If you’re in tune with skincare or the latest in-office treatments, you’ve probably heard mention of Daxxify, the new Botox alternative that has dermatologists buzzing. The hype comes for a good reason — Botox has long dominated the neuromodulator market, the reigning queen of the injectables, which use small amounts of botulinum toxin to relax wrinkles. (Among other uses like treating chronic migraines or reducing excessive sweating.)
Botox is so popular and has been dominant for so long that many people don’t even realize that it’s the brand name of just one type of neuromodulator, a category that also includes Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeuveau. But now, there’s a new neuromodulator on the block — one that promises to revolutionize injectables as we know them.
To break down Daxxify, the newest neuromodulator, we spoke to Jeremy Fenton, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York, whose office was involved with the clinical trials of the injectable. Here’s everything you need to know before your next trip to the dermatologist.
Botox vs. Daxxify: What’s the difference?
The main difference between Botox and Daxxify comes down to longevity. Where cosmetic Botox injections typically last around three months, Daxxify’s results will reportedly last six months — some patients in the clinical trial even saw results after nine months, according to the Revance, the company behind the injectable — saving you a trip to the dermatologist. That staying power is impressive — even for the experts. “I was surprised by how long the effects lasted,” Dr. Fenton says.
The added longevity can be attributed to the molecular makeup of each injectable. To be safe and effective, the botulinum toxin active in each brand of neuromodulator needs to be stabilized. Botox uses what’s called human serum albumin, a protein found in human blood plasma. This works well, but Revance appears to have found a better way. Daxxify uses peptides, or short strings of amino acids, to stabilize the active ingredient, which are believed to “do a better job of delivering and stabilizing the botulinum toxin,” Dr. Fenton explains.
Not only is this the key innovation behind Daxxify’s ability to deliver longer-lasting results, the use of peptides also makes Daxxify the only neuromodulator option on the market that doesn’t use human or animal products.
What will Daxxify be used for?
Neuromodulators have two types of uses: those that have been specifically approved by the FDA based on clinical data, and those known as “off-label,” which “simply means that they are being used in a way that was not part of their FDA clinical approval,” according to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. This doesn’t mean that off-label uses aren’t safe and effective (though your doctor is required to inform you of any off label uses and you should understand any risks). Neuromodulators are routinely used for everything from frown lines, to forehead furrows, to crow’s feet, to excessive sweating (aka hyperhidrosis).
Daxxify is currently FDA approved for the use of frown lines, but “is likely to be used for all the uses that we currently use Botox, both on and off-label,” says Dr. Fenton. “Although Daxxify has only been officially approved for the area between the eyes, I’m sure that dermatologists will be using it in the other main areas of the face shortly after release. These include the crow’s feet and forehead,” he says. Each off-label use for Daxxify will ultimately be up to dermatologists’ discretion but “there is no reason to believe that it won’t also work in these areas.”
Daxxify side effects
“The side effects with Daxxify are similar to Botox,” says Dr. Fenton. “There are risks of bruising, headaches, drooping eyelids, heavy brows, and facial asymmetry.”
These risks are low, but here’s where Daxxify’s longevity could serve as a potential downside. “Users should be aware that if complications arise with Daxxify, they will likely last longer because the product itself lasts longer,” Dr. Fenton explains. “This is one of the reasons that some people may still choose to use some of the original products, such as Botox, over Daxxify. Especially if it is their first time using a botulinum product.”
Which neuromodulator should I get?
According to Dr. Fenton, which neuromodulator is the best neuromodulator may ultimately come down to personal preference. “Patients who have been using another brand of botulinum toxin and are happy with the results, may decide to stay with their current product rather than make the change,” he says. “However, if these people are looking for something that lasts longer, they may want to try Daxxify and see how it compares.”
It really comes down to how you feel about Daxxify’s long-lasting results. If you are experienced with injectables and sick of making so many trips to the dermatologist, it might be right for you. If you’re a neuromodulator newbie or you’re seeing a new dermatologist for the first time, you may want to consider trying a shorter-acting botulinum toxin first to make sure you like the results before committing to a longer-lasting option. “This way, if there is something you don’t like, it will last half as long,” Dr. Fenton says.
When will Daxxify be available?
So, exactly when can you get your hands on the new neuromodulator? You’ll likely have to wait a bit. The exact date that Daxxify will be available in dermatology offices is still TBD, as Revance finalizes plans for the rollout, but dermatologists expect to see it sometime in 2023.
The cost, too, is yet to be determined. “Most dermatologists expect that the price of treatment will be more expensive because the product will likely be more expensive than Botox,” Dr. Fenton says. It may still save you money, however, since Daxxify will require fewer treatments.