As Botox celebrate twenty years of FDA approval for cosmetic use, there’s a new kid in town. A new wave of longer-lasting toxin is set to disrupt the world of medical aesthetics and shake up your practice.
The first wave (Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, Xeomin, and Juveau) has reigned supreme for many years, with Botox firmly in charge.
The second wave of toxin: Dermatox (made by Aquavit) and Daxi (Revance), is snapping at their heels, awaiting FDA approval for moderate to severe frown lines; Microtox isn’t far behind.
As the market expands, your clinic needs to be ahead of the game.
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Botox gave birth to the medical aesthetics industry
Botox has stood the test of time. There was no other treatment for expression lines when it became popular back in the late 90s – a situation which hasn’t really changed. Instead, there was a massive gap between topicals and cosmetic surgery. Despite outrageous anti-ageing marketing claims, topicals didn’t deliver on results. And cosmetic surgery was considered the preserve of the rich and famous with a huge price tag and extended downtime.
No wonder Botox revolutionised the medical aesthetics industry.
Now Botox is a household name. After an initial backlash (blame overzealous injectors) and the growing trend for natural alternatives (facial yoga and gua sha), the multi-million dollar toxin market is still growing twenty years on. Once the younger generation embraced preventative toxin and shared their stories loud and proud all over social media, attitudes softened, and it became more socially acceptable. As toxin evolved, injectors refined their technique to include Baby Botox and microdosing: less is more – we all need a bit of movement!
Will the 2nd wave of toxin revolutionise medical aesthetics all over again?
As the second wave works through clinical trials, it’s time to get your clinic ready. How will these changes impact your aesthetic practice? How do you stay ahead of the competition?
Change is scary if you’re not prepared. Toxin will still be the bread and butter treatment for most clinics and act as a gateway to non-surgical treatments such as laser resurfacing, radiofrequency and ultrasound. But soon, your clinic will be able to offer a buffet of toxin, all with different benefits and a broader appeal.
How is Dermatox different?
Dermatox (DTX-021) by Aquavit is a type A toxin, similar to Botox Cosmetic by Allergan: it blocks the nerve signals that allow the muscles to contract into an expression line. It smooths fine lines, softens deeper expression lines, and can be injected in the same places, such as the forehead and eyes.
It has passed phase 1, so it is considered safe and will start Phase-II clinical trials as soon as it gets FDA approval (to temporarily soften moderate to severe glabellar lines between the brows). Formulated with a proprietary protein, there is no comparable data to other toxin yet, but expect:
- Quicker uptake
- Less diffusion
- More natural results
Dermatox isn’t alone
It’s all change. As soon as Dermatox is approved, Aquavit plans to introduce Microtox microinjections for better skin quality using their unique microchannel delivery system. Then, Revance is set to launch Daxi, a pure protein combined with a performance-enhancing peptide, later this year. It has already been proven to smooth glabellar lines for six or more months and would be the first vegan toxin!
How to introduce Dermatox to your clinic:
Have they or haven’t they? Your secret is safe with us.
Dermatox blends more easily than Botox, so there is a smoother transition between treated and non-treated areas – hello, natural finish. Perfect for those curious to try but fear judgement and a frozen forehead. It is perfect for those who tried it once but never returned due to a trigger-happy injector who left them expressionless. And it’s perfect for those who have exhausted topicals and natural remedies and are ready for the next step.
A longer-term investment
The body metabolises Botox after 3-6 months, so how would a longer-lasting option affect your business model? It might tempt those who couldn’t justify investing in such a temporary treatment or don’t have time for regular top-ups.
Alternatively, first-timers may start with Botox to see if they like the results, then move on to longer-lasting options.
Convenience: fewer clinic visits
Longer-lasting toxin allows patients to coordinate toxin and filler injections into one clinic appointment twice a year to save time, especially if they don’t live locally. And, of course, no one likes waiting up to a week for the effects to kick in.
Make your toxin treatments more bespoke by combining them with other treatments for optimum results that set you apart from the competition and allow you to command higher prices. Don’t get stuck in a race to the bottom.
Upgrade to ‘grown up’ toxin
Try introducing clients having non-invasive treatments such as microdermabrasion or peels to this more refined, ‘grown up’ version of toxin. Botox’s reputation preceded it, so try introducing Dermatox as a completely separate product.
Specialise in therapeutic benefits
Botox’s infamous reputation has gradually softened as people experienced its therapeutic benefits, such as treating migraine and sweating. So, your clinic must embrace and specialise in these treatments to broaden its appeal. A massive untapped market is those who work at a computer all day – toxin can relieve shoulder pain and improve posture.
Define rather than freeze features
Now toxin can be used to define facial structure rather than just freezing lines. Younger clients want their eyebrows artistically shaped; they want to stop the corner of their lips from turning down, which can make them look sad; they want a wide jawline made slimmer. In other words, they want a much more bespoke treatment than a one-size-fits-all frozen forehead. The new aim is to look better rather than chase youth.
Remember that this new menu of toxin is only as good as the injector – so keep up to date with the latest training courses.