Now you can get botox like you can get a blowout. Many botox bars have risen to change the landscape on getting work done on your face and make it an everyday type of thing.
Alchemy 43, an aesthetics bar located in New York and Los Angeles, has a full menu that includes lip fillers and botox, making getting cosmetic surgery as simple as getting your nails done.
Nicci Levy, the founder and CEO, says that 800 botox injections are performed weekly at the spot, according to Glamour.
Last year there was a combined 17.7 million cosmetic surgeries performed, with at least 7.4 million of those procedures being botox injections, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Botox bars have gained momentum based on the discourse of self-love and autonomy. Many women even told Glamour that they visit such clinics frequently and they love the experience.
“I literally fly back to get my injectables,” said Karen Siegel, a customer of New York’s Ject who lives in Florida. She mostly request to get botox around the eyes and forehead and to get cheeks and undereyes fillers.
Another customer, Kaitlyn Doyle, goes to Alchemy 43 twice a year for botox and once every two months for microneedling, where the skin is puncture with tiny needles, Glamour reported.
These injectable bars are decorated like a spa, which is the opposite of what a doctor’s office is supposed to look like: cold and monotone. In fact, The House of Preservation in Dallas offers its customers spa water while they wait to be attended.
Michelle Thompson, a Dallas resident and a frequent client of House of Preservation, told Glamour she goes there every three to four months to get a customized $450 botox treatment and twice a year for $1,250 filler injections.
What makes these botox bars so convenient is that they are also walk-in and they accept same-day appointments. Lillian Khron, a New York resident who frequents Alchemy 43, said that she did her first appointment the day before. Although walk-ins and same-day appointments are a thing in these places, the wait rooms are not usually packed.
You can find many customers loving and giving really good rates to these places, but the reality is different when you ask a doctor. Accountability seems to be the biggest issue professionals in the medical community have with botox bars.
Debates have sparked about whether only M.D. should be the ones injecting and how these bars will respond in case of an emergency.
“Since there is no standardized residency or fellowship for non-physicians, the training really varies and is left up to the individual,” said Naomi Lawrence, M.D., professor of Medicine and Director of Dermatologic Surgery at Cooper Medical School, Rowan University to Glamour.
Injecting botox has its potential side effects such as drooping or infection. Murad Alam, M.D., vice chair of the Department of Dermatology at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University told Glamour that the training levels for non-M.D. practitioners range from no training to pretty good training.
“You would want even the most skilled technician to be supervised by an on-site, board-certified physician who is an expert in injectable procedures,” said Alam.
The CEOs and founders of these botox bars stated that their providers have a lot of experience just injecting.
“All Ject providers are physicians, physician assistants (PAs), or nurse practitioners (NPs), and are licensed and certified to practice medicine in New York,” told Gabrielle Garritano, the founder and Ceo of Ject, to Glamour. “They are experts in injectables, as this is their sole practice.”
The fact that injecting is the only practice these physicians have experience on seems to be enough to make botox bars’ customers feel at ease.
The CEOs and founders of House of Preservation and Alchemy 43 told Glamour that it is a requirement for all providers to have valid state license and at least 10 years of experience, and new staffers are required to shadow their PA.
“Regulations vary state by state,” said Robert Anolik, M.D., clinical assistant professor of Dermatology at NYU School of Medicine to Glamour. “Some states are being more active to protect the public from thinking they are being treated by a doctor, but it is so variable state by state that risks remain high.”
Anolik pointed out that it is best to contact your individual state medical board and ask if the state allows a provider to inject without having a physician on-site. Keep in mind that the medical boards only oversee doctors.
“The state medical board does not have jurisdiction over non-physician injectors,” Alam said.
“NPs are accountable to a nursing board, PAs to their own board or the medical board,” said Lawrence. “If there were a complication, it would be the supervising physician (often not on-site during the procedure) or the owner who would be responsible.”
The fact that these procedures are being conducted without a physician is troubling for many doctors. In order to ensure a safe space, there needs to be a doctor that can quickly treat any problem that may happen during or after the procedures.
“Neurotoxin and filler injections are not manicures or blowouts; they are medical procedures,” said Anne Chapas, M.D., clinical instructor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center and medical director at Union Square Laser Dermatology to Glamour.
With less shaming going on for people who do decide to get botox and fillers, doctors are now worrying that plastic surgery will be looked at as something that is not meant to be taken seriously instead of a serious medical procedure.