What is cutaneous Botox? The Korean Injectable Glass Skin Technique


About 18 minutes into my interview with South Korean dermatologist Shin Hae Won, she brought up “Skin Botox.” I had just asked if people in Seoul used Botox for more than wrinkles, thinking it would signal migraines or TMJ. Her answer: “Yes, for pores too. We call it Skin Botox or mesobotox.”

Imagine me in his office at Oracle, a major dermatology and skincare clinic in Seoul, literally reacting like all the mind-blowing gifs out there on the internet. Shin, however, was extremely nonchalant about her reference to this injectable procedure. Although she thinks Skin Botox has been around for 10 years, I had never heard of it.

“It’s one of the procedures we do the most.”

Later that day, my friend took me to JY Plastic Surgery & Dermatology, also in Seoul’s Gangnam district, to meet dermatologist Kang Jong Bum. He was also unfazed when I asked him about Skin Botox. “It’s one of the procedures we do the most,” Kang explained.

The next morning, I sat down with Lim Ee Seok, the chief dermatologist at Thema Dermatologic Clinic. (Rumor has it that K-pop group BTS is visiting.) Lim was also extremely flippant about Skin Botox’s popularity. He then revealed that his clinic administers it 50 to 60 times a day.

If you’re just as clueless and intrigued by dermal Botox as I am, here’s all the information I gathered about the procedure while in Seoul.

What is cutaneous Botox?

Skin Botox is, more or less, instant glass skin – no magic serum or multi-step routine needed. To achieve this in this injectable form, the same neurotoxic protein (aka botulinum toxin) is used as in classic Botox procedures. However, Korean dermatologists modify their needlework, if you will, so that Skin Botox targets different parts of the face.

Skin Botox is, more or less, instant glass skin – no magic serum or multi-step routine needed.

“In the past, when we used Botox, it was for wrinkles and we injected it into the muscles,” Lim says. “Nowadays, we’re going to inject it into the outer layer and it lifts the skin.”

In other words, traditional Botox flattens and prevents deep skin folds by weakening the muscles in specific areas of the face, such as the forehead, expression lines or crow’s feet. Cutaneous Botox, on the other hand, targets the pores to create a all over smoothing effect.

What does the procedure usually consist of?

At Oracle, patients are brought to a room specifically for filler treatments, aptly called the filler room. Here, Botox is injected just below the surface of the skin – or “edge”, as Kang calls it.

The needle is inserted approximately 40 to 50 times along the jawline, forehead, and under-eye area. For comparison, standard Botox is injected about three to five times. Again, the standard injection goes further to reach the muscle.

You can also expect to pay KRW 350,000 (about $296) for the Skin Botox procedure if the dermatologist uses a Korean brand of neurotoxin from a clinic like Oracle. An imported one, on the other hand, costs 500,000 KRW (about $422).

What is dermal botox inside korean procedure that offers instant glass skin

What are the immediate results of Skin Botox?
Just as Shin mentioned, the pores benefit the most from skin Botox. The injectable tightens them to reduce their appearance and make the skin look brighter in the process, she says.

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