The cost of injectables is coming down. Around 20 years ago, it was fairly normal to pay up to $3,000 initially and $1000 or more every six to 12 months just to maintain a little lip volume or beat back wrinkles. Frustratingly, results didn’t last very long and often needed to be adjusted – that’s big bucks for often subpar results.
These days, you don’t have to sacrifice your whole monthly salary just to get the look you want. You’re also far less likely to suffer from sticker shock or the need for constant readjustments and maintenance because the formulas and techniques have improved so much.
But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to figure out what you need to budget per year, either… and there’s a few reasons why.
WHY THE PRICE OF INJECTABLES VARIES
So, what’s the deal with varied injection pricing, anyway? The biggest reason for differences in cost is…drum roll please…the patient. Every patient (and their tissue or rate of absorption specifically) is unique.
Here’s a demonstration with a few hypothetical friends. Let’s say Mary wants more lip volume; she’s only in her 20s, and she already has a bit of volume now. She probably only needs one or two sessions to achieve her ideal result.
Jane, on the other hand, is in her 60s and already has significant loss of volume. Her tissue also seems to absorb fillers and Botox more rapidly, meaning she needs maintenance more often. Thus, her treatment costs more.
Pricing can also be confusing due to differences between individual providers and spas. Steep sales and discounts might give someone the wrong idea. Or, a provider might over-inflate their pricing making someone think they can’t afford treatment.
Then, there’s the influence of slightly questionable bargain basement pricing that you see on sketchy online websites. Make no mistake; some of these “sales” do come from legitimate spas. Many, however, come from the black market, and there’s virtually no way to prove they’re safe. You often get what you pay for.
So, you can see why it’s just not possible to give you an exact, precise cost and then guarantee it will apply to your costs specifically. We can, however, give you a ballpark idea of what the average treatment process costs in a given year. Let’s do that now.
HOW MUCH DOES BOTOX COST?
Botox is priced “per unit,” with each “unit” costing approximately $15 to $20, says Healthline. However, it isn’t dosed by the unit; most patients need somewhere between 10 to 20 units in a single session. Additional sessions may include only 5 to 10 units or up to 20 additional units depending on how long results hold.
As a general rule, Botox costs more upfront and less over time. If you have enough treatments on a regular schedule, you may need less and less as time goes on. Still, most patients do need at least one or two additional sessions after the first treatment.
AVERAGE ANNUAL COSTBrow Lift: $450 to $600
The type of neurotoxin can also make a difference. Results from Dysport, for example, are better at targeting specific goals, but may not last as long as the results from actual branded Botox. And some patients just seem to respond to certain Botox formulas better than others.
Some spas charge for Botox per treatment. Others charge per unit, tacking a small fee onto the cost they pay for the unit of neurotoxin themselves. Be sure to ask your provider which fee schedule they use before you schedule your appointment.
HOW MUCH DO FILLERS COST?
Unlike neurotoxins, most dermal fillers aren’t charged by the unit – they’re charged per syringe instead. This does unfortunately make them more expensive, but it also ensures your provider has plenty of room to adjust and choose what works best for you during that first important session.
A lot of providers can save what you don’t use out of a syringe, too, in case you want to come in for an adjustment after the first couple of weeks – this isn’t possible with Botox.
According to the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost for a single syringe of Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Perlane, Restylane, and Belotero was around $682 in 2017. Sculptra came in at around $915, while Artefill priced out at about $889. This is the cost for the dermal filler only and doesn’t include your provider’s fees for labor, technique, or skill.
AVERAGE ANNUAL PRICING
There is also a difference in pricing depending on the product used. Some fillers (such as Volbulla) are specifically designed for long-term results, while others (like Belotero) tend to “wear off” faster because they’re used to target smaller zones.
Be sure to ask your provider to clarify these for you. Just remember that your provider may have a good reason for choosing a shorter-acting product like Volbulla over something that lasts much longer.
WHY YOU SHOULD OVER-BUDGET
Here’s a little bit of advice: if this is your first time going for injections, you should try your best to over-budget a little bit. If the pricing average is $1400, budget $2000 or even $2500. That might seem unnecessarily high, but it guarantees you’ll have enough money for repeat adjustments if you need them in the first year.
Look at it this way: the worst thing that could happen is you don’t spend the money on injectables in the first year. You’ll just end up with a nice little chunk of change set away for a little staycation in downtown LA. Or, maybe spend it on a few facials to give yourself a much-deserved boost. Either way, you’re covered.
Have more questions about neurotoxins, dermal fillers, and other medspa treatments? The best thing you can do is schedule a consultation with your provider and ask questions. Often, you’ll find that the things holding you back from moving forward and getting the look you love aren’t quite as scary as you thought. Here’s to a brighter, beautiful, happier future!