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How much Botox is too much Botox?

Too Much Botox: The Telltale Signs Of Over-Injection


November 10, 2018

We’ve all seen photos of celebs who disappear from the public eye for a little bit, only to reemerge looking like a whole new person. And many of us have friends and acquaintances whose faces just don’t look like their faces anymore. That’s how you know they were over-injected or injected in the wrong part of their face. In an ideal scenario, injectables shouldn’t make you look totally different: they should give you an extra youthful boost without erasing your natural beauty.

Whether it’s neuromodulators like Botox (which relax wrinkle-causing muscles) or fillers like JUVÉDERM (which add volume to create a more youthful look), injectables need to be administered by well-trained, knowledgeable experts.

Injectables aren’t just a science: they’re also an art. If it’s done by someone without the proper training, experience, and understanding of both anatomy and aesthetics, the results aren’t very pretty. Here are some telltale signs that you were over-injected (or improperly injected) in your quest for young, wrinkle-free skin.

Puffy, bulging cheeks

Fillers can do wonders when it comes to adding youthful volume to the face. But if it’s done by a less-than-credible injector, you can get the dreaded “pillow face.” If too much filler is put into the cheeks, or it’s injected into the wrong area, the cheeks can bulge and essentially give you chipmunk cheeks. Who wants that?


Courteney Cox

Getty Images


With puffed-out cheeks, the face can look distorted, making the jawline and eyes look smaller in comparison. Some people might choose to get filler in the lower part of the face to balance out the distortion, but that just leads to their whole face looking puffy and bulging. That’s a real series of unfortunate events.

An unnaturally plump lip

Disproportionately full lips are probably the most obvious sign of too much filler. You just know when someone has overdone their lips. What usually happens is that the top lip is over-injected, making it look way too large in comparison with the bottom lip.

In the age of over-lined and over-filled lips, badly done injections are all too common. And aside from the aesthetics, getting too much filler repeatedly has a stretching effect on the tissue. When the filler is gone, your lips are left sagging or stretched out. To combat this, many people opt to bump up the amount of filler to accommodate their larger lips…leading to a frustrating cycle of stretching and over-filling.


Kylie Jenner

Instagram, Kylie Jenner


Disproportionate features

A general sign of over-injection is a face whose features aren’t proportionate. Whether it’s the lips, cheeks, chin, or forehead, if someone’s face just doesn’t look natural, they were probably treated by an injector who didn’t put enough care into the procedure.

Drooping eyelids

According to Dr. Robyn Gmyrek, you should “never inject the area near the orbital bone right above the pupil.” If Botox is injected there, “it can drift down toward the upper eyelid and cause and eyelid droop,” she explains. This effect can last from weeks to even months, and if you went into the doctor’s office hoping to look younger, this is the opposite of what you want.

A frozen face

You know exactly what we’re talking about. The biggest fear lots of people have regarding Botox is that they’ll end up looking frozen and won’t be able to move their face. If you’re treated by an experienced, knowledgeable injector, this is very unlikely to happen. But if you’re not, you do run the risk of receiving too much Botox, which can paralyze the muscle and make facial movements really difficult or unnatural looking. This effect will fade away as the Botox gets absorbed, but no one wants to spend months unable to smile properly.


Joan Rivers


“The lower part of the face is more sensitive when it comes to injections, since weakening the muscles around and on the lips can cause difficulty speaking or puckering,” Dr. Gmyrek tells us. If too much Botox is injected, there’s potential for “an asymmetric smile or lip movement,” she continues. “This is why Botox…should be done sparingly and cautiously by an experienced injector.”

The “Spock brow”

The term “Spock brow” probably immediately conjures an image in your mind, and it’s not the most desirable look. You don’t want to leave your Botox appointment looking half-Vulcan (at least we don’t).

The Spock brow occurs when “more Botox is injected into the middle of the forehead than on the sides,” Dr. Gmyrek tells us. This results in a brow that starts unnaturally low, while the tail is high. This means a not-so-subtle arch that makes it obvious your Botox wasn’t done correctly.

Everything looks…exactly the same

Of course, every treatment takes a certain amount of time before you can see results. But if that period has passed and you still don’t see any decrease in wrinkles or increase in volume, you might have received a not-so-great treatment.


Read This Next

Dermatologist Dr. Robyn Gmyrek told us all about the dos and don’ts of Botox placement.
Plus, here’s an in-depth look at different kinds of fillers.

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