What is the Difference Between Botox, Dysport, & Xeomin?

Not so long ago, if you wanted a quick and easy way to correct and prevent lines and wrinkles, the obvious choice would be ‘Botox’.

Then came Dysport and Xeomin and things got a little hairy. I mean how do you choose? What is the difference between Botox, Dysport and Xeomin?

In order to choose the best neuromodulator you should probably know a teeny bit about what they are.

What are Neuromodulators ?

A neuromodulator is a tiny protein (or device) that interferes with the synaptic transmissions in our nerve cells. Botulinum toxin type A is the neuromodulator used in Botox, Dysport and Xeomin.

By disabling certain nerve endings, neuromodulators can be used to make changes in the way that your face hangs, the way it folds and the way that your face moves while making expressions.

beautyblackbook tipsNeuromodulators are sometimes referred to as neurotoxins

The Science of Botox, Dysport & Xeomin

Botulinum Toxin A molecule

Botulinum Toxin A (the happy stuff that keeps us young..ish)

Botox, Dysport and Xeomin are different brands, sure, but the important difference between them is their molecular make up.

Botox® (onabotulinumtoxinA) surrounds the 150 kDa with the protein complex (or complexing protein) 750 kDa:

onabotulinum toxinA

The Botox Molecule

Dysport® (abobotulinumtoxinA) surrounds the 150 kDa with a 350 kDa to 750 kDa combo

Xeomin® (incobotulinumtoxinA) gets all cray cray and strips the 150 kDa molecule of all complexing proteins so is sometimes reffered to as the ‘naked’ or ‘purest’ injectable.

So let’s compare.

Neuromodulators Compared

Let me start by saying Botox, Dysport and Xeomin have been scientifically compared and proven to work as well as the others. Doctors and injectors will mostly agree that one does not work longer or faster than the other.

They all last 3 to 5 months and take 2 – 5 days to work.

But the prices and they way they function differ.

teeny heart Neuromodulators are sold by the unit. As a point of reference, forehead lines can take anywhere from 10 to 25 units of Botox or Xeomin and 30 to 75 of Dysport.

Botox (by Allergan)

Botox - Before and After

Botox Before and After

Botox is made by Allergan® and is officially marketed to “temporarily improve the look of both moderate to severe crow’s feet and frown lines between the eyebrows” but is used off label for a crap load of other cool stuff that you can read about here.

Like, check out those platysmal bands, mama! ⇓⇓⇓

Results: Takes 2 – 6 days for final results (personally I notice mine on the day of treatment)

Duration: 3 – 5 months

Cost: $11 per unit (unless you live in NYC where you can pay as much as $23 per unit !)

Advantages of Botox

Before and After Neurotoxin Injections in Platysmal Bands

Before and After Neurotoxin Injections in Platysmal Bands

Botox is tried and true

Botox has been used cosmetically in the United States since the early 90’s, whereas Dysport started in 2009 and Xeomin, most recently, in 2011.

Since Botox has been around for so long, you can feel more confident and secure of it’s safety and efficacy. Otherwise it would’ve been outed a long time ago.

Would you rather use an injector who’s done 500 injections, or an artiste that’s done 5,000? You’ll find that the artiste has been playing with Botox for a long time, knows how it behaves and knows lots of cool ways to use it off label which makes…

Botox is the most versatile

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You can also redeem your points at 1,000’s of stores in the Brilliant Distinctions Online Mall.

Botox is my neuromodulator of choice since I’ve been using it since it came out, have had excellent results, and had bad results when I tried another brand.

Dysport (by Galderma)

Forehead Before and After Dysport

Forehead Before and After Dysport

Dysport, by Galderma, is officially marketed for the “temporary improvement in the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows in adults less than 65 years of age.” As with the others it’s used off label in other areas of the face.

Results: More than half in the study group saw improvement in 2 to 3 days

Duration: 3 – 4 months

Cost: $4 a unit but you have to use 2 1/2 to 3 units for every 1 unit of the others. 10 Units of Botox or Xeomin  =  25 – 30 units of Dysport

Advantages of Dysport

Dysport Before & After

Before and after Dysport for Frown Lines

  • Dysport spread more easily – Since Dysport is purified differently than Botox or Xeomin, it tends to diffuse more and effect a larger area leaving a more natural look.The Mantra of Galderma’s marketing campaign is to fight the ‘overdone’ look. So, if you’re injector gets all slap happy, chances are you won’t end up looking like a scared clown.
  • Since it diffuses more this means less injection sites so you won’t feel like a pin cushion.This is a super advantage for peeps scared of needles.

beautyblackbook heartFYI: How diffused a neuromodulator becomes also has to do with the injector. The faster the injector pushes the syringe the more it diffuses. By pushing it in slowly it can pinpoint specific areas more efficiently.

