Why Does My Botox Cost So Much?
This is one of those questions that isn’t asked often, but when a client is being given pricing, especially as a complete newbie to injectables, you can see that little flicker of surprise. Some people are more open, asking for a breakdown of the cost (which is great--it’s good to completely understand pricing before you get injected). We also get the comments, “I can’t believe I spent X amount and it was only ten minutes!”
Well, I’m here to give you the lowdown on just why, exactly, your Botox seemingly costs so much when your appointment may seem so short.
First things first: the product itself. Products like Botox and Dysport are considered neurotoxins since they’re a form of the Botulinum toxin. Dysport is abobotulinumtoxinA, whereas Botox is onabotulinumA. Subtle difference, and honestly not that important unless you really want to get into the science behind aesthetic neurotoxins, but it’s important to understand that there is a difference between brands, meaning that certain companies have “claimed” forms of the toxin, trademarked them, and have a monopoly on pricing.
Think of it this way: sure, someone may have originally decided that almond milk was a great idea. But because almond milk is such a general and easily producible product, there wasn’t one company that got to decide they “owned” a form of almond milk.
Imagine if they had, however. What if one company had figured out a really great way of producing almond milk, and managed to trademark it? If enough people wanted that type of almond milk, and especially if there were only one or two other kinds of almond milk, that one company could decide to set the pricing however they wanted.
Keep in mind, however, that there’s a difference between a trademark, and a patent. Patents are highly protected, whereas a trademark means the name and formula can’t be outright stolen, but other companies can certainly use it to figure out how to make their own product. This is why Botox is usually how we refer to Botulinum toxin, since Allergan (the “umbrella” company that owns Botox, Juvederm fillers, and many other products) trademarked Botox in 1989 and was the first to do so before other companies followed suit. Now in 2019, there are four aesthetic neurotoxins on the market: Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and the newcomer of the family, Jeuveau. Jeaveau was only approved by the FDA this year, so you’ll slowly see businesses start to incorporate it as we head into 2020. However, up until now, Botox, Dysport and Xeomin were the only players in the market, which means that pricing was set according to what the “umbrella companies” wanted.
All this to say: aesthetic neurotoxins are very expensive for a business to purchase. Even if these neurotoxins were sold at cost to consumers (consumers being clients of aesthetic businesses), Botox and Dysport would still be expensive. However, in order to pay the practitioners who inject and the administrative and managerial staff who run the office, neurotoxins have to be sold at a higher than at-cost price, just like any other product (like the almond milk I mentioned, for example).
Here’s the other reason your Botox costs so much: sure, it may only take a few minutes to inject. But you’re not paying your practitioner for how long it takes them to inject.
You’re paying them for the years spent learning how to inject properly in that amount of time. Your practitioner has to have some type of medical degree, whether it’s in nursing, or as a PA or doctor. On top of paying and going through school for that degree, the aesthetic industry is extremely rigorous if you want to be a proper injector. You need to continually attend trainings, practice relentlessly, consistently review facial anatomy, always stay in touch with new techniques, and you must be incredibly diligent about safety. If you happen to be all of these things, pricing will reflect that. Which is why I consistently warn people that “getting a deal” may work when you’re shopping for clothes, but not when someone is sticking a needle in your face. If someone has cheap prices for the area, most likely they’re either watering down product or lack skill as an injector.
The only exception to this rule is for training: when a new injector is being trained, they often work for free, because they are still learning. However, they should always be under the supervision of an experienced injector, and the models for training understand the situation before they go in to be injected.
So, the next time you’re in for your injectables experience, hopefully you understand more why it seemingly costs so much for a short appointment. Remember it’s perfectly okay to schedule consultations and research multiple places to find one that works for you, but always stay aware of what you may actually be getting with a “great deal”. Stay safe, everyone!
Reach out if you have questions using the contact form located on the home page. Questions & suggestions are always welcome. While you're at it, check out my Instagram for more fun tips & tricks, and to say hi!