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Botox, Facial Rejuvenation, Skin, Face, Nonsurgical

How Much Does Botox Cost in San Francisco? (Find Affordable Treatment + FAQ)

Botox is an incredibly popular cosmetic treatment that helps you look younger and more refreshed by smoothing wrinkles and relaxing worry, frown, and smile lines.

One of the most popular questions I get is - how much does Botox cost?

In this article, I'm going to tell you how much Botox costs in San Francisco.

I'm also going to give you some insider tips on how to get the most out of your Botox treatment and the greatest bang for your Botox buck.

I. How Much Does Botox Cost?

The honest answer is that the cost of Botox varies from patient to patient because every person is unique. Some patients need more treatment, some need less. Some choose more treatment, some choose less.

The cost of Botox is determined by a number of factors, including:

  • The number of areas to be treated

  • The severity of your condition

  • Your desired results

  • Your gender

  • Expertise of the injector

  • Geography

1. The Number of Areas to be Treated

Botox is used to soften and erase facial wrinkles.

The 3 most popular areas of the face for Botox treatments are:

  • The vertical  "11" frown lines located between the eyebrows (an area called the glabella)

  • The horizontal lines of the forehead (forehead)

  • The crow’s feet located adjacent to the outer eyes (Crow's feet)

Botox can also be used to:

  • Lift the eyebrows (Botox Brow Lift)

  • Treat migraines

  • Treat TMJ jaw pain

  • Soften bunny lines around the nose

  • Soften upper lip lines

  • Reduce neck bands and wrinkles

Number of Areas to be Treated: The cost of Botox varies with the number of areas to be treated. The greater the number of areas to be treated, the higher the cost.

Size of the Areas to be Treated: The cost of Botox also varies with the size of the individual areas to be treated. The larger the area, the more Botox is needed, and thus the higher the cost.

Advanced Areas: Finally, there are some areas of the face or body that require a greater level of knowledge and skill to treat. For these areas, the cost of Botox is generally also higher. 

2. The Severity of Your Condition 

The cost of Botox can also vary depending on the condition of your skin.

Some people have minor lines that only need a small treatment. Others, however, have deep frown lines that require more intense treatment.

Generally, the more severe your wrinkles, the more Botox is needed, and thus the higher the cost.

3. Your Desired Results

The ideal Botox treatment will soften your wrinkles without leaving you frozen or looking overdone.

However, some patients may prefer a more subtle effect (eg. "Baby Botox"), or a more pronounced effect (eg. "I don't want ANY wrinkles and don't care if my face if frozen."

The more Botox that is needed, the higher the cost.

4. Your Gender

The cost of Botox is usually higher for men compared to women, because men have larger muscles that require more Botox to be needed.

5. The Expertise of the Injector 

Many people think that getting Botox is as simple as getting a haircut. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as getting Botox requires specific knowledge and training 

Not all Botox injectors are equal.

Therefore, the level of skill you accept will influence the cost you pay. The best botox injectors to go to are typically plastic surgeons.

Plastic surgeons spend years dedicated to the study, operation, and injection of the most delicate and intricate components of the face. They are able to achieve the best results from Botox because they know all of the different aspects of the face, and with that expertise they can tailor Botox treatments to each patient’s needs.

Additionally, plastic surgeons can avoid common pitfalls that less experienced injectors might face, such as leaving clients with droopy eyebrows, or numb areas.

Working with an Expert is Worth It

Most Botox injections in the US are performed by nurses working at medical spas. Many of these nurses received their education regarding Botox treatments from weekend courses.

As the recipient of the treatment, it is in your best interest to trust your face to someone who has studied the face and Botox for decades collectively, rather than trust your face to someone who has only allocated a few weekends at best.

To that end, the cost of Botox treatment is higher for more experienced and knowledgeable injectors. Rest assured that paying more for Botox injections is almost always worth it. The safety of the procedure and the high end results speak for themselves.

We have all seen the horror story results from botched Botox treatments, and it's safe to say that no one desires to look like that. By paying for a more skilled injector, you greatly reduce your chance of bad results, and improve your chances of getting the exact outcome you're looking for.

6. Location Matters 

The cost of Botox also varies by geography.

In metropolitan areas like San Francisco or New York, where the costs of overhead and living are higher, the cost of procedures like Botox will generally be higher. However, these cities are also home to some of the best plastic surgeons, so a trip to the big city is still often worthwhile.


II. Botox Cost: Per Unit vs. Per Area

Botox is often charged in one of two ways - Per Unit, or Per Area.

Cost Per unit is more popular, but Cost Per Area is probably the better way for you to pay. Read on to find out why.

1. Botox Cost: Per Unit

This is the most common, but not necessarily best, method of pricing Botox.

One unit of Botox corresponds to a specific, fixed amount of Botox.

The most commonly treated areas, the glabella, forehead, and crow's feet, each typically require 10-30 units of Botox each.

The analogy for paying Botox Per Unit is filling up your gas tank - the more you use, the more you pay.

The average cost of Botox Per Unit in the United States ranges between $10 and $25. But, because the amount of Botox everyone needs is different, it is difficult to gauge results by the number of units you get. 

This can create a real problem.

Here's the problem:

Many patients will try to save money by cutting corners and only purchasing a limited amount of Botox. The end result: patients who are unhappy because they are not getting the results they want because they did not purchase enough Botox.

For Example: Say Mary wants to get Botox for her “11” lines. Her plastic surgeon charges her $18 dollars per unit of Botox. The size of her muscles indicates that she needs 20 units of Botox. But Mary wants to save money, so she tells her doctor that she only wants 10 units of Botox. Her plastic surgeon suggests that she needs more, but she refuses to listen and insists on getting only 10 units. So she gets 10 units of Botox, which is not enough. The downside is one month later Mary complains that her lines are still there and the results aren't what she wanted.

