10 Things You Need To Know to Avoid Counterfeit Botox

By Pinch Med Spa Staff

April 24, 2024

If you've read the recent news about counterfeit Botox, in this post we want to highlight both why this is NOT an issue with Pinch and how to avoid counterfeit Botox in general.

10 Ways to Avoid Counterfeit Botox

1. Know the Tox landscape

“Botox” is just one type of neuromodulator among many. Understanding that multiple options are available is the first step in safeguarding yourself against counterfeit products. Familiarize yourself with legitimate FDA-approved brands and their characteristics. For example, at Pinch we only use Xeomin which is another brand of neuromodulator.

2. Storage requirements for Tox

Legitimate neuromodulators often have specific storage requirements. Some need to be refrigerated to maintain their efficacy. Be wary of providers who don't adhere to proper storage protocols, as this could indicate counterfeit products. Xeomin is shelf-stable at room temperature before opening which further reduces risk.

3. Dose variation for injections

The number of units required for effective treatment can vary depending on the type of neuromodulator used. Educate yourself about the appropriate dosage for your specific treatment to avoid being misled by providers using counterfeit products. You can see a full list of Tox unit ranges here.

4. Choose credible aesthetic injectors

When it comes to something as sensitive as cosmetic injections, never compromise on the credibility of your healthcare provider. Opt for reputable practitioners, such as qualified nurse practitioners with a track record of safe and successful treatments.

5. Price: You get what you pay for

Your face is not an area to skimp on quality. While opting for the lowest-priced To option may be tempting, remember the adage, "If it's too good to be true, it probably is." Investing in reputable products and providers may initially cost more but can save you from potential complications and long-term dissatisfaction.

6. Research the provider

Before scheduling any cosmetic procedure, thoroughly research the provider and their products. Check the company's Google reviews and other online platforms to gauge their credibility and previous clients' satisfaction.

7. Verify Provider credentials

Beyond online reviews, delve into the provider's background, qualifications, and medical experience. A legitimate practitioner will have no qualms about providing this information and may even encourage you to ask questions to ensure your peace of mind.

8. Beware of pressure tactics

Be wary of providers who use aggressive sales tactics or pressure you into making a quick decision. Legitimate practitioners prioritize patient safety and informed consent, allowing you the time and space to make a well-informed decision.

9. Inspect packaging and labeling

Genuine Botox and other neuromodulators come in sealed packaging with clear labeling, including the product name, dosage, and expiration date. Inspect the packaging closely to ensure it hasn't been tampered with or altered.

10. Trust your instincts

Ultimately, trust your instincts. If something feels off or too good to be true, walk away rather than risk your health and appearance. Listen to your gut and seek out alternative providers or treatments if you have any doubts or concerns.

The importance of safety and authenticity in the quest for beauty cannot be overstated. By arming yourself with knowledge and taking proactive measures, you can avoid the pitfalls of counterfeit Botox and enjoy the confidence that comes from knowing you've made a safe and informed choice for your cosmetic enhancements.

What neuromodulators are safe for injections?

Common FDA-approved neuromodulators included:

  • Botox
  • Xeomin
  • Daxify
  • Dysport
  • Jeuveau

Depending on their preferences, different providers will often offer one or two of the FDA-approved neuromodulators. 

At Pinch, our neuromodulator of choice is Xeomin. We chose Xeomin because of its clean formulation that is “double-filtered,” removing unnecessary proteins, resulting in faster results and the unlikelihood of ever building up resistance to the product. In addition, Xeomin is shelf stable, meaning it does not have to be refrigerated. This gives Xeomin a much more stable shelf life that does not risk expiration as quickly as many other neuromodulators. 

How do Neuromodulators work?

Neuromodulators, such as Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, or Jeuveau, are injectable treatments derived from botulinum toxin. These neuromodulators relax wrinkles and lines commonly found on the face, including frown lines and crow's feet. Tox is administered via precise injections into targeted muscles; these neuromodulators temporarily block nerve signals that stimulate muscle contractions. As a result, the treated muscles relax, allowing the skin above them to smooth out gradually. The effects of neuromodulator injections typically last around three months before gradually wearing off, prompting the need for subsequent treatments to maintain results. 

Who can legally inject a neuromodulator? 

Determining who can legally inject neuromodulators is a complex question that varies by state and business model. Many states strictly limit the type of practitioner who can inject (i.e., physicians, nurse practitioners, etc.), while other jurisdictions allow a broader range of injector professionals (i.e., RNs, etc.). Additionally, specific models allow a supervising medical director to delegate injection authority under certain conditions. In contrast, others require the actual injector to create a patient-provider relationship, including, in many cases, requiring the provider to have prescriptive authority to determine where and how much neurotoxin should be injected. 

When speaking with your injector, it is always important to ask for their training background and qualifications. At Pinch, all our injectors are Board-Certified Nurse Practitioners (APRNs) who have undergone specialized training in aesthetics. This means they are not only qualified to inject neuromodulators but also have robust, broader healthcare education and experience. This requirement that all Pinch Providers be expert healthcare professionals in addition to trained injectors ensures the safety and well-being of all our clients, regardless of an individual's medical or aesthetic history.

