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8 Things You Should Never Do Right After Botox

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Considering getting Botox for the first time? While you’ve likely read up on the risks, did a deep dive with Google researching before and after pics, and read tons of reviews on who you should and shouldn’t go to for injections, you can't forget to research aftercare as well.

As a newbie to Botox myself, I was surprised to learn how much you need to avoid doing right after treatment (in the first few to 48 hours, most importantly) to achieve the best results and avoid bruising, infection, and the dreaded droopy eyelid botched look you’ve seen all over TikTok. I spoke with an aesthetic nurse practitioner at SkinSpirit, where I get Botox done myself, as well as a board-certified dermatologist, facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and dermatologic surgeon to learn all the best practices post-treatment and, namely, what you shouldn’t be doing after your glow up.

Rub or touch your face

We know it’s tempting, but now’s really the time for a hands-off approach. “After a Botox procedure, small bumps may appear in the treated area, which can be apparent for approximately 30 minutes,” explains SkinSpirit Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner Angel Maiorano. “It’s important to avoid rubbing or massaging these bumps to allow for the neurotoxin to settle into where it was placed by your provider and avoid unwanted spread of the neurotoxin, which can have undesired effects such as a drooped eyelid or brow.”

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Take a nap

Or get horizontal on the couch! Dr. Jeremy Brauer, a NY-based board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon at Spectrum Skin and Laser, tells us that lying down directly after Botox can theoretically lead to the spread of the product. “It’s important to keep the Botox in the intended spot of injection and not let it migrate to other areas. If the neurotoxin does migrate, it can cause unwanted negative effects such as a drooping eyelid or eyebrow.” Don't worry, you don't have to pull an all-nighter. Schedule your Botox earlier in the day to avoid this if necessary. Maiorano recommends avoiding lying down for at least four hours post-treatment.

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Sleep on your side or stomach

While you’re safe to lie down after the four hours post-treatment, you’ll probably want to sleep on your back the night after to avoid putting extra pressure on your face and risking migration. Adding a pillow for extra elevation will also help.

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Hit the gym

Consider it your rest day. According to Brauer, exercise increases the blood flow in the body which can lead to swelling and bruising after treatment. “Upside down activities such as yoga can also theoretically lead to the spread of the product to untended locations, as well as increase blood flow to the head and will increase the side effects of the Botox,” he tells us. With that said, he recommends refraining from exercise for the first 24 hours post-treatment.

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Drink alcoholic beverages

Time to mix up a mocktail or refill that water bottle! “Not only is alcohol dehydrating and takes a toll on skin, but drinking alcohol too soon after getting Botox can cause flushed areas, which may cause the product to migrate,” warns Dr. Michael Bassiri-Tehrahi, a NY-based double board-certified Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. “It can also cause increased swelling, puffiness, pain, and bruising at the injection site.” Another adverse effect of alcohol is skin sensitivity, which can impair the healing process, points out Maiorano.

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Take blood thinners

“Blood thinning medications can cause excessive bleeding and bruising,” says Maiorano. It’s best to avoid taking any blood thinning medications or supplements for a few days before, and at least 24 hours after your treatment.

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Apply makeup

Plan your Botox accordingly, ladies. “After getting Botox, the site of the injection can get infected from bacteria,” notes Dr. Bassiri-Tehrahi. “Putting makeup on directly over the injection site can cause infection and lead to complications of the Botox.” He advises waiting a minimum of 30 minutes to one hour to apply makeup post-treatment, but ideally a full 24 hours.

for starters, i apply a concealer
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Book a facial

Sorry, no full beauty days. You’ll also want to avoid washing your face for at least one hour after, according to Rachel Nazarian, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC. “For both behaviors, there’s a lot of pressure, massaging and rubbing of the skin, which can push the liquid into muscles that are not our primary targets,” she says. “Migration of Botox to muscles that lift the eyelids can increase your risk of eyelid droop and ultimately is the greatest reason these post-care guidelines are in place.”

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