A lack of know-how has left a brow furrowing proportion of youth-seekers in the dark as to whether they’ve had Botox® or Faux-tox – with 84% not knowing what they’ve had injected into their face.

Research carried out by Transform Cosmetic Surgery Group has revealed that while 67% claimed to be aware of wrinkle smoothing toxin treatments, 84% had no idea which one had been administered to them, and could only name Botox when asked which other products they knew of.

More worryingly still is the revelation that over a third of practitioners failed to advise patients which brand they were receiving. Of those that did, only a mere 20% offered up any information on the differences between the treatments - stripping the patient of the chance to choose the product that is right for them.

To perpetuate the cycle of ignorance, over half of all those who have had line smoothing treatments chose their provider via recommendation from a friend or colleague, which would suggest that if they didn’t advise one, they didn’t advise the other. Given this startling lack of advice on behalf of practitioners, it is perhaps not surprising that 40% of patients are not being treated in a clinical environment, despite being given a prescription-only medicine.

The research is part of a Transform awareness campaign, which calls for the public to be better informed about who is treating them, where the treatment takes place and what they are being treated with.

The objective is for patients to be in a better position to make an informed decision about their chosen practitioner and the wrinkle treatment being administered.  Botox® is one of four licensed toxin products used for the treatment of lines and wrinkles. However, there are nuances between each and patients should be looking to their practitioner to explain what product is being used and why.  

Patricia Dunion, Managing Director at Transform commented: “As part of our CLEAR Patient Charter and in support of current reviews into the regulation of cosmetic surgery, we were keen to raise awareness of misconceptions around line & wrinkle treatments. Patients need to be  better educated and armed with information they need to make the choices that are right for them.

“The findings, while worrying, haven’t come as a surprise to us as we have long suspected a lack of understanding and knowledge; perhaps exacerbated by less than forthcoming information from some practitioners. We hope that in highlighting this, consumers who wish to undergo non-surgical treatment for lines and wrinkles will ask better questions of their practitioner, and themselves if they are seeing a great “deal”, or a lower than usual price. At Transform, treatment may cost a little more, but it’s always conducted in a clinical environment, by medical staff using household named products.”

Other results from survey include:

  • 4% of respondents admitted to buying a toxin from the internet
  • A quarter of people hide the fact they’ve had line and wrinkle smoothing treatments from their friends and family
  • Good ambassadors for treatment include Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and the Minogue sisters
  • Bad ambassadors named:  Katie Price, Joan Rivers and Janice Dickenson
  • The average age group for treatment is 35-44
  • 70% of people have had treatment to look ‘a little fresher’
  • 90% think line smoothing treatments are no longer just for the girls
  • 67% of people would think having treatment showed that their partner cared about their looks

Did you know?:

The scientific name for "Botox®" is Botulinum toxin

  • 1gram of Botulinum toxin is all that's required to make a whole year’s supply of BotoxÒBotulinum toxin is available under four product formulations: Botox®, Vistabel, Azzalure, and Bocouture
  • Botox® comes with a red or purple top. Azzalure and Bocouture have blue tops. You can also tell them apart as Botox® has a hologram and is kept in a fridge
  • Botox® has been used over 2 million times in the EUBotox® results typically last for 12-16 weeks
  • Botox® is also used to treat the following; excessive sweating, chronic migraine, cerebral palsy, incontinence, squinting, rapid blinking, muscle spasms