Q: What Is Xeomin and Why Am I Seeing It *Everywhere*?November 21, 2022
I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard that Joe Jonas uses the cosmetic injectable Xeomin for his fine lines (I was scrolling through my phone, as always). And though, yes, it was refreshing to see a celebrity be so open about their cosmetic treatments, that’s not why the news stuck out to me. The thought on loop in my mind instead was, wait, Xeomin? It’s not that I hadn’t heard of it before—I mean, I write about this stuff for a living—but I, like so many, make the mistake of using the brand name “Botox” as a catch-all for any and every neurotoxin. But the more I looked into Xeomin, the more I learned how different it was from Botox or any other available neuromodulator out there.
Fast forward to today, and I’m here to share with you all I’ve learned about Xeomin from board-certified dermatologists Michele Green, MD, and Samer Jaber, MD, including what Xeomin is, how it works, and how long it lasts. I may not have the boyish charm (or wealth) of Joe Jonas, but at least we can all cop his smooth skin now.
Is Xeomin a filler?
Xeomin is an injectable, but it isn’t a filler. As Dr. Jaber explains it, Xeomin is a neuromodulator derived from botulism toxin that’s primarily used to soften wrinkles on the face, like the furrows between your brows (aka 11 lines). Just like other neuromodulators, Xeomin is injected into your muscles to decrease movement and reduce wrinkles as a result, whereas filler is a hyaluronic acid-based gel that’s injected to fill out an area. See the difference?
Xeomin vs. Botox
So, how do the two compare? Xeomin is the brand name of a neurotoxin (just like Botox is a brand name) with the active ingredient of botulinum toxin type A—the same key ingredient as Botox and Dysport, Dr. Green explains. Both Xeomin and Botox work as neuromodulators to diminish or eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, but the similarities kinda stop there.
One of the biggest differences? Xeomin, unlike Botox, is free of additives that act as preservatives. “Accessory proteins are removed during the manufacturing process of Xeomin, making it a pure form of the neurotoxin,” says Dr. Green. “With the absence of preservative proteins, the immune system is not affected, and the body will not produce antibodies, and as a result, the body does not grow resistant to the treatment over time.”
The FDA approvals are actually different, too. Both Xeomin and Botox are approved to treat frown lines between the eyebrows as well as medical conditions (like blepharospasm or upper-lip spasticity), but Xeomin, specifically, is approved to treat chronic drooling for both children and adults. As far as off-label uses go, Xeomin can also be used to treat forehead lines, crow’s feet, TMJ, teeth grinding, and hyperhidrosis among many other things, but you get the point. It can be used to treat a lot.
Is Xeomin cheaper than Botox?
It’s hard to talk specific numbers because the cost of a treatment varies based on so many factors, like the amount that’s injected, number of areas being treated, who the injector is, and where the injector is located, but typically, you could expect to pay around a couple hundred bucks for an appointment, which is comparable to others. It’s not cheap, but Xeomin isn’t the most expensive of the neuromodulators, either (according to Dr. Jaber, Botox tends to be the priciest).
Want an even cheaper option? Retinoids are super-effective at encouraging collagen and elastin production and boosting cell turnover, and the best part? You can find plenty of great options over the counter. See below for some faves.
4 top-rated retinols for smooth skin:
How long do Xeomin injections last?
Just like the price, the duration of effect depends, but here’s a fun fact: Clinical trials have shown that Xeomin can last longer than Botox. “Xeomin has been shown to be effective for up to six months, while Botox typically lasts three to four months,” Dr. Green explains. “Although, the duration of Xeomin and Botox effects also depends on the individual’s metabolism rate.”
How long after Xeomin will I see results?
Here are your favorite two words again: it depends. On average, it could take about a week, but your line-smoothing results could also be sooner or later than that, based on how your body responds to injections. But, fun fact, Xeomin takes effect faster than Botox, says Dr. Green, due to the fact that Botox requires your body to break down the accessory proteins in Botox before the neurotoxin can take effect.
The final word:
“All of the neuromodulators are very effective, and every dermatologist or plastic surgeon has a personal preference as to their favorite product,” Dr. Jaber explains. But some of the benefits of Xeomin include the fact that it’s more affordable than some competitors, and the fact that it also tends to act a bit faster than other competitors. So, the takeaway is to go to your appointment with an open mind, be clear about your goals with your injector, and be like Joe Jonas.
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Brooke Shunatona is a contributing writer at Cosmopolitan for over three years and has 10 years of experience writing about beauty, fashion, and lifestyle across print and digital. She’s an authority in all skincare categories but particularly loves poring over skincare ingredients, like allantoin and hyaluronic acid, and reviewing in-office treatments, like vampire facials. She regularly interviews the industry’s top dermatologists to assess new formulas and treatments.
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