In situations like these nobody wins. The patient is unhappy with the results and the plastic surgeon has an unhappy patient

Additionally, it's important to note that some unethical clinics might up-charge you for more units than you were really given. This allows them to provide you with what looks like a discounted price (eg. Botox for only $10 a unit!), but the only thing you are really getting discounted is your results. 

Experienced injectors will make the best possible recommendation for the amount of Botox you need based on your anatomy and goals. It's prudent to follow their recommendation, or else you may end up unhappy with the results.

It is these shortcomings of pricing Botox Per Unit that has led me to conclude that pricing Botox Per Area is a much better way to go.

2. Botox Cost: Per Area

The better pricing option is “Botox Cost Per Area”.

In Cost Per Area, a specific area, such as the glabella is treated for a fixed price, rather than by the unit.

For Example: Instead of spending $18 per unit, a single area such as the glabella might cost $500.

The benefit of this pricing structure is that you don't have to worry about how many units of Botox you are getting, only the result.

Your injector will conduct a thorough assessment and give you the precise amount of Botox needed to achieve the results you want. You will always receive the proper treatment, every time. And, if for some reason a touch-up treatment is needed within the first few weeks, it will commonly be included at no extra charge.


III. Comparison: How Much Does Botox Cost vs. Injectable Dermal Fillers

Botox and injectable dermal fillers are two of the most popular treatments for reducing signs of aging. They are both non-surgical and commonly performed together for those who want to look younger.

How do the costs of the two treatments compare?

Dermal Fillers


Dermal fillers add structure and volume to the face where volume has been lost

Botox relaxes the muscles that cause worry, frown, and smile lines

Costs between $800-$1,500 per syringe, with 1-6 syringes needed.

Costs between $400-$1,500 per treatment.

Lasts 6 months to 2 years.

Lasts 3-4 months.

IV. Is Botox Worth the Price?

There is a reason that Botox is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments performed. It's safe, effective, and has no downtime.

Most women (and a surprising number of men!) would tell you that if you have any wrinkles and would like to look younger or smoother, then Botox is absolutely worth the price. After all, isn't your confidence and happiness priceless?


V. How to Get The Most Out of Your Botox Buck

There are few tips that you can use in order to get the best results per dollar spent when it comes to Botox injections: 

1. Choose your Botox provider based on safety and quality, not cost

Skimping on cost could put your face in jeopardy.

Choose a board certified plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, or cosmetic dermatologist to perform your Botox injection.

The cost may be a little higher, but the results and peace of mind are well worth it.

2. Avoid getting too much done

The ideal Botox treatment will leave you looking younger and relaxed, but not frozen or "done."

Getting too much Botox is a pitfall that is best saved for the Real Housewives.

3. Beware bargain basement Botox

If you see a Botox price so low that it almost seems to be good to be true, be careful. Your safety and well-being could be at risk. Here are two common reasons why bargain basement Botox could be hazardous to your health:

a. Using Conterfeit Botox

There are unethical clinics operating that purchase contraband Botox that is not approved by the FDA and comes from outside the US. This is done because purchasing unapproved Botox from countries like China or Canada is significantly cheaper than purchasing Botox that is approved by the FDA.

Going to one of these clinics could be dangerous because the purity and safety of the contraband Botox cannot be guaranteed. In some instances, the contraband Botox has been found to be counterfeit.

In 2016, the FDA issued a warning letter to over 1,300 doctors who had been caught purchasing contraband Botox including 9 doctors from the San Francisco Bay Area.

b. Discounted Botox Treatments

Anyone who uses Groupon will no doubt note that the site offers great deals, including Botox specials often priced at $199 for 20 units. While this sounds like a great deal, and some clinics probably do a good job, if the clinic is specifically offering a deal knowing that they are losing profits on that deal, the chances of them performing the job to the best of their abilities is quite low. Where your face and body are involved, this might not be a chance you are willing to take.

VI. The Bottom Line: How Much Does Botox Cost?

It’s worth saying again: Botox is not a one-size-fits-all treatment, so prices vary from patient to patient.

Based on the factors discussed above, the cost of Botox typically ranges between $400 and $1,500 per treatment.

If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Botox is not a one-size-fits-all treatment, so costs can vary. If you are willing to invest the time and the money to get a Botox treatment, you should seek the best treatment possible.  

Receiving a cost estimate on a per area basis rather than a per injection basis will make it much easier for you to realistically budget for the treatment and offers more reassurance that the results will be to your liking.

The average cost of Botox injections in the United States is between $400 and $1,500.

VII. Learning More About Botox Treatments in San Francisco 

If you are interested in Botox treatment, but still want to do a bit more research before making a decision, these articles should be of some help:

If you know Botox is right for you after learning more about the costs, take our self evaluation in order to see which treatment is right for your needs. Once completed, we will reach out to you with additional information regarding our Botox treatments.

You can also contact us to speak with one of our Botox experts who can help answer any questions you may have and set up an appointment with Dr. Fan.

Wondering if you're a candidate?


About the Author

Dr. Larry Fan is a Harvard educated, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in San Francisco, CA. He is a Master Artist who is known for creating beautiful, stunning, and natural results. Dr. Fan has been named One of America's Top Plastic Surgeons for the past 10 years running and has received several national awards for his work in Plastic Surgery. He has successfully performed more than 10,000 cosmetic procedures of the face, breasts, and body over a 20 year period. Dr Fan has been an invited speaker at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons, and has been featured in national media outlets such as CNN, NBC, and ABC.

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