7 Alternatives to Botox for Treating Wrinkles

Medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, APRN on July 6, 2017Written by Chaunie Brusie, RN, BSN

Overview

If you’re looking for alternative ways to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, there are many different creams, serums, topical treatments, and natural treatments on the market. From traditional Botox to Botox alternatives, here are some proven ways to treat wrinkles:

  • other injectable treatments
  • FaceXercise
  • acupuncture
  • face patches
  • vitamins
  • facial creams
  • chemical peels

Read on to learn more about these wrinkle treatments.

About Botox

Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) is one of the most well-known methods for warding off wrinkles and other signs of aging. It’s a prescription medication that’s injected into the muscles of the face.

Botox works by stopping the muscle that it’s injected into from contracting, so it appears relaxed and smooth. Botox is effective at reducing the appearance of wrinkles and preventing new wrinkles from forming. This treatment may be considered expensive, however. Prices vary by provider and state, but you can expect to pay $100 to upwards of $500 per treatment depending on the areas you treat.

The effects are temporary, so you need repeat treatments to maintain the effects. One study also found that people who used Botox reported a decrease in their range of emotions, because emotions are tied to the brain through facial functions.

Botox alternatives

1. Other injectables

Dysport, like Botox, is a neurotoxin. It’s made of the same type of bobotulinum toxin A as Botox, but has slightly different dosing technique and structure. Results seem to be about the same for both Dysport and Botox, but Dysport seems to work slightly faster. No official studies from the company have been conducted, however.

Also, while Dysport seems less expensive, it takes more units of Dysport to achieve the same results as Botox. In the end, the cost is usually about the same.

Myobloc is another injection. It’s made from botulinum toxin type B. Because it’s also a neurotoxin, it works the same way as the other injectable options. However, it’s not as effective, and the effects don’t last as long. According to the FDA labelling, Myobloc effects lasts approximately 3 to 4 months, as opposed to the 5 to 6 months of Botox.

Pros: The effects of these other injectable treatments are similar to those of Botox.

Cons: These treatments may be considered expensive. They also work in a similar way to Botox, so if you’re looking for an alternative that is very different, these won’t be the best options for you.

2. FaceXercise

If exercise can help ward off aging in the body, why not in the face, too? A method reportedly used by celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Cindy Crawford, FaceExercise uses cupping and facial massage to improve blood flow and circulation. It’s also said to work the lymphatic system to clear out toxins in the tissues.

Pros: FaceXercise is all-natural and does not require any injections or needles.

Cons: It may be considered expensive, averaging around $380 for just the initial visit. Providers are limited, too.

3. Acupuncture

Acupuncture as an anti-aging treatment is a relatively new procedure, but it’s a promising one. One study has shown that it can help improve facial elasticity and skin hydration, both of which can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Pros: It’s all-natural and appears to be effective, though studies are limited.

Cons: It may be difficult to find a licensed acupuncturist who specializes in facial treatments. It also may be expensive, and results are temporary. If you have an aversion to needles, acupuncture is not for you.

4. Face patches

Face patches, or Frownies, are sticky patches you can place on the areas where you’re prone to wrinkles. The patches are supposed to help smooth out wrinkles.

Pros: The patches are easy to find and inexpensive, staring at around $20 for a box. Plus, no injections are necessary.

Cons: One small-scale study showed that while users reported an improvement, plastic surgeons were not able to detect any real difference in the skin.

5. Vitamins

Would you believe you could improve your skin just by taking vitamins? Key nutritional supplements may help improve collagen production. They may also have an antioxidant effect that helps prevent damage from free radicals. The best supplements to take include vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids.

Pros: Vitamins are easily accessible and affordable for most. They also provide important nutrients to your body as a whole.

Cons: You have to be careful when buying supplements. Look for high-quality supplements from a reputable source. Results are more preventative in nature, so you won’t get as dramatic of a decrease in wrinkles as you’d see with Botox. It’s also possible to take too many vitamins, so talk to your doctor about recommended dosage.

Learn more: The 4 best vitamins for your skin »

6. Facial creams

Many facial creams on the market claim to treat wrinkles. Look for antioxidant creams or cell regulators, which have a direct effect on collagen production and metabolism in the facial skin cells.

Pros: They’re easy to use and find, and they’re also available in a range of prices for every budget.

Cons: With so many types of anti-aging creams on the market, it can be hard to know what will actually work. It’s a good idea to talk to a dermatologist about recommended creams. Some creams may require a prescription or be quite expensive.

7. Chemical peels

Chemical peels are used to treat acne, reduce the appearance of discolored skin, and reduce signs of aging. Chemical peels require some recovery time, ranging from 24 hours to 2 to 3 weeks. You’ll start to see results in as little as one day, however.

Pros: Chemical peels are considered safe and effective. Your skin will continue to age, however, so you may need another chemical peel in the future as more wrinkles develop.

Cons: You need to see a skin care specialist for the procedure. The results are not instantaneous and may take 1 to 14 days to be fully seen. Recovery following the treatment varies depending on the chemical peel used. Your skin may look red and swollen, with peeling varying from minimal to severe. For deep peels, you may need a surgical dressing on the wound.

Tips for healthy skin

Taking care of your skin can help slow down the aging process. To help keep your skin healthy, basic maintenance goes a long way. Follow these tips:

  • Always wear SPF on your face. There are many lotions and makeup products that have SPF already added.
  • Wear sunglasses with large lenses to help reduce sun exposure on the delicate skin around your eyes.
  • Wear a hat when in the sun to further protect your skin.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Remove makeup before sleep.
  • Start using a good-quality anti-aging cream as early as possible.
  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet.

Takeaway

With emerging skincare research and products coming out every day, you have more choices than ever for alternative treatments to Botox. Consider all the pros and cons of the different types of anti-aging skincare treatments, such as injections or creams, before choosing one that’s right for you.

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