There are two indisputable truths about injectable neurotoxins; First, it’s clinically proven that looking your best boosts confidence and self-esteem. The old saying “when you look good, you feel good,” boasts some legitimate merit. Not to be confused with unhealthy self-obsession, looking vital and youthful adds a spring to our step and can enhance satisfaction in both our professional and personal lives.
Second, consumers largely associate neurotoxins with the brand name Botox. Manufactured by Allergen, Botox is the Kleenex, Google, Scotch Tape, Jacuzzi, and Q-Tip of aesthetic injections. However, Botox is one of four FDA-approved brands on the market, one of which, Xeomin, is what we are here to discuss and how you can try it for a fraction of the normal cost.
Like all neurotoxins, Xeomin is an injectable solution that temporarily blocks nerve receptors to the muscles. The effect lasts three to four months, at which time, additional injections to the desired area are necessary to keep the wrinkles from reforming. These areas are typically glabellar lines between the brows, forehead, and crow’s feet. These treatments have been widely popular for a couple of decades now with proven results that have been refined over time. People love it because it works. It’s also quick and mostly painless.
If all neurotoxins are equal, then what makes Xeomin so special? Well, the efficacy is clinically equivalent, but the properties of Xeomin are unique. The difference is XTRACT Technology™, a state-of-the-art manufacturing process that removes the unnecessary proteins and leaving just the active therapeutic components. And because purity is very popular these days, Though the proteins themselves are not harmful and immunity is rare, a very small number of patients can build up neutralizing antibodies against botulinum toxin and the ancillary proteins. This may cause the patient to require a higher dose. Xeomin may be less immunogenic than the other botulinum toxins.
Which leads us to the next question: What is Xeomin Challenge and why does it exist at all? Well, it started because someone had a great idea to bring a great product to a wider audience. For just $99, participants can receive 20 units of Xeomin in a chosen area. For anyone who has shopped around for neurotoxins, that is a steal. For more specifics, however, we spoke with Dr. Jay Park MD, the Medical Director for Xeomin Challenge.
Of course, the first thing we wanted to know is why the Xeomin Challenge started and how are they able to offer this to the public at such a low cost. The answer was surprisingly simple–to expand awareness to the public. “The goal of Xeomin Challenge is to find aesthetic early adopters,” says Park. “We consciously lowered the price offer, so that this is not an obstacle. We launched in Southern California, with many satellite locations throughout the USA.” According to Dr. Park, the project will continue provided the price can remain low and the demand high.
While Park agrees that the efficacy and safety of all four FDA-approved neurotoxins are identical, he believes the added (or extracted) purity of Xeomin is appealing to many consumers. “The biggest benefit of Xeomin is that its purification manufacturing process removes unnecessary proteins. I’ve had countless patients who told me that their Botox doesn’t last as long or doesn’t work any longer.”
How young one should begin neurotoxin injections as a preventative measure, though, is a matter not only of personal choice, but a lucid understanding of what is important and truly necessary. “Yes, there is a preventative benefit of starting earlier,” Park confirms. “What is that age? That’s up for debate. However, I want to send a message to our youth that anti-wrinkle injection is not at par with disease-preventing vaccines in a “preventative” category. You do not need preventative cosmetic procedures,” Dr. Park stresses. He also cautions patients to keep goals realistic and natural. Aesthetic enhancements can increase self-confidence and improve our appearance, but it is not a proxy to solve deeper issues. “There is a fine line between wanting to look your best and having body dysmorphic disorder,” he explains. “It is our responsibility as medical professionals to be conscious and to say no to someone that we suspect has an unhealthy obsession.”
As for what we can expect in the future, Dr. Park shares that there is a growing popularity among men for aesthetic injections. “There is the meme going around about ‘bro-tox.’ In our practice.” he muses. “There is a wide variety of men from the image-conscious types to “my partner dragged me in here.”
Most exciting, perhaps, is that fillers will be added to the program in the near future. “We are currently in discussion with FDA-approved dermal filler brands to launch a similar challenge, “Park confides. Stay tuned.