Do Facial Exercises Speed Up Injectables?

According to a new study – yes! If you want to help your clients speed up the effects of their anti-wrinkle injections, researchers from Northwestern University in Chicago suggest that simple muscle exercises can see them kicking in faster than usual.

“Patients often leave getting their injections to the last minute,” said Dr. Murad Alam, lead researcher and Professor of Dermatology. “If people get their botulinum toxin right before a social engagement or important work event, they may worry it won’t start working in time. Speeding up the effects could be important to people.”

The paper, published October 25th in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, claims that this is the first time facial exercises have been rigorously tested against the use of anti-wrinkle injections.

22 adult women participated in the study, with foreheads being treated with botulinum toxin. Half of these then exercised their facial muscles over a four hour period immediately following their injections. The facial workouts included raising brows and scowling in three sets of 40 repetitions, with 10 minutes rest between each. Six months later the participants were all treated again, with the muscle exercise candidates swapped.

“Botox binds to receptors on nerve cells to relax muscles, and it is possible that exercise speeds this binding process,” Said Dr Murad. “For patients who need quick results, the exercise may be worth the effort. Patients appreciate having more control over their care.”

Generally, anti-wrinkle injections take around 3-4 days to take effect. In this study, both dermatologists and participants agree the effects took place between 2-3 days – agreeing the facial exercises sped up the process by around 1 day.

The study also notes that two weeks after the procedures, there were no differences between patients who engaged in facial workouts vs those who didn’t, as well as the exercises having no affect on how long the treatments lasted.

There have long been rumours surrounding whether or not muscle exercises have any affect on injectables, and now some industry experts are excited to have the speculations confirmed to some degree – including Dr. Michele Green, a Dermatologist from NYC’s Lenox Hill Hospital.

“There finally is an answer to the myth of whether or not facial exercises after Botox has any effect,” she said. “Since so many patients wait until the eleventh hour to do cosmetic procedures, this will be a great way to have the results that they want more quickly. I am going to suggest this to all of my patients who are in this circumstance and need emergency injectables.”

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