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We get it; you want to go and show off your new line-free brows – but are there any potential problems if you drink alcohol after Botox? And if so, when can you drink alcohol after Botox? We asked an expert and found out…
What’s the Potential Problem With Botox and Alcohol?
Why can’t you have alcohol after Botox?
The main reason is bruising.
‘Drinking alcohol can lead to bruising and swelling at the injection site as alcohol has blood thinning properties, and is also a vasodilator (a substance that makes your blood vessels wider) and that can make bruising worse,’ explains Katherine Russo, a Registered Cosmetic Nurse and specialist in cosmetic injectables at award-winning aesthetic practice Cosmetic Avenue.
However, there might be a small risk of some other issues from drinking after Botox.
‘The literature also suggests that vasodilation caused by alcohol consumption can speed up the absorption of Botox, reducing results – or, it may cause the Botox to spread to an undesired area – although this is a debated topic,’ says Katherine.
And there’s the human error risk of drinking alcohol after Botox! If you have a little bit more booze than perhaps you should, you might not look after your face as suggested in the hours after your appointment and forget the long list of things you shouldn’t do after Botox. ‘Particularly remember, you shouldn’t lay down for at least four hours after your injection, and, do not rub your face for 24 hours,’ says Katherine.
If you’ve gone into wine-induced autopilot and end up scrubbing off your makeup 6-7 hours after your jabs, you might end up with effects a little bit outside of your desired area.
So, When Can You Drink Alcohol After Botox?
Ideally, wait at least 24 hours after your shot just to minimize your risk of bruising.
Not drinking doesn’t mean you won’t end up with a bruise, ‘the most common side effect experienced after Botox is bruising,’ says Katherine. ‘But drinking alcohol too soon after your appointment will increase the chance of it happening.’
Can You Drink Alcohol Before Botox?
‘In fact, drinking alcohol on the day before your appointment is more likely to cause bruising than drinking in the 24 hours after due to the blood thinning properties of alcohol,’ says Katherine. ‘At a minimum, stay off alcohol for 24 hours before.’
Oops, I Already Drank Alcohol After Botox
If you’re reading this because you already had a glass (or two) of wine after Botox – don’t panic.
Been there, done that!
When I was having Botox in London, I almost always went out afterward as I’d already traveled an hour to get into town from where I was living, and I wasn’t wasting that journey heading straight back home.
‘I’ve done it too, and I was fine,’ says Katherine. ‘But, if I had an important event coming up and was worried about bruising, I just wouldn’t drink for 24 hours pre or post-treatment to try and minimize my risk.’
What Happens if You Do Bruise After Botox?
If you do wake up tomorrow with a bruise, here’s what to do…
Most bruises after Botox are very small. That means they’re usually very easily covered up with a good concealer if you do get one.
While you shouldn’t rub or touch the area of your face that’s been treated at all in the 4-6 hours after treatment – and only touch it lightly for the first 24 hours, if you wake up in the morning and see bruising, there’s no harm in gently dabbing a little concealer on the area – just make sure your finger or sponge is clean to apply it.
‘If I see bruising coming up quickly after the injections, I’ll send my patients to the chemist to buy some Hirudoid cream,’ says Katherine. ‘The active ingredient in this is Heparinoid, which promotes healing by dissolving small blood clots under the skin – and it’s these clots that lead to bruising.’
See more advice on handling post-Botox bruising here.
Does Alcohol Affect Botox in Any Other Way?
Not directly, but have you heard about Wine Face?
This is the name given by naturopathic physician Dr. Nigma Talib in her book Reverse the Signs of Aging for the characteristics she commonly sees in people who drink a lot of alcohol, and one of the most characteristic signs of wine face is exactly the problem that most of us turn to Botox to conceal – a deepening of the lines between the eyebrows.
In Chinese medicine, the theory is that this area represents the liver, and if this is under strain – as it might be if you’re drinking regularly or a little bit more than is good for you, then you might feel the effects of your Botox aren’t lasting quite as long as you might like.
‘Also, alcohol generally dehydrates the skin, and long-term, frequent alcohol intake ages you,’ says Katherine. ‘If you’re having Botox treatments for their anti-aging benefits, I would minimize alcohol intake full stop, not just around your appointments.’
Other FAQs About Alcohol and Wrinkle Jabs…
Can I Drink After Dysport?
The same rules apply.
Botox and Dysport are both forms of botulinum toxin A. They just use slightly different configurations of proteins.
Dysport’s molecules are smaller, which means it works faster and needs fewer injections to cover an area.
Fewer jabs might mean less risk of bruising, but you still want to be careful about not drinking 24 hours before or after Dysport.
What About Xeomin and Alcohol?
The same rules apply again.
Of the three types of muscle-freezing injectables, Xeomin has the smallest molecule weight.
Again, its biggest potential side effect is bruising, so keep off the booze for at least 24 hours before or after your Xeomin appointment.
Does Alcohol Cause Bruising After Botox?
Not per se – Bruising occurs when the small blood vessels under the skin are damaged, and blood leaks out. That’s what causes the blue or purple mark.
Alcohol may make this worse as it causes the blood vessels to widen, so more blood might collect in the area, which will darken the bruise.
Can You Drink Alcohol After a Botox Top-Up?
The 24-hour rule also applies after a Botox top-up as, you’re still breaking the skin.
So, there you have it. The rules on drinking alcohol after Botox, if you have any other questions, do let us know in the comments.
If you are booking in for your jabs, you might also want to check out our post on the rules of exercise before and after Botox as well.
Who is The Wellness Nerd?
My name is Helen Foster, and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail, and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.