Xeomin and Botox: What Are the Main Differences?

You’ve probably heard of Botox, the injectable treatment that softens the look of fine lines and wrinkles. But did you know that there’s another injectable that can accomplish many of the same cosmetic goals? Xeomin gives patients yet another tool to fight back against those early signs of aging. There are differences between the two treatments, and at Nubo Spa in Berkeley, CA, we can work with you to determine which injectable is the right one for you.

Both treatments are part of a class of wrinkle-busting injectables known as neuromodulators. Another injectable known as Dysport is also a part of this group. These injectables are used to treat crow’s feet, frown lines, and other unwanted lines and wrinkles. Their primary ingredient is botulinum toxin, and once a small amount of it is injected into the area of concern, it relaxes the underlying muscles and smooths the lines in the skin above. These treatments leave the face smoother and more relaxed and youthful in appearance.

What Are the Differences Between Xeomin and Botox?

The two injectables are actually quite similar. They are administered in much the same way, cost roughly the same, and once in place, they last for about the same amount of time. There are some differences between the two, but from the patient’s perspective, the differences are often subtle.


The main difference between the two treatments is their chemical formulation. Xeomin is a “naked” neurotoxin, which is a fancy way of saying that it consists of just one ingredient, which is botulinum toxin. The pure nature of its makeup means that patients who use this treatment on an ongoing basis are less likely to build up resistance to it over time. There is also less chance of an allergic reaction. Botox contains botulinum toxin as well as other additives and proteins.

Onset of Results

Another distinguishing factor between the two injectables is the onset of results. Xeomin patients usually see their full results within four days, while Botox patients often see their full results within 72 hours. Both treatments, once in place, last for anywhere from three to six months.

Areas of Effectiveness

Both injectables are effectively used on different parts of the face, but Xeomin works particularly well when treating the glabella area, or the area in between your eyebrows. Botox has been approved for treating the frown lines that can develop between the eyebrows as well, but it’s also approved for crow’s feet around the eyes and forehead lines.

Distribution and Storage

There is also a behind-the-scenes difference between these two neuromodulators that is more of a factor for practitioners than patients. Xeomin, because of its pure formulation, does not have to be refrigerated before use, a feature that can make it simpler to distribute and store.

Brand Awareness

Of the two injectables, Botox has been around longer and therefore has greater brand awareness. Botox was approved by the FDA for cosmetic use in 2002–eight years before Xeomin. Both treatments were initially developed to treat other muscular issues in the body but are now widely used for the purpose of relaxing facial lines and wrinkles.

What Are the Advantages of Seeking Out Botulinum Toxin Injections?

Regardless of which injection is recommended, the first step is deciding whether or not a botulinum toxin injection is right for you. Botulinum injections have become one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the country, in large part because they can effectively address those early signs of aging in the face with a minimum of hassle, inconvenience, and downtime. Here are some of the primary advantages of these injectable treatments.

They Keep Your Skin Looking Youthful

Our faces are constantly in action. Every time we squint, laugh, scowl, raise our eyebrows, or make some other facial expression, we put our facial muscles and facial skin to work. But as we age, levels of collagen and elastins in the skin begin to decline, and the skin begins to lose its ability to keep bouncing back from all that activity. 

That’s when fine lines and wrinkles start to form, and one of the first places they develop is around the eyes and on the upper face where the skin is thinner but constantly in motion. Botulinum toxin injections relax the facial muscles, allowing the skin to rest and easing the look of lines.

They Ward off Signs of Aging

Younger patients in their 20s and early 30s are increasingly seeking out botulinum toxin injections. These patients are just starting to notice facial lines, and they’re turning to these injectables as a proactive and preventative step. By starting treatment early and making these injections part of their ongoing skin health regimen, they’re hoping to delay the onset of more extensive lines and wrinkles.

They Help With Other Cosmetic Issues

Botulinum toxin injections are popular because of their wrinkle-busting capabilities, but they are sometimes used to address other cosmetic issues on the face. They are occasionally used to treat patients who have a gummy smile, or a smile that exposes too much gum. These injectables can also be used to resculpt the jawline, turn up the corners of a naturally drooping smile, or resolve other cosmetic concerns that don’t involve lines and wrinkles.

They Are Easy and Convenient

Another big advantage of these treatments is that they’re just so convenient. These injections are performed in our office during appointments that usually last less than an hour. Most can be easily worked into your lunch hour, and because there’s no downtime or recovery period, you’ll be able to get right back to your job if you wish.

