A syringe full of active botox or saline solution?

botox-saline-solutionDid you know that every physician, spa or office offering botox injections buys their botox in the same form and at the same price from the only manufacturer – Allergan?

There are no deals done for bulk supply – no special discounts for important customers. Everyone buys at the same price.

So how come there is such a range in the price of botox injections?

Easy you say – competition. Some suppliers just offer better botox deals to the customer to attract business. So we get top quality at lower prices – which benefits everyone – right?

Well wrong actually.

Even if you go to a qualified dermatologist or cosmetic plastic surgeon for your botox injections – you may not get what you think you’re paying for.

Here are the facts.

Clostridium botulinum toxin type A is purchased in a manufacturers’ vial containing 100 units of vacuum-dried neurotoxin complex. Whoever is doing your botox injections has to add saline to the dried complex to get it in a liquid form for injecting.

Now you might assume there is a standard ratio of saline solution to dried botox complex.

Well…..yes – technically there is. The manufacturere lays down a standard for ‘reconstituting’ or diluting the botox in its dried form. This is given as a recommended standard ratio of saline to dried botulism toxin.

But here’s the tricky bit. Your physician can go with the recommended level or they can decide to add more saline – and more saline means a weaker botox injection as far as you are concerned. The current range used by doctors can be from 1-2.5 cc of saline to each unit of botox which is quite a big difference.

Something else that complicates matters – plastic surgeons use different dilution ratios based on the needs of their patients, the area of injection and the state of the facial muscles they are injecting.

They may use a weaker solution out of choice where a more subtle effect is required or when injecting a new patient or simply because that is their chosen preference.

Most board certified plastic surgeons will tell you exactly how much botox (by unit) you are receiving and what you are paying for each unit.

It is a whole different thing when you step outside the regulated world of the medical professional. Medspas, botox parties, injections done at your gym or wherever else are more likely to offer you a set price for your botox or for one area of treatment.

You may not know and not be told exactly how much botox is in each syringe.

So when you see a bargain botox price you need to be extremely cautious.

You may think you have a good deal because of the volume of botox solution in the syringe. It may seem like a very good ‘dose’ of botox for your money but what you get may be a lot of saline solution and very little active botox.

So how do you make sure you don’t get scammed?  

First and most important read our guide on how to calculate the true cost of botox on this site and second – find an experienced facial cosmetic surgeon to perform your botox injections.

You need to ask your doc or whoever two very important questions:  Firstly:”What is your reconstitution ratio?” this tells you how much saline is added for each unit of botox – or how strong the botox solution is.  Second: “What’s the price per unit of botox” – this tells you what you are paying for a standard unit so you can compare like with like elsewhere.

Be warned – if your botox supplier can’t or won’t tell you then you should draw a conclusion from that.

After all – even if you aren’t too bothered about getting a good deal on botox – lower strength botox solution will end up failing to deliver the wrinkle free younger looking face you had in mind!

About Eileen

I am the publisher of Simply Anti Aging and a web author researching and writing on all aspects of anti aging. I'd love you to connect with me on

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