same page about what you’re trying to achieve. And in some cases you might be told it isn’t possible. While you can do a lot with injectables, they still need to work with the proportions of your features, and it’s possible to overenhance them. Weiser recommends going for a gradual approach and adding more later only if needed.
Golueke adds that you should also feel comfortable about changing your mind. “If you’re unsure, no real, serious doctor would mind if you said you needed to think about it,” he says. “If you don’t feel like doing it, don’t do it.” If you do, make sure you take this time to get any remaining questions or concerns addressed. “The doctor may ask you if you have had any adverse reactions to past injections, how long ago the last injection was, if you are taking any medications—those are all important,” he says.
Smoothing wrinkles is just one of many options.
People typically think of injectables as a treatment for wrinkles and fine lines, but there are many other reasons someone might get them. Weiser tells us that her most frequent requests used to come from women ages 40 and over. Now she’s seeing a dramatic increase in their use in patients from 20 to 40 years old, “primarily neuromodulators to reduce lines, but also dermal fillers to soften undereye hollows, lift cheekbones, and enhance lips.”
You may have heard the phrase off-label before, which Weiser defines as “using products for unapproved indications.” Injectables go through clinical trials for safety, but they’re not technically approved for their full range of popular uses. For instance, the brand Botox is the only neuromodulator approved for use in your forehead and around your eyes, but brands like Dysport and Xeomin are routinely used there too. Off-label uses for neuromodulators include injecting them into the masseter muscle at the back of your jaw (to lessen clenching and narrow your lower face), on neck bands (to relax them), and in the central jaw (to keep the corners of your mouth from pulling down).