They Are Customizable

Botulinum toxin injections are not a one-size-fits-all treatment. Every patient has different cosmetic needs and desires, and we work with each one to develop a custom treatment plan. Some individuals want to smooth away all evidence of wrinkles. Others want a more gentle improvement. Before your treatment, we’ll talk with you about your expectations. We’ll also evaluate your facial characteristics and the degree of wrinkling you have and develop an approach that is perfect for you.

They Offer Results You’ll Love

After your results have fully developed, you’ll look like a refreshed, healthier version of yourself. Once those fine lines and wrinkles have been smoothed over, you’ll appear rested and more youthful. Friends and family will notice something different about you, but they won’t be able to pinpoint exactly what.

What Is Treatment Like?

If you’ve decided to pursue a botulinum toxin injection, the treatment itself is nothing to worry about. On the day of your appointment, we’ll start by cleansing the treatment area and making a few light marks that we’ll use as reference points once we get started. We may also apply ice or a topical numbing cream to ensure your comfort.

We’ll then use a very fine needle to inject Xeomin into the targeted facial muscles. Depending on the scope of your treatment area and the cosmetic goals you’ve discussed with us, a series of two or three injections may be performed.

Will It Be Painful?

You may feel a prick, but most patients are surprised at how quick and comfortable the appointment is.

Is Any Special Post-treatment Care Required?

The after-care recommendations are fairly straightforward. We usually ask patients to avoid manipulating or massaging the treatment area for a period of time, and we discourage strenuous exercise for 24 hours. It’s also a good idea to avoid excessive sun or heat for 72 hours. We know you’ll be anxious to see your results, and you’ll see noticeable signs of improvement within a few days.

Can I Combine These Injections With Other Treatments?

Our office offers a host of cosmetic services, and patients often combine both botulinum toxin injections and other offerings into their treatment plans. Dermal fillers, for example, are frequently combined with botulinum toxin injections.

Dermal fillers are injectable treatments that work to support the skin from the inside, smoothing away fine lines while also restoring contour to areas of the face that have begun to lose natural fat. Ultherapy and PDO threads, two other services offered by our practice, are also commonly combined with botulinum toxin injections.

Who Will Oversee My Treatment?

California law requires that botulinum toxin injections be supervised by a licensed physician. Our medical director, Dr. Shay Nicholas, grew up in the Caribbean and attended college in New York City and medical school in Connecticut.

During her years in practice, Dr. Shay has practiced Trauma One Emergency Medicine, Intensive Care Medicine, and Administrative Medicine. She currently practices Emergency Medicine at a trauma-designated hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Shay can address the aesthetic needs of men and women of all ages.

Can I Return for Additional Botulinum Toxin Injections?

A single appointment will give you results that should last three to six months. Results vary among patients, and some even enjoy their results for a little longer. But once your results have begun to fade, you’ll be able to schedule a repeat treatment.

Will This Treatment Make Me Look “Plastic”?

The practice of administering botulinum toxin injections has evolved considerably in the decades since they first became available. Practitioners today, and Dr. Shay in particular, understand the importance of administering these injections in a way that still allows for some natural muscle activity and expression. That means your face won’t look frozen or plastic. If you’re concerned about this, be sure to mention it to us and we’ll further discuss our approach to treatment with you.

Am I a Candidate?

The first step toward a botulinum toxin injection is to schedule a consultation with our practice. We’ll review your medical history, your area of concern, and talk with you about your cosmetic goals and needs. We’ll then discuss a treatment plan with you. Botulinum toxin injections are a versatile treatment that can be used on all skin types and tones, but there are several signs that you may be a good candidate:

Your Skin Is Healthy

It helps if the skin in your treatment area is healthy and free of inflammation and irritation. If the skin is irritated, or if the patient is pregnant or breastfeeding, we may recommend postponing treatment.

You’re Realistic About the Treatment

Most patients love the results they get with botulinum toxin injections, but it’s important to remember that this treatment offers results that are not as dramatic or long-lasting as plastic surgery. The ideal patient understands the results that can be achieved with these injections and is realistic about the outcome.

Get Started Today

If you’re interested in taking the first step toward a smoother, more youthful appearance, it may be time to consider botulinum toxin injections. We can talk with you about the differences between Xeomin and Botox and determine which is best for you. Don’t wait any longer. Call Nubo Spa in Berkeley, CA and schedule your consultation today.

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