Botox vs. Baby Botox | The Differences & How to Avoid a Frozen Face

closeup of woman's brown eyes and forehead, curly hair
Photo courtesy of Unsplash & Marina Vitale.

Botox vs. Baby Botox

Gone are the days of the "frozen" look when Botox was new. When actresses like Nicole Kidman and Courtney Cox - and even comedians like Joan Rivers - looked off. That's the best way I can put it. They looked pretty, but something looked wrong. Nothing you could put your finger on, but everyone saw it. The trend was so prevalent that wrote an article, Botox: Hollywood's Most Frozen Faces.

Minimizing wrinkles sounds just great, but looking frozen and having people notice definitely does not. And that's what's given Botox a bad name.

Since then, botulinum toxins have come a long way. We've gone from using the manufacturer's recommended dosing - which creates that frozen look - to something MUCH BETTER! It's called Baby Botox.

What Is Baby Botox?

Baby Botox is the name given to a Botox injection technique. Lower doses of Botox (usually 1/4 to 1/2 the manufacturer's recommended dose) are injected strategically to minimize wrinkles while still allowing facial movement. And even though it's called baby or mini Botox, the technique can be used with brands like Xeomin or Dysport.

"The goal is to give you a natural look with some residual movement but eliminate or soften the horizontal forehead lines. Over-treating the forehead can cause the eyebrows to feel heavy. An additional benefit is that a lighter treatment is less expensive for patients."

- Dr. Umang Mehta, plastic surgeon, Atherton, California.

And many experienced injectors have been using the technique for years. But it's only been recently that Baby Botox has reached star status. Dr. Francesca Fusco explains:

"I credit many of my patients for my less-is-more, natural philosophy. Over the last few years, many newbies to botulinum toxin, during a consult, stressed how they prefer a non-frozen look with 'some' movement. Most are okay with not being able to frown, but they want to preserve some brow-raising and some smile-squinting. By starting initially with fewer units, this is possible. The amount of 'tox' injected is very individualized and based on the patient's forehead size, muscle size, brow placement, and muscle movement. It is not a formulaic approach where there is a documented, fixed amount for every forehead."

In other words, Baby Botox is not the "cookie cutter" technique recommended by the manufacturer. It's taking Botox to a higher, more refined and much more personalized level. And it gets phenomenal results.

Let me give you an example. When I went through my first injectables class, I was a guinea pig for a fellow classmate. We were taught essentially, a "paint by numbers" way of injecting that didn't work out so well for me. You see, the muscles on the left side of my forehead are much stronger than those on the right. Larger muscles require more units. So the muscle on the left side of my forehead could have used more Botox than the right. But cookie cutter Botox treats both sides of the forehead equally regardless of muscle size. So the left side of my forehead was undertreated - and my left eyebrow was higher than the right. I looked wierd.

Closeup of woman holding a string of lights in front of her face
Photo courtesy of Unsplash & Rhett Wesley.

I knew there had to be better methods of injecting that would prevent things like my wierd eyebrow from happening. And as I read more and went to advanced injectables training classes, I learned those ways. But it took time.

7 Things You Should Know About Baby Botox:

1. Knowing how to personalize Botox injections (called baby Botox) comes from experience and advanced training. So if you want baby Botox, you need to find an experienced injector.

2. "If you're very precise in where you put the product, you can use lower doses," says dermatologist, Dr. Doris Day.

3. And even though it's baby Botox, larger muscles and deeper wrinkles will still require more units of Botox than smaller muscles and smaller wrinkles do. Men's facial muscles are larger than women's so, it's common for them to require larger doses of Botox too.

4. Baby Botox may - or may not - be less expensive than traditional doses of Botox. This is because the injectors who know how to personalize Botox injections are more skilled and can charge more for their services. So even though less Botox is used, the injector may cost more. (If you pay by the unit, your costs for each treatment should go down.)

5. You'll probably need to see your injector more frequently because smaller doses wear off more quickly than full doses. Some people go every 4 - 8 weeks, but how often you go is really up to you. (Traditional full doses of Botox require visits every 3 - 4 months.)

6. Baby Botox may not minimize all of your wrinkles.

"It's always better to get less than you think you 'need', then come back for a follow-up if you decide you want more later. I never want someone to overdo it,” says dermatologist, Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank.

7. Some doctors use baby Botox to prevent wrinkles in younger patients; but it works really well for people who don't want a frozen look too.

If you think Botox or fillers might work for you, make an appointment with an experienced medical injector. He or she will be able to help you select the best treatment for your face and your budget.

In the meantime, there are face creams that will keep those wrinkles at bay! Try retinoids, a good Vitamin C Serum and sunscreen. Oh, and you might consider a sleep wrinkle pillow!

Learn More About Botox:

Head shot, Amy Takken, RN & Founder, Masterpiece Skin Restoration

Amy Takken, RN

Amy Takken is a registered nurse with 20+ years of experience helping people improve their health. Her in-depth skincare articles have been featured on Nazarian Plastic Surgery and The Palm Beach Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery. She's also been quoted on

Amy loves research and constantly watches for new products and treatments to help you improve your skin’s health – because healthy skin is beautiful! To reach Amy, visit our contact page.

Masterpiece Skin Restoration is your online resource for all things medical aesthetics, skincare, beauty and wellness. We keep you up to date on leading edge technology and the services available to help you restore your natural beauty.

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The Information provided on our website is not medical advice and should not be viewed as such. By law, only a medical doctor can diagnose or give medical advice. As a registered nurse, my goal is to educate, so I provide information on skin care, skin care products, and skin care treatments. If you have any condition that concerns you, please see a medical doctor. While most skin conditions are benign, some - like melanoma - can be deadly. If there is any doubt, please, please consult your physician. Thank you!

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