The decade of 2020 has brought the brow lift into the limelight of beauty. Botulinum toxin is the least invasive way to alter the shape and lift the eyebrows. The chemical brow lift is a treatment I see people losing the most money on due to not understanding how the muscles work. Most people think injecting Botox above their brows will lift their brows, when in reality, that will drop the brows! Continue reading to learn how tox can lift the brows and if you are a candidate.
The Instagram Chemical Brow Lift
You may have seen an injector inject a small number of tox units to the tail end or somewhere in the last quarter of the brow. I call this an Instagram Chemical Brow Lift, because this is where we see the brow lift injection point the most on social media. Surprisingly, most people will get no benefit or change from this injection site.
There is one concept that needs to be understood for anyone who is trying to lift with Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, or Jeuveau. Botulinum Toxin does not lift. All it can do is relax muscles. Depressor muscles pull down. Toxin can relax the muscles that pull down, creating a lifting effect. In reality, the muscles no longer pull down on contraction.
With that understanding, we can discuss muscles. The muscle framed by the eyebrow is the eye muscle, orbicularis oculi (OO). The OO is a sphincter muscle that pulls in. Imagine a clock. If that clock could tighten like a sphincter muscle towards the middle of the clock, contraction would bring the numbers of the clock closer. When the OO tightens, the brow may pull down.
Not everybody's eyebrows pull down when they squeeze their eyes shut. In fact, if I had to estimate it, only one out of five people's eyebrows pull down when they smile. Look in a mirror. Smile as hard as you can with your eyes. Does the tail of your eyebrow pull lower than it normally sits without smiling? If yes, you are a candidate for about 2 units injected into the tail end of each brow. If the tail end of the brow pulls down, tox will keep it relaxed up.
The Spock Brow
Yes, you may have heard that a spock brow is an unwanted outcome from toxin, but not for all people! We can "spock" the eyebrows, or create a strong lifting effect by treating the upper forehead muscle in certain areas. This typically utilizes 6-15 units.
We will be discussing the upper forehead muscle, or the frontalis muscle. The frontalis muscle is your 5-head (if you have a 5-head). It is the muscle that covers your forehead from the brows up. The frontalis functions like a theater curtain that is pulled upwards at the start of a show, and drops at the end of the show. Contract your upper forehead and your brows lift up. Relax your upper forehead and your forehead relaxes down. Remember, tox only relaxes muscles.
If you tox the middle of your frontalis muscle, ad leave the sides of your frontalis muscle able to lift, the skin above the brows will lift, but the skin between the brows on the upper forehead stays relaxed. This creates a strong lifting effect that works more aggressively than the Instagram Brow Lift.
This is desirable for those who's eyebrows are very flat (like mine). I love to "spock" my brows because it gives my brows shape when they normally have none! This is not as desirable for those who have a naturally strong eyebrow arch. They can look a bit scary with this technique, similar to brows like the grinch. Those with a naturally strong arch will need 1-3 units above their brows so they can have a little lift, but not as much without tox above the brows. Those who have lines above the brows will need to decide if they are okay keeping those lines to lift the brows. If they want those lines softened, they need to limit the lifting ability of the brow.
Between The Brows
Lastly, you may get a very subtle lift from the muscles between your brows. The muscle right in the middle of your brow is your procerus muscle. The procerus muscle pulls down. That pull down can be relaxed to give a very subtle lift of the center of the eyebrows. I must add emphasis to very subtle here. Between the brows typically utilized 20 units.
Here is where things get a little tricky. The frontalis, or upper forehead muscle actually spans from the upper all the way to the lower forehead, ending where on the brow bone. If the tox between the brows relaxes the frontalis muscle on the lower forehead, you may experience a subtle lift on the lower sides of the brows. Basically, this is treating the frown lines. Some may notice a lift from this, some may not. If injected in 3 points (1 between the brows, 2 above the middle-most hair on the brow), the lift will be more subtle. If injected in 5 points (same as above with 2 more pokes above the middle of the brows) with the last two points deep, this will hit the frontalis muscle, giving the brow a low, sharp lift, similar to a step up on a stair. This is why injectors typically inject the last two points superficially, so it does not hit the frontalis lifting muscle that is deep.
This may have been a complicated explanation, but it has been simplified so you become brow lift anatomy experts and will be able to identify what muscles you are a candidate for "lifting."
If you live in Southern California, specifically Los Angeles, Orange County, or San Diego, schedule to see Jasmin in Costa Mesa, California for Botulinum Toxin Brow Lift. Consultations are free.