Chances are when your parents told you not to do something, it made you want to do it more. Although your parents may have been full of it (ours certainly were), your cosmetic physician isn’t. When we tell patients that they should avoid Botox® parties, we mean it— and we can give a list of reasons why!
Botox parties are all too common and (more often than not) when we see patients after they’ve been to one of these events, it’s to fix what went wrong. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get roped into these by peer pressure, even when you know better— on the surface, it sounds like a fun experience with friends and coworkers (and who wants to turn down a chance to strengthen relationships and get some Botox at the same time?). It could even include your normal provider of Botox who knows what they’re doing and just happens to be doing this party. It’s extremely easy for things to go wrong, however. So, when we tell patients to avoid Botox parties, here are some of the main reasons.
Why? Because those who can inject at a practice find it more profitable to do so and enjoy providing patients with a higher standard of care that comes with a sterile environment and well-trained staff around to help out. And any professional injector that works at an established practice knows that side-gig Botox is a really bad idea.
If your party injector is specifically not working at a practice, then it’s likely because of one of the following:
1. They’re inexperienced, meaning they can’t get hired at a practice and are learning on-the-job at parties.
2. They’re not legally allowed to inject. In New Jersey, your provider needs to be an ARNP, PA, or Physician (DO/MD) to inject Botox for cosmetic or medical purposes (per the board of medicine). Also, in New Jersey, dentists are limited to TMJ and dental concerns.
3. They want to fly under-the-radar of regulatory boards. Whatever the reason, this is often a workaround used by these types of injectors.
If you find yourself at this kind of party and are considering jumping on the Botox train, make sure to verify your injector by looking up any licensing information they provide (and if they don’t have any, then run). If they claim to work at an established practice, then make sure to look them up, check reviews for the practice, and make sure they are who they say they are. If anything doesn’t match up, knowing this before you decide to go under the needle can save you and your friends a lot of hassle.
There are several safe and effective alternatives to Botox, including Xeomin®, Dysport®, Myobloc®, and Jeuveau®– which isn’t something you need to worry about because, in the hands of a skilled injector, you can achieve nearly the exact same goals as with Botox. Think of it like buying Kleenex tissues versus Puffs brand— at the end of the day, any tissue will get the job done.
But there is always the much scarier (and far too common) chance that this “Botox” was illegally imported and may not be Botox at all. We have seen this happen several times in New Jersey, both with Botox and dermal fillers, and this is when things can go very wrong for you. You should check that it comes from a provider who regularly buys directly from Allergan (the only legal way to get Botox), by looking them up in this locator. If they don’t appear here, it’s time to find a new injector.
One more risk is that the Botox can be ‘watered-down’ to stretch the product so your injector can buy less of it for a greater profit. Botox typically comes in a powder form and is mixed with saline before it’s injected. Experienced cosmetic physicians can sometimes achieve better results by playing with the ratio of saline in your Botox (making it more concentrated or less based on different areas, for example), but you should never rely on this from an unlicensed or inexperienced injector you meet at a party. Make sure you actually see your provider mix the ingredients and verify that you’re getting the exact amount you want rather than watered-down Botox and watered-down results.
You and everything around you needs to be sterile whenever you’re injecting anything into the body because that’s how you prevent infections— in fact, we have a few centuries of medical history to back this up, so a Botox party won’t be any different. Any provider worth their salt practices sterile injection technique, but it’s much easier to ensure that in a controlled environment like a medical office versus your co-worker’s living room, and that’s because medical offices are designed to have spaces and supplies on hand to create a sterile prep area, and because we have assistants that help our doctors as they inject because it’s not so easy to do on your own in a quick way that’s comfortable for the patient.
Safety is also a huge concern at these events, which wouldn’t normally be as big a deal when your provider is experienced, understands anatomy, and understands how to inject Botox. Although Botox has come a long way in being normalized in our culture as a quick, easy, and everyday thing, Botox is still a powerful drug. While it can create beautiful results, it can also freeze muscles, creating not just bad cosmetic results if it’s the wrong muscle, but uncomfortable and possibly dangerous outcomes, too.
At its core, getting the results you want from a provider comes down to experience, knowledge of product and anatomy, and skill. While we make Botox injections an easy process, your provider needs to be concentrated on providing a safe injection into just the right planes of your tissues in order to create a good outcome. In a busy, distracting environment that’s not a dedicated medical office, you shouldn’t count on your injector being able to customize your results to your goals and give you the attention needed for a medical procedure. When it comes to cosmetic injections, choosing a safe environment and qualified provider is the key— and if you opt for anything less, you may have to live with the results for at least three months (until the Botox’s effects wear off).
Finally, Botox parties— and injectable parties of all kinds— have a bad habit of providing a glass of wine or three. This is a terrible idea, firstly because alcohol makes you much more likely to bruise during injections. Secondly, you need to be clear-headed when you decide and consent to any sort of treatment like this. If you would stop and ask questions even when you’re sober, you should most definitely avoid a situation where you’ll be under the influence and making medical decisions. In this case, it’s just best to opt out entirely and get your Botox in a calm and dedicated environment— and you can pop the champagne later!
Botox can be an amazing treatment option for your goals when it’s provided by an experienced cosmetic physician at a leading Botox provider. To learn more about Botox and discuss your cosmetic options, we invite you to contact our Martinsville and Livingston offices by calling or filling out our online form.
If you have been to a Botox party or have Botox results you’d like corrected, we would love to see you for a free consultation – even if you’re a regular patient who’s “cheated on us” with another provider. Our goal is to make you look and feel good – so we would never poke fun at you or be anything less than thrilled to help you get the results you’re looking for.