In this tight economy many people are shopping for Botox® cosmetic aggressively by price. Here are some pearls to keep in mind when doing so: Genuine Botox® cosmetic by Allergan is supplied to practitioners in freeze dried bottles of 100 units. Unlike fillers which come in pre filled syringes of set volume, the practitioner mixes and dilutes the strength of the Botox®. The stronger the concentration, the less you need. Generally most people either dilute the 100 units with either 2.5ml or 4ml of saline. This yields botox® concentration of 4units/0.1ml or 2.5 units/0.1 ml. (some practitioners may dilute it more but it’s not typically recommended to do so) Why is this important? When you are price shopping are you being quoted a price per unit or a price per area? If its a price per area and is cheaper chances are you are getting a more dilute concentration. Is this bad? Not necessarily if you are being made aware of it, it’s just that I think you will get a better and longer lasting result with a higher concentration. Also if you don’t get as much result as you like when you pay by the unit you just pay for as many more units that you need, not the whole area again. Pearl: Its OK to ask what concentration and how many units you are receiving. Second big question to ask when shopping: Who’s doing the injection? Doctor? Nurse? Aesthetician? Why is this important? Botox® achieves it’s effect by weakening muscles that cause wrinkles and lines when moving. To be most effective it needs to be injected into the muscle itself. Does the injector have the training, background and familiarlity with the facial muscles to be certain you are getting the most injected into the right place?Remember we are talking about very small volumes and concentrations here. You want to be sure it’s going where it needs to, not the skin or surrounding tissues where it will not have much effect-especially if you are paying per unit. Bottom line-paying a little more to get injected by a skilled doctor using higher concentration Botox® may in the long run save you a lot in satisfaction and longevity of results than a cheaper salon or mall injection. Last pearl: Just like many other products the more you buy the better chance for additional discounts. Get a group of 3 or 4 friends together and most offices will give you a discount if everyone is getting it together. Plan on the future and negotiate a discount for your next treatment at the time of the current one by making a partial payment towards it. Consider a package combination of Botox® and fillers and you can get a discount for multiple treatments done together.