woman getting neuromodulator

What Are Neuromodulators? The Complete Guide

Supple skin. Smooth foreheads. Tight cheeks.

That is what most Americans aim for. But a youthful face comes at a price. In fact, the amount of money women spend on beauty supplies is close to a college education.

Yup, you read that right. The average woman spends $225,360 on beauty supplies throughout her life.

But instead of investing in over-the-counter creams and serums, there are more effective solutions. Cosmetic treatments that use neuromodulators stop wrinkles in their tracks and reverse signs of aging.

What are neuromodulators? And what cosmetic procedures utilize them?

Let’s get to the bottom of your anti-aging treatment questions.

What Are Neuromodulators?

Neuromodulators are messengers released from neurons in the central nervous system. They regulate and affect how signals are transmitted between neurons.

Keep in mind that neuromodulators are not the same neurotransmitters.

Neurotransmitters are chemicals that assist in neuron to neuron communication. Neuromodulators target whole groups of neurons.

In fact, neuromodulators can change neuronal signal transmissions. They do this by regulating the number of neurotransmitters synthesized and released by the neurons.

While neurotransmitters target fast-responding neuroreceptors, neuromodulators react with G-protein neuroreceptors.

Examples of neuromodulators in our bodies include:

  • Noradrenaline (norepinephrine)
  • Dopamine
  • Serotonin

These neuromodulators change the cellular properties of neurons to alter the transmissions that occur between them.

How Are Neuromodulators Used in Cosmetic Procedures?

One of the biggest benefits of neuromodulators is their ability to relax facial muscles and prevent muscle contractions.

The restricted movements lead to:

  • Less oil production
  • Fewer age-related blemishes (like wrinkles, fine lines, Crow’s feet, etc.)
  • A reduction in sweating
  • Tighter skin
  • Facial contouring for a younger-looking appearance

These extensive neuromodulator benefits are why many cosmetic surgeons use neuromodulators in their procedures.

Neuromodulator Injections

Neuromodulators commonly come in the form of injectables. Once inserted into the skin, the neuromodulators prevent facial muscles from moving.
The injections freeze and relax the muscles. The effects can last up to six months.

Low doses of a specified neuromodulator are injected into the muscles that need relaxing.

As the muscle weakens, the skin softens, and wrinkles gradually disappear. This takes about one week. The result is rejuvenated and younger-looking skin.

Neuromodulator injections are relatively painless, fast to perform, and require no downtime.

Cosmetic Treatments Using Neuromodulators

Neuromodulators are best-used for repairing or preventing facial blemishes caused by muscle movement.

The injections cannot treat blemishes caused by external factors, like sun damage.

Rather, the benefits of neuromodulators come from targeting dynamic wrinkles. These are lines caused by repeated muscle contractions. Dynamic wrinkles occur from frowning, brow furrowing, and squinting.

The most common neuromodulator injections are:

  • Botox®
  • Dysport®
  • Xeomin®

All three treatments are FDA-approved. As long as administered by a cosmetic specialist, the treatments are safe to receive.


While you may not be familiar with the term neuromodulation, you may recognize the name Botox®.

That’s because Botox® has been the most popular aesthetic treatment in the United States for the last 20 years.

Botox® treatments use neuromodulators to diminish and prevent wrinkles and fine lines. In 2018, there were 7.23 million Botox® injections, a 200% increase from 2000.

Botox® comes from a compound produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. It acts as an inhibitor, which is why Botox® qualifies as a neuromodulator.

The injection binds to muscle receptors. This blocks the release of acetylcholine, which activates muscles. By inhibiting acetylcholine, Botox® reduces muscle contractions to create a rejuvenated-looking face.Botox®

Botox® Benefits

Botox® injections are ideal for people looking to get rid of:

  • Frown and forehead lines
  • Bunny lines (lines running across the nose)
  • Crow’s feet (eye wrinkles)
  • Gummy smiles (overexposing teeth and gums when smiling)
  • Glabellar wrinkles (vertical lines between the eyebrows)
  • Mentalis dysfunction (chin dents)
  • Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)

Botox® is safe for all skin types. Treatments typically last between three and six months. Results appear within seven to nine days.


Dysport® works similarly to Botox®.

It is a neuromodulator that targets glabellar wrinkles. These are fine lines around the eyebrows that extend into the forehead. Glabellar lines are most noticeable when a person frowns.

Neuromodulators are inserted into the target area to relax the muscles. A cosmetic specialist may first treat the injection site with a topical anesthetic to reduce pain.

The process takes minutes. Patients can immediately leave after.

Dysport® injections are more diluted than Botox ones. Therefore, the patient may need to receive more doses.

Dysport® Benefits

Dysport® diffuses better than Botox®. That is why Botox® is best for diminishing small wrinkles around the eyes. Dysport® is ideal for rejuvenating the skin across larger areas, like the forehead.

Dysport® reacts faster than Botox®. Most patients see changes two to five days after their treatment. Results last between three and six months.


Xeomin® is another popular neuromodulator treatment. It weakens facial muscle movements to produce younger-looking skin.

Xeomin® is derived from incobotulinum toxin a. It works fast to relax muscle contractions and create smooth, blemish-free skin.

The injections target the forehead. Specifically, Xeomin® is injected between the eyebrows to create softer frown lines.

Xeomin® Benefits

Xeomin® does not include the same proteins as Botox® and Dysport®. Therefore, it is a promising alternative for patients who feel their current injections are no longer working.

Xeomin® results appear between seven and nine days and last for three to six months. It is safe for all skin types.

Are You Ready to Enhance Your Appearance?

What are neuromodulators? Neuromodulators prevent muscle movements to keep your skin looking youthful. These treatments are safe, fast, and easy to get.

So, now that you know all about neuromodulation, are you ready to reduce your wrinkles? If so, you have come to the right place.

Find a qualified cosmetic specialist near you and schedule a consultation.

We will discuss your goals and evaluate your skin to determine which neuromodulator treatment is best for you. Together, we can reduce fine lines and rejuvenate your skin.

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With a wide range of breast, body, and face procedures, our goal at Wave Plastic Surgery is to allow for all of our patients to achieve their ideal appearance, no matter their age or ethnicity. Our doctors all have extensive experience working with patients of all different backgrounds and have developed an expertise in Asian plastic surgery procedures such as Asian eyelid surgery and Asian nose surgery. We work with all sorts of men and women—both local to the Los Angeles area and from far out of town—to help find the right procedure to help them reach their goals.

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