Just recently, I had a potential customer from Instagram ask me about pricing for anti-wrinkle injections. Specifically, they wanted to know what I charge per treatment area (for two treatment areas). At first, I was a little taken aback because, where I started injecting back in 2014, we always charged by the unit. I haven’t changed since then. However, I can see the appeal for customers because asking what injectors charge for different treatment areas seems easier to understand and compare prices from one clinic to the next.
For anyone curious about anti-wrinkle injections, it’s important to note that in Australia, we are restricted from using specific drug names in advertising. Consider substances whose names rhyme with ‘Fox’ or ‘Sport.’ These are medications injected into the skin, designed to relax muscles and consequently reduce the visibility of dynamic wrinkles. This is in contrast to dermal fillers, which usually contain hyaluronic acid and serve a different purpose
Here’s why it’s not…
The pricing of these treatments can vary, with two primary models in use: charging by the unit and charging by treatment area. Understanding the differences between these models is crucial for both practitioners and patients. Keep reading to see the number of units typically required by treatment area for both men and women.
Based upon my current price for Tox or anti-wrinkle injections of $12 per unit, here is an idea of what pricing would typically look like for your treatment area at my clinic.
Tox Units Needed by Treatment Area
- Glabellar frown lines. Typical range. 10-20 Units total Typical: 15 units. Balancing amount for younger clients: 6 units. Price: $180 AUD
- Horizontal forehead lines. Typical range 5-15 units, total Typical 10 units. Price: $120 AUD.
- Crow’s feet. Range. 5-10 units per side. Typical: 12 units total. Price: $144.
- Brow lift. Range from 2-10 units per side. Typical 4 units per side. Price: $96 AUD.
- Bunny lines. 2-5 units per side. typical 4 units total. Price: $48 AUD.
- Gummy smile. 2-4 units. typical 2 units total.
- Lip barcode lines. 2-5 units total. typical is 4 units. Price: $96 AUD.
- Mouth frown lift. 2-5 units per side (injecting into the depressor angularis oris muscle). Price: $120 AUD.
- Golfball chin treatment. 5 units total. Price: $60 AUD.
- Glabellar frown lines. Range 20-45. Typical 25 units. Price: $300 AUD.
- Horizontal forehead lines. Range 10-20 units. Typical 15 units. Price: $180 AUD.
- Crow’s feet. Range 5-15 units per eye. Typical 10 units per eye. Price: $240 AUD.
- Brow lift. 5-10 units per side. Typical 5 units per side. Price: $120 AUD.
- Gummy smile. 2-4 units total.
- Mouth frown lift. 2-5 units per side. Typical: 5 units per side. Price: 120 AUD.
- Golfball chin treatment. 5 units total Price: $60 AUD.
* Price listed is for typical amount of units required, based upon $12 per unit pricing. Clients may require more or less units which would affect the actual price.
Charging by the Unit for Tox
As I’ve said, I have always charged by the unit. Why? Well, there are a number of particular reasons, but an overarching philosophy is that it allows me to be fair to my clients. I don’t want to set a price for a treatment area that covers what a client needing a high number of units would need, then have a client who needs far less and either be forced to overcharge them or injected more units than they actually need. I like the precision this offers. Tox prices in Geelong vary from one clinic to the next. My prices currently are at $12 per unit.
1. You only inject what people need and only charge them for what they receive.
Let’s say we’re talking about the ‘Glabellar frown lines’ or “11s” which are the vertical lines between the eyebrows. Most people have two of these lines, some have only one, while others can have more. For this treatment area, there is a big gender difference in the number of units required. Men require far more units than women in this area to achieve the same results. Even among women, some have very weak muscles and might only require 8 or 9 units in the area to get a reasonable result. Most women require 15-20 units. Some can require 30 or more (rarely). 15 units will work for most women. The number of units required in this area generally declines with regular treatments.
As always, the equation often referred to on social media is “units equal duration,” which basically means if you get fewer units to save money upfront, the price you pay later is that your tox will wear off sooner. What that means is how long your tox will last depends on the number of units injected.
So that means basically that ‘more is always better, right?’ Well, no, that’s certainly not the point. While more may seem like better in some areas of the face that can tolerate a lot of units with minimal complication, if you inject too many units into the forehead to treat the horizontal forehead lines, this could drop your forehead. Remember the muscles that cause these dynamic wrinkles are also responsible for keeping your forehead up.
