Information piece – What are the differences between anti-wrinkle products available

By anti-aging Cosmetic Nurse Practitioner Carla Parker


Not all anti-wrinkle products are created equal

There is increasing consumer awareness in the market today of the price of anti-wrinkle injections. However not all consumers are aware that not all anti-wrinkle injections are created equal. So what is the difference?

Firstly, what is an anti-wrinkle injection?

Anti-wrinkle injections are Schedule 4 drugs and for that reason we are limited to how we can refer to these products.

There are many serotypes but the one approved for commercial use is serotype A. The cosmetic version is made from a purified form of botulinum bacteria which acts by causing a block in the nerve activity to facial muscles injected, giving a temporary reduction in muscle movement. The effect of this is reduced muscle activity giving the appearance of smooth skin.

What are the cosmetic brands?

The two well-known brands of muscle relaxants on the market currently are Type B and Type D.

Why are the prices different?

Both anti-wrinkle products are the same type A protein and work in a similar fashion. There has been much debate over which one lasts longer however after examining many studies they difference is negligible. Differences in these toxins may relate to differences in the strain of bacterium, preparation, diffusion, and potency testing but is not really relevant to the consumer. What is relevant is the dosing, which is where the price confusion comes in.

It is important to note that not all drugs are created equal and the main difference between each product is that their “unit” measurements are not the same. The ratio of units is generally 2.5 – 3: 1 (2.5 – 3 times more Type D units per Type B unit), so therefore you can’t expect to use the same number of Type D units that you are used to using in Type B units.

For example 20 units of Type B is required to relax a frown. For the same result using Type D, 50 units will be required.  Anti-wrinkle injections at $6 a unit may sound more appealing than $15 a unit, but what you need to ask each clinic is what drug is it to get a correct price comparison. In most instances, even taking these differences in to account, you can still be paying the same price for the treatment no matter which anti-wrinkle product is used.

Ratio      1 – 2.5 Type B Type D
Treatment frown 20 units 50 units
Price $15 per unit $6 per unit
Total $300 (20 x $15) $300 (50 x $6)


What are the basic differences between products?

  • Anti-wrinkle Type D “kicks in” a little more quickly than Type B
  • Type B usually takes effect after 5-7 days, while Type D effects are noticeable as early as 1-2 days after treatment

In conclusion, Type D may be minimally less expensive, but not enough so to make any significant difference cost-wise to the consumer. Consumers be savvy in understanding the product and the way it is used so you can be sure of what you will be paying for and the result you will get. Your treating Cosmetic Injector will always recommend the product they believe will give you the best results.



About Carla

Carla Parker-240

Carla is a Cosmetic Nurse Practitioner who has worked for over 20 years in many areas of nursing in Australia & London, including hospital wards, theatre, community centres, district nursing, medical practice nursing and cosmetic nursing. She has always had a fascination with the beauty industry, particularly the maintenance and care of the skin, and further advanced her interest as a facial consultant for some of Australia’s leading skin care companies. During that time, she gained extensive education in Dermal Science and learnt the art of assessing a face and applying make up to enhance, or disguise facial features. It was this training that prepared her for her transition into Cosmetic Injectables, having worked exclusively as a Specialist since 2008. Carla believes facial rejuvenation using muscle relaxants and dermal volumisers is a delicate art form requiring a skilled eye and regularly participates in national training courses to ensure she provides her clients with the best possible treatment outcome. Amazing results can be achieved in as little time as a lunch hour.