Clients often ask me what the difference is between the different brands of botulinum toxin that are available in the UK. Well, the bottom line is not a lot, except maybe in terms of pricing. Let me explain why.
There are companies that sell botulinum toxin to distributors in the United Kingdom. These are Allergan (who make the original Botox®), Galderma (now owned by Nestle) who make Azzalure® (known in the U.S. as Dysport®), and finally there’s the newest kid on the block, Bocouture®, manufactured by Merz (known in the U.S. as Xeomin®).
All of these brands work in exactly the same way, by blocking the transmission of signals from the nerves to the muscles. This means that the muscles in the area where the product is injected is paralyzed and so the muscle is completely relaxed (which means the muscle hyperactivity can’t wrinkle your skin).
So why do you get different results when you go to different practitioners using Bocouture® as opposed to say Azzalure® or Botox®? It’s all down how many units of the product are injected into your muscles. You see, the botulinum toxin is supplied as a white crystalline powder in a small vial. This vial will contain 125 units of Azzalure® or 50 units of Bocouture® or 50 units of Botox®. It then has to be mixed with a certain quantity of sterile water or sterile saline. The amount of sterile water determines how many units are in each millilitre (ml) injected.
If equivalent units of either Azzalure®, Bocouture® or Botox® are injected into your skin, the strength of the effect and how long it lasts will be the same. There are lots of scientific studies that prove this. If your practitioner uses dosages that are lower than recommended then the effect might not be as strong or as long lasting as you want.
So what? So ask your practitioner how many units he or she injects and ask if this is in line with the recommended dosage for that area. Your practitioner will regard you as a knowledgeable client and you will get some useful information that can help you make the right choice when choosing your provider.