If you’ve ever been injected with a neurotoxin or dermal filler, and even if you haven’t, you probably know that the results can vary from person to person, based on a number of variables, including your metabolism.
Every body processes neurotoxins and hyaluronic acid fillers at different rates, though those with a fast metabolism appear to run through them quicker than others.
The metabolic rate correlates to an individual’s muscle mass and level of exercise, for the most part. In other words, the fitter you are, the faster your metabolism. But why, exactly, some people metabolize neurotoxins, like Botox, and dermal fillers faster than others is still a bit of a mystery.
Most board-certified dermatologists have had active patients whose injection results last for a shorter period than the average. But while the easy assumption is to say they must metabolize the injectable faster, there are just as many cases of people who have a fast metabolism whose injectable results last beyond the norm.
Until we understand precisely how metabolism affects how someone processes an injectable, we need to appreciate that the metabolic rate is merely one aspect of a complex individual process that’s also influenced by the type, depth, and amount of formula, as well as where it’s placed.
A subtle shift in perception
It’s possible, too, that perception is distorting the staying power of injectables.
Neurotoxins last, on average, three to four months. And hyaluronic acid last, on average, anywhere from five months to two years, depending on the formula. When the results wear off, they do so gradually. Over the course of a couple of months, or even a couple of weeks, it can be easy to forget what you looked like before. And just that easily, your perception of your baseline can shift.
To get a better sense of how quickly you’re going through your neurotoxin or dermal filler, take photos or videos of facial movement before your appointment and then on a weekly basis after it.
Variation between products
Do certain neurotoxins and fillers metabolize faster than others? For fillers, yes. But the difference comes down to the formulation, rather than a side-by-side comparison of similar products. Generally, the larger the particle size and the more cross-linking of the hyaluronic acid molecules, the longer the filler will last.
If you think that your filler isn’t lasting as long as it should be, talk with your dermatologist about switching to another formula with a longer-lasting bonding type.
As for neurotoxins (Botox, Jeuveau, Dysport, and Xeomin), there might be a very slight variation from one to another, but that’s it.
The takeaway should not be that you need to drop your exercise regimen in order to squeeze a few more weeks out of your injectable. Typically, you should refrain from intense exercise for three days following the application of a neurotoxin or dermal filler to allow them to settle in and take effect. But the consensus beyond that is to resume exercising as normal. There’s no evidence at this point to suggest that regular exercise contributes to a quicker dissolution of filler.