Xeomin (Merz)

Xeomin for Frown Lines - Before and After

Xeomin for Frown Lines – Before and After

Xeomin Before & After

Xeomin – Before and After

Xeomin, by Merz Aesthetics, is officially approved to “temporarily improve the appearance of both moderate to severe frown lines between the brows and crow’s feet.” But, as with the other neuromodulators, is used off label for other areas.

Results: Within 3 to 4 days

Duration: 3 – 4 months

Cost: Doctors pay $3-$4 less per unit than Botox making it about $6 or $7 per unit. 1 unit of Xeomin = 1 unit of Botox

Advantages of Xeomin

Before and After Xeomin

  • It’s less expensive than Botox. Since Xeomin has no additives (protien complexes), it doesn’t have to be refrigerated and can be stored at room temperature . Since it doesn’t have to be shipped with dry ice, the shipping costs less making it $2 to $3 less per unit than Botox. If your doc is ethical, she/he will extend that savings to you making it less expensive to ship.

beautyblackbook heartSince Xeomin has a 1:1 dose ratio to Botox you can use same number of units of Xeomin as you would with Botox. The other day I got 20 units of Botox at $11 and spent $220. If I had gone with Xeomin I would have paid closer to ($8 x 20) $160.

  • Xeomin is considered to be the ‘purest’ form of botulinum toxin A. No additives. (addressed above in the Science section)
  • Lesser chance of getting a bum dose. Since it can be stored on the shelf there’s less likelihood that it hasn’t been compromised making it unstable and not work (been there and it sucks).
  • No additives means less likelihood of an allergic reaction.Allergic reactions are so rare but have happened so I needed to mention it. (I haven’t spoken to a doctor who has had an issue with an allergy to neuromodulators – but it happens I’m told)
  • No Additives = less of a chance that your body will develop antibodies against it making if ineffective.I’m fortunate that I’ve been using my neuromodulator for 20 years and it’s still effective, but that’s not the case with everyone.

$50 off xeomin with the xperience program

teeny heartOh, oh – a bit of gossip. Merz was actually barred from marketing the cosmetic use of Xeomin in the United States for 10 months because they stole Allergan’s trade secrets. Oh, snap! 😮

Summing it Up

Doctors will promote the neuromodulator they sell, that’s just the way it goes. So, just keep these things mind the next time you go to your practioner for neuromodulator treatment.

  • I use Botox and it works for me but if it stopped working (which happens to some people), I’d go with Xeomin.
  • Dysport doesn’t work for everybody. I’ve tried it 3 times and it did nothing. However, it does work for some people so…
  • If you’re crazy afraid of looking frozen, then Dysport may be your best bet since it’s more likely to diffuse over a larger area and give a more subtle effect.
  • However, don’t use Dysport if you have an allergy to cow’s milk or bad shit will happen.
  • If you’re a newbie then consider Xeomin because it’s less likely to give you an allergic reaction (but those type of reactions are very, very uncommon).
  • If you want to target a stubborn wrinkle then Botox is a sure way to go.
  • If Dysport and/or Botox don’t give you the results you expect then to, try Xeomin which often works for people who have developed an immunity to ones with the extra complexing proteins.
  • If you’re on a budget then Xeomin is a good choice. (assuming your doc doesn’t jack it up since it’s still the new kid on the block)
  • If being poked by a needle freaks you out then Dysport may be the option for you since it uses less injection sites due to the diffusion of the product.(particularly when treating your forehead)

Well, I think I covered it all sista!

Oh, and I wanted to mention – some docs will sell you Botox and give you something else. This happened to me once and I was stunned but he treated it as if it was no biggie. Well it is a biggie so make sure you see the bottle before the injection. 🙂

Ok now I covered it all. 🙂

beautyblackbook heartNEWS: There’s a new neuromodulator currently being tested that last twice as long as those three. It’s currently being called RT002 which is daxibotuliunumtoxin A and lasts twice as long as the others. I’ll keep you updated of it’s progress.


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