About:

  • Botox and Restylane are injections, often used cosmetically.

Safety:

  • Both injections are FDA-approved for treatments of fine facial lines.
  • Bruising and temporary discomfort at the injection site are common side effects.

Convenience:

  • The procedures are most often completed in a single office visit and should be performed by a doctor who is certified in their use.

Cost:

  • The costs for the procedures vary widely, from $25 to $1,600. Costs also depend on how many areas you would like to treat and how many repeat treatments are needed.

Efficacy:

Botox and Restylane are the two most common injections to enhance facial features. Botox is used to treat other conditions as well, including overactive bladder and lazy eye. Botox uses a toxin called botulinum toxin type A to paralyze a muscle temporarily.

When used cosmetically, this procedure is used to smooth out or prevent wrinkles. Restylane is a facial filler made of hyaluronic acid. The filler uses this naturally occurring substance to plump up areas of the face and the backs of the hands. Adding plumpness can also reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Comparing Restylane and Botox | Procedures

Both Botox and Restylane are minimally invasive procedures. They are done in a single office visit and no general anesthesia is needed. The injections are given right where you want results.

Botox

Botox is a solution of botulinum toxin that stops muscle activity. The solution is injected into the skin wherever treatment is desired. The injections are used to address a number of cosmetic goals and health conditions, including:

Most people can resume normal activities immediately after the procedure.

Restylane

Restylane is the second most common cosmetic injectable, after Botox. The main ingredient in this filler is hyaluronic acid. This acid naturally occurs in your body.

The injectable is used to smooth wrinkles. The hyaluronic acid ingredient is usually cultivated either from bacteria or from the combs of roosters.

This injectable is used to plump or even out:

  • cheeks
  • lips
  • nasolabial folds
  • the backs of your hands
  • the folds around your mouth

Your choice between the two types of injections may depend on your desired results and which areas you would like to treat.

How long does each procedure take? | Duration

Both Botox and Restylane are outpatient procedures that can be completed in one brief office visit.

Botox

Botox requires three to five injections in one visit. The procedure takes about 10 minutes total. Results are often visible after one or two days.

Restylane

This treatment generally takes less than an hour, in one office visit. Recovery is less than a day. You will likely be able to see results right away, with full results achieved in one to two weeks.

Comparing results | Results

The results of Botox and Restylane are similar. With both types of injections, you will see improvement relatively quickly. The results will last months in both cases. There are some differences in how long the results last.

Botox

The effects of Botox last about four months. In a study from August 2018, about half of the subjects had improvement in their forehead lines by at least two points in the Facial Wrinkle Scale (FWS) after 30 days.

Restylane

Restylane injections last between 6 and 18 months, depending on the type. In one European study, 78 percent of subjects had moderate or marked improvement eight months after treatments. In another European study, 82 percent still had correction after 12 weeks, and 69 percent after 26 weeks.

People of all skin tones, heights, and weights are good candidates for Botox and Restylane. There are a few other factors that can make this procedure not the right fit for you.

Botox

While Botox is an FDA-approved device, certain individuals are not good candidates for the procedure. This includes those who:

  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • had an allergy or hypersensitivity to a Botox injection
  • had an infection at the injection site
  • have neuromuscular disorders, such as myasthenia gravis

Restylane

Restylane is also FDA-approved but should be avoided for those who:

  • had an allergic reaction to a previous Restylane injection
  • had bruising at the Restylane injection site
  • take blood-thinning medication

The costs for the two procedures vary widely. They depend on where you live, how many areas you would like treated, and the individual doctor you see.

Botox

According to a 2017 report of statistics by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, $420 was the average cost for one botulinum toxin injectable treatment. (This includes Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin.)

The average cost of a Botox treatment is $550 according to self-reported rates on RealSelf.com.

Botox is not covered by insurance when used for cosmetic purposes. Insurance does cover Botox, however, to treat certain medical conditions like overactive bladder.

Restylane

The same report published in 2017 by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery found that the average cost of hyaluronic acid injectables was $651. (This included injectable brands like Restylane, Juvederm, and Belotera.)

The average cost for Restylane is $750 based on self-reported treatment reviews.

Restylane is not covered by medical insurance when used cosmetically. If you receive several injections in one office visit, you may need a day to recover before returning to work.

In general, the side effects for both Botox and Restylane are minor and resolve quickly. However, some side effects are more serious and may need treatment from a doctor.

Botox

The most common side effects of Botox are minor bruising and discomfort. If you experience any of the following side effects, contact your doctor right away:

  • swelling or drooping of eyelid
  • headache
  • neck pain
  • tiredness
  • double vision
  • allergic reactions like itching or asthma symptoms
  • dry eyes

Restylane

Common side effects of Restylane injections are:

  • swelling
  • pain or itching at injection site
  • bruising
  • tenderness
  • headache

These side effects generally resolve within 7 to 18 days.

Rare side effects include:

  • allergic reaction
  • infection
  • uneven firmness of skin
  • bleeding or bruising at injection site

If you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor immediately.

It’s important to look for a provider who is licensed to administer Botox or Restylane. To find a qualified provider, you can visit each company’s website and review their list of specialists. You can also ask friends or family members for recommendations.

Ideally, you will probably want to see a dermatologist who is board certified in either plastic surgery or dermatology. Choosing a doctor without the proper training can put you at risk for negative effects.

BotoxRestylane
Procedure typeMinimally invasive injectionMinimally invasive injection
CostAverage: $420–$550 per treatmentAverage: $650–$750 per treatment
PainMinor discomfort during and after procedureMinor discomfort during and after procedure
Number of treatments neededProcedure takes about 30 minutes; additional treatments needed after four to six monthsTreatment takes less than one hour; additional treatments needed after four months to one year
Expected resultsIncreased plumpness at injection site; treatment lasts four to six monthsMore even skin at injection site; treatment lasts four months to one year
Who should avoid this treatment• if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
• if you had an allergy or hypersensitivity to a Botox injection
• if you have had an infection at the injection site
• if you have a neuromuscular disorder, such as myasthenia gravis
• people who take blood-thinning medication
• people who had an allergic reaction to a previous Restylane injection
• people who had bruising at an injection site
Recovery timeCan return to work immediatelyCan return to work immediately or after one day