Yes, “Discount Botox” is Too Good To Be True

Young woman looking in mirror at wrinkles after a discounted Botox treatment

So if you hear about a place where you can get cheap Botox®, should you switch? At our Asheville medical spa, we believe that our clients deserve the safest, highest quality care possible from injectors they can trust to give them stellar results. That’s why we want to address the topic of “discount Botox.” Our two cents: a Botox deal that seems too good to be true probably is. Below, we explain all the reasons why.

Reasons to avoid discount Botox

Inexpensive Botox could indicate fake or diluted products

Botox is sometimes offered at lower prices than you see at reputable, established medical spas, but this doesn’t mean that you’ll be getting a good deal. If a discount seems too good to be true, the provider could be injecting either fake or overly diluted injectable neurotoxin. The FDA has found counterfeit Botox circulated in the United States before, and it’s very possible it will happen again. Furthermore, even authentic neurotoxin products can be diluted at varying levels, meaning unscrupulous providers may inject doses that are not in line with what you have paid for or expect. With a fake or diluted product, at best, you’ll get mediocre or nonexistent results—-and, even worse, receiving fake Botox could create significant health risks.

While there are other reputable competing, FDA-approved neurotoxin brand-name products including Xeomin, Dysport, Jeuveau, and Daxxify, these too need to be an authentic product for safe injections. (If the name of a product is unfamiliar to you, look up documentation for that specific formula to confirm that it is FDA-approved, while also confirming the product is authentic at the time of your injections.) 

There should always be medical oversight at the medspa

In many states, oversight by a physician, physician assistant (PA), or nurse practitioner (NP) is a legal requirement for offering injectables. Plus, FDA-approved neurotoxin products cannot be ordered by someone who is under-qualified. Medical oversight helps to ensure that you’re receiving safe, effective treatment, and that any side effects that arise can be addressed quickly and appropriately. If a medical spa is offering discount Botox, it’s possible that they may not have a physician overseeing the operation, which puts you at risk. 

At Mountain Radiance Medical Spa in Asheville, we not only have a physician overseeing our operations, but Dr. Mark Chandler is closely involved in daily operations of the medical spa, regularly seeing patients to offer injectables.

Botox is a prescription drug that requires a licensed medical professional with specific aesthetic training

A non-medical provider, such as a facialist, is not qualified to offer injectables. And even a licensed medical professional who is not specifically trained in aesthetic injectables may lack knowledge and experience with injection techniques and dosages. This could put you at risk of developing complications such as a drooping eyelid or facial asymmetry after Botox (or even a dangerous vascular occlusion after injection of facial filler).

How to look out for Botox “red flags”

As you search for a licensed injector near you, watch out for these red flags:

  • Prices are overly low, i.e. $8-9 per unit ($12 per unit is average, and neurotoxin pricing only varies within a small range because of the cost of authentic product and treatment time). 
  • Injections are performed in a non-medical environment such as a day spa, salon, or home without gloves and sterile procedures.
  • There is little to no paperwork to fill out.
  • The provider doesn’t ask about your health and medical history.
  • The product is not the actual FDA-approved neurotoxin (packaging should have verifiable marks of authenticity for the brand).
  • The provider has no before and after photos of their own previous patients.
  • Patient reviews are nonexistent, limited, or otherwise questionable.
  • State medical licensure of the provider cannot be confirmed.

FDA-approved injectables are under strict rules for how they are made and distributed, and and the result is that most providers charge a similar rate.

How to identify a safe provider for neurotoxin & dermal filler

It’s critically important to do your research when choosing an injector for Botox or any other injectable treatment. Take these steps:

1. Check injector and supervisor credentials

It’s important to get Botox and filler from a trained, licensed provider, such as a physician, physician assistant, nurse, or other medically-qualified injector at a physician-supervised medical spa or practice. Furthermore, they must be specifically trained in neurotoxin injections, which require a skill set beyond what’s taught in standard medical programs. 

Your comfort and level of trust should be the number one priority with any reputable injector, so never be afraid to ask what medical qualifications and aesthetic training the injector has! Experienced injectors are always happy to share how they came to specialize in aesthetic medicine—for many, the journey has been a positive experience of discovering a passion for helping patients look like the best version of themselves.

2. Look at before and after photos

Credentials can help ensure you’re in safe hands, but you’ll also want to make sure that you love the injector’s results for patients like you, as evidenced by their own before and after photos! The practice’s website and social media accounts are common places for them to showcase their work. Look for photos of patients who resemble you in the “before” photos to get a truer sense of what you’ll look like “after” your appointment.

3. Read online reviews

To hear directly from previous clients, check online reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, RealSelf, and Real Patient Ratings. A skilled, beloved injector should have plenty of reviews from grateful clientele that offer insight into their bedside manner and expertise.

4. Ask questions about the product & treatment you’re getting

Avoid questionable products by choosing a respected, well-established provider, checking that their prices are in the range of those quoted by other practices. In some cases you may pay nominally more for an MD injector or an injector that is otherwise in high demand. 

Next, once you’re in the injection room, confirm the product is indeed authentic. (Here at Mountain Radiance, we are always happy to show our clients the product they’re receiving in its original packaging, so you can rest assured you are receiving safe treatment.) Neuromodulators, like Botox, come as a powder in a vial; the injector adds a specific amount of sterile saline solution before loading the product into a syringe for injection. There are 5 FDA-approved brand names of toxin, all similar in safety and effectiveness:

  • Botox®
  • Dysport®
  • Xeomin®
  • Jeuveau®
  • Daxxify® 

As a further safety measure, your injector should write down the product type, expiration date, and lot number in your patient records in case it is needed for future reference. 

5. Talk to your family and friends

If you have family and friends who receive regular cosmetic injections from a medspa they love, it’s a good idea to ask about their experiences! Ask about how they found their injector, and what they like about them—then research them as rigorously as you would any medical provider.

When Botox discounts are normal and safe

If the medical spa seems reputable and well-established, with fully licensed injectors and all signs pointing to “legit,” then there are cases when some discounted product is totally normal. 

  • Reward programs (like Allē℠ from Botox manufacturer Allergan) offer points programs and sometimes run a special that you can only redeem with authorized providers. 
  • Medical spas may run occasional specials on a variety of services such as facials, Botox, and filler. (View our current specials here!)
  • You may be charged a slightly lower rate when you work with a nurse injector or physician assistant, rather than with an MD injector.

Remember that, generally speaking, FDA-approved injectables are under strict rules for how they are made and distributed, and the result is that most providers charge a similar rate. 

About Mountain Radiance, an Asheville medical spa

Dr. Mark Chandler and the team at Mountain Radiance believe our clients deserve to be treated with respect, professionalism, and the utmost skill! We are extremely selective about the services and products we offer, testing everything on ourselves before deciding to offer them to you. Further, Dr. Chandler oversees all of our operations, ensuring that each treatment is medically sound and safely administered.

To schedule your appointment with Dr. Chandler, nurse injector Sarah, or physician assistant Christina, call (828) 627-2711 or send us a message online—we can’t wait to help you feel your best!

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