Botulinumtoxin A (or BoNTA for short) is the generic name given to the actual substance injected for anti-wrinkle treatments. Anti-wrinkle treatment is made by different companies and marketed under a variety of brand names. While all the injectable anti-wrinkle products contain the same active ingredient (BoNTA), the way they are made differs, as well as how they are injected.
BoNTA lasts, on average, for 3 months … which for some people means they get way less than 3 months of softened muscles, and some way more … it depends on your genetic makeup, your metabolism and your day to day life (think stress levels).
Some people say they find the BoNTA treatments get less effective as time goes on. This is sometimes possible for two reasons; firstly, BoNTA only relaxes muscles. As you ‘grow up’ your skin cells get lazy, and are slower to repair the damage caused to the skin by constant muscle action, leaving lines in your skin once the muscle has relaxed. While your face is supposed to move, it is not meant to leave these static lines behind (not if we can help it!). These lines are what BoNTA treats best!
Eventually though, wrinkles can appear in your skin caused by volume loss. Essentially, your skin is too big for your face because your facial fat pads and muscles can shrink, the density of your bone gets less, and this results in lines and wrinkles which most people describe as ‘sagging’ skin. BoNTA no longer has the same effect as it did because it is not muscle action that is responsible. Think about crow’s feet or ‘smile lines’ round your eyes… BoNTA treats these beautifully when they first appear, but once you start to really ‘grow up’ you find the lines extend further down your face when you smile, and this is due to volume loss usually of the midface and the cheek. Treatment with a dermal filler will restore lost volume, and BoNTA will again give you the results it once did!
Another (less common) reason for BoNTA treatments becoming less effective is the potential for people to develop a resistance to the substance we inject. This can happen, because your immune system can potentially build up antibodies against the BoNTA, rendering the treatment less effective. The immune system is designed to seek out and destroy anything it recognises as being a bit ‘different’ in your body, and then it builds antibodies against the substance so its response time is much faster, should the same substance be recognised again. It is important to know that BoNTA has been used around the world for many years and has an extremely high safety rating; risks associated with anti-wrinkle treatments are minimal (these are always discussed with you before your first treatment).
The body’s immune system response is stimulated by foreign protein; some anti-wrinkle treatments have a higher protein loading than others meaning this can add to the risk of developing antibodies. If you are unfortunate enough to be one of the very few people that do develop a resistance, the antibody count can be reduced by abstaining from further treatments for around 2 years. If you restart BoNTA treatments again it is important to choose an anti-wrinkle product with the lowest protein loading possible so you do not restimulate the BoNTA antibody response.
We are proud to say the anti-wrinkle treatment we offer is the purest form of Botulinumtoxin A on the market - meaning that it is the least likely to stimulate your immune system to build antibodies against the BoNTA!