How long does it last? (Plus, a few more tidbits worth knowing.)

Woman Getting Botox
Credit: Renphoto/Getty Images

Who else is mildly (er, majorly) intrigued by Botox ? [Raises hand.] How long does Botox last? When should one start routine Botox treatments? And, what is Botox, anyway? While you can and should certainly talk to your dermatologist about these and all other questions related to Botox, we did some digging to find out a few basics worth knowing.

What Is Botox?

According to Birmingham, Alabama-based Total Skin & Beauty Dermatology, Botox is used to relax the muscles that it's injected into. Treatment areas typically include the forehead, area between brows, crow's feet, and around the mouth. Additionally, Total Skin & Beauty Dermatology uses Botox to treat excessive sweating (underarm area and hands) and migraines.

How Long Does Botox Last?

Based on our research, we found the average answer to this question to be somewhere between 3 to 4 months, though it varies from patient to patient. Texas Surgical Dermatology PA has a blog post with comprehensive information on Botox, including an interesting takeaway on the longevity of Botox treatment which can be traced to your facial fitness (i.e. how strong your facial muscles are) and whether a patient has undergone previous Botox cosmetic injections. "With continued use of Botox, the dynamic facial muscles become trained to stay more relaxed. This allows for less prominent aging lines, creating longer lasting results," the article explains. Some might see the maintenance window grow the longer Botox treatments are received due to relaxing the wrinkle-causing muscles. Others might have stronger facial muscles that work overtime to build those expression lines, thus necessitating a return visit a little earlier than a less expressive patient. We'd say the average Southern woman might find herself needing a return visit sooner rather than later—we're an expressive bunch after all.

When Should You Start Botox?

These days, women are opting receive Botox treatments as a preventative measure, sometimes even before lines and wrinkles begin to appear. Your doctor will best be able to advise when and if you're a good candidate for Botox.

WATCH: This is the Age to Start Using Anti-Aging Products, According to a Dermatologist

How To Ensure Safe Botox Treatments?

Do your research. Talk to your dermatologist prior to receiving treatment—whether you plan to do so within or outside of the office. By all means, skip the Botox parties thrown by your neighbor, especially if you're not familiar with the provider. If it sounds dicey, it probably is. While the popularity of Botox has made it highly accessible, it's still a medical procedure and should be treated as such. Also, verify that you're receiving authentic Botox through Allergan or distributed with authorization from Allergan.