Why does Pinch use Xeomin?

Although “Botox” is the commonly referred to brand name for all neuromodulators. There are various types on the market that each claim to have unique benefits. At Pinch, we have researched and compared all of the neuromodulators the market has to offer and chosen Xeomin for its exceptional benefits, including:

  • Double Filtered: Xeomin, or incobotulinumtoxinA, differs from Botox, Dysport, and Jeuveau in that it contains the purest form of botulinum toxin type A without any complex proteins. 
  • Lighter Feel: Xeomin is known to have a more lightweight feel under the skin compared to the “heavier” feeling of Botox and Dysport. 
  • Lifetime Use: Because Xeomin is “double-filtered” and removes unnecessary proteins from its formula, it may be the only neuromodulator to which one cannot build up a resistance, unlike all others on the market. 
  • Shelf Life: Xeomin does not need to be refrigerated. This works well for Pinch’s “at-home” model but ensures there is no risk of the product spoiling or expiring when it is not in cool temperatures.   

What’s the difference between Botox and Xeomin?

 “Botox” is the brand name you have probably heard of, while Xeomin is a newer, cleaner neuromodulator. Xeomin's formula is more pure, as the unnecessary proteins have been removed. This means you are less likely to build up resistance over time. Xeomin is also beneficial when Pinch Providers come to your home, as new vials do not require refrigeration.

What makes Pinch the safest med spa in Chicago?

We take safety seriously. We only work with highly vetted and board-certified Nurse Practitioners, and we’re the only med spa in town that does. 

These expert healthcare professionals have undergone years of clinical schooling and are trained in injectables by leading local cosmetic trainers. Pinch curates the scope of products and services with an eye on safety and efficacy, and our in-house physician-led team provides all clinical oversight.

By contrast, providers' credentials vary in most med spas and can be opaque, ranging from aestheticians to RNs. 

Most common areas for “Botox” Injections.

Tox can be used for a variety of purposes including aesthetic and non-aesthetic use cases. The most common aesthetic treatment area for Tox are:

  • Forehead Lines: Smooth out fine lines and wrinkles through minimally invasive forehead Tox injections. By targeting the muscles responsible for these lines, Tox relaxes them, resulting in a smoother, more youthful appearance.
  • Bunny Lines: Experience smoother facial expressions with Tox treatment for bunny lines. By targeting the muscles causing these wrinkles on the nose, Tox injections relax them, reducing the appearance of fine lines.
  • Crow's Feet: Achieve smoother skin around your eyes with Tox for crow's feet. By targeting the muscles around the eyes responsible for these fine lines, Tox injections relax them, diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Glabellar Lines: Tox treats Glabellar lines (also known as "11s") by targeting injections in the muscles between the eyebrows, relaxing them to reduce the appearance of frown lines.
  • Underarms: Experience relief from excessive sweating with hyperhidrosis Tox treatment. Tox injections effectively reduce sweating in treated areas like underarms, palms, and feet by blocking nerve signals to sweat glands. 
  • Lip Flip: Lip Flips create a subtle appearance of fuller and more pronounced lips without adding volume. This is done through a Tox injection that temporarily relaxes the lip muscles and prevents them from contracting as strongly. The goal of a Lip Flip is not a dramatic volume increase but enhanced visibility and prevention of inward curling when smiling.
  • Masseter To: Reduce the appearance of a square jawline caused by excessive muscle development and help reshape the jawline for a more slender and balanced appearance with Massater Tox. This treatment involves injecting Tox into the masseter muscles responsible for jaw clenching and teeth grinding.

On our website, you can find our full Tox treatment guide, which covers all of Pinch’s Tox treatment areas. 

What to Expect When Getting “Botox” Injections.

Before Your Tox Appointment:

  • Avoid using "anti-aging" products like retinol 1-2 days before your appointment.
  • Wash your face and remove makeup before your appointment.
  • Clear a flat surface and provide comfortable seating for your treatment. You might clean for the house cleaner, but there is no need to tidy up for us!

During Your Tox Appointment:

  • Upon arrival, your provider will review your treatment plan, provide an assessment, and explain how your treatment will work.
  • We always want to be transparent about prices from the start. Your provider will share the number of units recommended for your treatment before injections begin.
  • Injections will be quick and completed within a few minutes. You can expect small pinches but nothing too painful!

After Your Tox Appointment:

  • Refrain from intense workouts and excessive alcohol intake 24 hours post-treatment.
  • Results may appear within days to 2 weeks, peaking around 2-4 weeks post-treatment.
  • Your provider will follow up after your appointment to ensure satisfaction and plan further steps.

Book Your Tox Treatment At Home.

After reading this far, if you’re interested in trying Pinch for the safest Tox treatment experience, we invite you to book a Tox treatment in the convenience of your home. Take our treatment assessment quiz to determine which treatment type is right for you.

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