2. Different people have different aesthetic goals.
Another reason that I don’t like to charge by the treatment area is that I like to tailor my treatment to my clients’ goals. For example, some clients want to be completely frozen, while others prefer a softer, more natural look.
3.I feel it allows me to give my clients the best value.
By aspiring to use the right amount for my clients and charging by the unit, I feel that I am able to provide the best value for my clients. This part is interesting because I’ve heard from clients over the years that there’s often a concern that injectors will upsell their clients and sell them more units than they actually need. I can see from a consumer’s standpoint why this would be a valid and fair concern. In the past, I did come across clients who had been given far more units than they needed (by other injectors).
Typically, the most common area where people are oversold units is in the glabella, or frown lines between the eyebrows. This is an area that can generally tolerate a lot of extra units without many complications (aside from a potentially increased risk of eyelid droop). From my perspective, I’ve always felt that I need to get my clients the best results for the best value because there are plenty of other places for them to go for anti-wrinkle injections if I don’t.
Pro tip: if you feel like your injector is overselling you on units, or if you just don’t feel comfortable, switch to an injector that you trust and feel comfortable with. Furthermore, another way to avoid this is to look at the male and female charts to see the range of units required. The range will vary depending on how strong your muscles are in the treatment area, your age, and how deep your wrinkles are, along with what your particular goals are.
Charging by the Treatment Area for Tox
I’ve never liked the idea of this concept personally. Why? It has the feel of a cookie-cutter approach, which I dislike. In Canada, where I’m from, I’ve only seen this pricing used in two scenarios. One, places that are trying to compete on the basis of rock-bottom pricing or celebrity injectors that have inflated prices.
It’s a cookie-cutter approach.
Different people require different amounts of units. Clients deserve to have a treatment protocol tailored to their aesthetic goals, budget, and face. If you’re looking for rock-bottom pricing that you can get on injectables, you might not be getting the value you think. For example, it doesn’t matter what they charge for the treatment area if the rock-bottom price involves them skimping on units or if the injector just isn’t very good.
2. You could be getting overcharged
If you’re paying by the treatment area, you might be paying for units you’re not actually getting. Will they even tell you how many units they’re going to inject?
3. You might get too many units or not enough.
Some places that charge by the area might have standard dosing where they give everyone the same number of units for a treatment area. This could result in complications or under-treatment.
Recap – Anti Wrinkle Pricing
Pros of Charging by Unit
The most significant advantage of charging per unit is the precision it offers. Practitioners can tailor the dosage to the specific needs of the patient, ensuring optimal results. This approach also offers transparency in pricing, as patients pay for exactly what they receive. Furthermore, it allows for greater customization, addressing individual concerns and varying muscle strength.
Cons of Charging by Unit
However, this method has downsides. There’s a risk of overuse, as some practitioners might administer more units than necessary, increasing costs. Understanding the pricing can be complex for patients, as it requires knowledge of how many units are needed for different areas. Additionally, the total cost can be unpredictable, as it depends on the number of units used.
Pros of Charging by Treatment Area
Charging by treatment area simplifies pricing. Patients know upfront the cost of treating a specific area, like the forehead or crow’s feet, making budgeting easier. This model focuses on the desired outcome rather than the quantity of the product used, which can be more appealing to patients. It also simplifies decision-making for consumers, as they don’t need to understand unit pricing.
Cons of Charging by Treatment Area
One major drawback is the lack of specificity in dosage. Patients might receive a standard number of units, regardless of their individual needs, potentially leading to under or overtreatment. This approach can also be inflexible, as it doesn’t allow tailoring the treatment to the unique facial anatomy of each patient.
To answer the original question, I believe that way to get the best price on anti wrinkle injections is to find an experienced injector and only get what you need. So I recommend to pay by the unit and inform yourself from the info above on how many units you’re likely to require.
If you’re looking for a consultation in the Geelong area, contact my clinic for a complimentary consultation. Be sure to see my page on aftercare instructions for anti-wrinkle injections as well.
Contact US for a Complimentary Consult
Dr. Jarret Morrow MD
The Cottage Medical Centre
(03) 5241 6129