Three Expert Injector Tips for Botox Newbies
At The Face Training Center, we provide you with comprehensive and thorough training on which to build your new career as a Botox provider. However, once you’ve completed our course and learned the basics, ongoing learning and fine-tuning of your skills is essential.
Improving your injecting technique and staying abreast of developments in the field of neurotoxins and aesthetics not only reduces the risk of errors and complications but also sets you apart as an injector. As every satisfied patient knows, the most sought-after injectors are known for subtlety and artistry that is often hard to pinpoint. While these attributes can take years of experience to learn, here are three invaluable tips that will help advance your newly honed skills to the next level.
Good Botox requires a thorough understanding of facial anatomy
Exceptionally skilled Botox injectors agree that a sophisticated awareness of facial anatomy is critical to delivering outstanding results. Understanding how the four facial anatomical components (muscles, skin, subcutaneous fat and bone) interact with each other, both when the face is animated and in repose, allows you to treat the cause of the wrinkles, rather than address the secondary effects.
Average injectors attempt to soften or paralyze dynamic wrinkles by injecting into them directly. Expert injectors identify the source of the wrinkle then inject accordingly, knowing how the injection will affect not only the targeted muscles but the surrounding musculature and tissue of the face. The difference? More natural results, a reduced likelihood of the dreaded “frozen Botox face” or unwanted ptosis.
Top tips from experts:
- Study facial anatomy comprehensively. Learn the name, function, and position of each facial muscle, and how they interact with each other.
- Know anatomical danger zones and where to avoid injecting: for example; Botox injected into the frontalis muscle should be at least 2 cm above the orbital rim to prevent brow ptosis.
- Find an expert injector to be your mentor, and observe them as they administer injections to patients.
- Start by offering injections to friends or family whom you can observe on a daily basis. Daily observation allows you to witness the anatomical effects of the Botox injections over time, recovery and if any complications occur.
- Don’t run before you can walk: begin by administering more straightforward Botox treatments, then gradually work your way up to more complex procedures as you become comfortable with the complexities of facial anatomy.
- Be aware of the anatomical effects of superficial injections applied at a subcutaneous level which reach the muscle via diffusion, and deeper injections which are administered directly into the muscle. Know when and where to deliver superficial doses as opposed to deeper ones.
An individualized approach to Botox means awareness of facial animation
While a comprehensive understanding of facial anatomy is essential to becoming an expert injector, so too is an appreciation of facial animation and the way in which aging affects one’s facial expression. Before commencing any treatment with Botox, take time to observe how the patient animates their face while talking, the extent to which their expressiveness activates muscles, and note any facial asymmetry that may be apparent.
While an understanding of facial anatomy provides essential awareness of the general constitution of facial musculature, soft tissue, and bone, observing facial expression reveals the particularities and unique specificities of an individual’s face which is critical to achieving a personalized approach to treatment.
Clinical surveys of patients reveal that more than two-thirds want to achieve natural-looking, individualized results, and wish to avoid any extreme morphological changes to their face or facial expression. Patients defined natural results as inconspicuous treatments which respected their original facial appearance and expressiveness. Patients often expressed that they wanted “to look the same, but with a few years taken off” or “look as though I’ve returned from holiday”.
Botox treatments should aim to rebuild the close link between self-image and personality that can be eroded by age. Patients often complain that the aging process has left them looking older, meaner, more drawn or harsher than they feel, and they simply want to achieve a facial expression that is more cheerful, youthful and aligned with their internal state of mind, rather than achieve a set or stereotypical beauty. To do this, the injector’s consideration of facial animation is crucial; aim to correct facial expressions such as sternness or fatigue while maintaining the natural expressiveness of the face.
Top tips from experts:
- Observe facial contraction and relaxation while the patient is speaking and making expressions.
- Observe any asymmetries present in the face and adjust the dosage accordingly to achieve a more harmonious facial appearance. Asymmetric wrinkles are usually indicators of facial asymmetry.
- Identify negative expression points to enable their correction, and how the face appears while animating and at rest to determine treatment. Novice injectors may find it helpful to gently mark these points on the patient’s face with a white eyeliner to ensure accuracy.
- Consider how the diffusion of the neurotoxin will affect the surrounding area.
- Consider the individual’s positive facial expressions rather than aiming to erase or smooth wrinkles at any price. Some semblance of crows’ feet and rhytids that appear when the patient smiles are generally desirable to their complete erasure.
Less Botox is always more, especially when you are starting out
Managing patient expectations and your desire to give patients the best possible outcome can be challenging. While it can feel tempting to provide a thorough treatment that paralyzes wrinkles, it is always better to inject conservatively at first, then deliver top-ups during the follow-up appointment if necessary.
Top tips from experts:
- Develop a treatment plan with your patient where you clearly explain that you intend to start subtly and carefully, and then increase dosage if necessary. This goes a long way to establishing a bond of trust and long-term relationship with your patient by becoming familiar with their facial anatomy and how they respond to treatment.
- Conservative Botox aims to preserve some natural facial expression and avoid the frozen, waxy look symbolic of over-done Botox.
- Proponents of the “conservative” approach argue that it is particularly useful when treating the eyes and eyelids, or the lower face. A retouch or additional injection is much easier than waiting for the unwanted effects of excess Botox to dissipate, which can take up to six months.
- Less Botox means a reduced likelihood of unwanted side effects such as ptosis or asymmetry.
- The conservative approach can lead to a more methodical, customized treatment plan. For example, when treating a patient for mild frown lines, it can be prudent to administer Botox to the glabella first, and then wait up to four weeks before addressing the forehead lines, as sometimes the procerus muscle may be responsible for contributing to the lines across the forehead. Such an approach is slower, but more holistic and will ultimately yield a more individualized understanding of the patient’s anatomy.