A so called botox cream has broad appeal – selling both to needle-phobes like myself who want what the world famous toxin offers but without the needle AND to botox junkies eager to prolong the effects of their latest fix.
Whichever category you fall into you can be sure that the trend for botox creams is set to get bigger as skin care technology gets better and the downsides of botox injections become clearer.
If you want the full low down on ingredients and technology – take a look at my article on how botox topicals work. If you want to think about choosing a product – read on!
Lots of skin care companies have tagged their products with the “botox-like” description but many just don’t make the grade. After much trawling here’s my view of what seem to be the five best botox alternatives on the market for 2012:
1. Dr Brandt Crease Release - great name and by all accounts a pretty good product! Based on the GABA technology pioneered by the brand which aims to mimic the line relaxing effects of botox.
Seen on the Today show, beloved of many top name celebs and earning rave reviews in forum posts and beauty sites this anti aging serum has caused quite a stir.
The fact that Dr Brandt has produced a successful botox cream is interesting in itself. Dr Brandt is a world renowned cosmetic surgeon and a consultant to Allergan, the makers of botox. Dr Brandt was part of the team that worked on the trials of botox prior to FDA approval in 2002. You could say he was one of the most important pioneers for botox and is still a world expert in its use.
His offices in New York and Florida are the biggest users of botox in the world. If anyone knows what topical ingredient is likely to work as well as botox – it must be Dr Brandt. This product has positive customer reviews in forums all over the internet to back up these claims – apart from Amazon where it only has one bad review. Quite expensive (half price on Amazon) but should last 2-3 months.
2. Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Growth Factor Extreme Neuropeptide Serum - quite a mouthful but don’t let that put you off! This is a new leading edge product – it certainly gets rave reviews on dermatologist approved skin care sites. Reviews on Amazon are good too but more realistic.
Winner of a 2010 Good Housekeeping Anti Aging Award in the skin firming category – the product relies on a specially blended “youth serum” with high levels of growth agents and a hexapeptide complex. Its the peptides that provide the botox like response – relaxing the expression lines that lead to deeper wrinkles apparently.
Apparently you can expect firmer more supple skin with a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and higher levels of moisture. Thinner, less elastic skin is a key symptom of skin aging so any product that delivers improvements in this area deserves to be a winner. Botox injections alone certainly wouldn’t.
3. PCA Skin (pHaze 25) ExLinea Peptide Smoothing Serum - Another long name covering up a pretty good product. Basically an argireline cream – I first heard about this one from readers of this site recommending it. Key ingredient is the peptide argireline which smoothes existing lines and helps prevent others arriving. Also has good levels of hyaluronic acid which is a key ingredient for moisturization plus antioxidants to fight skin aging. Users and experts like PCA Skin products and this is no exception.
4. Strivectin SD – Who hasn’t heard of this one? Originally sold as an anti stretch mark cream, users – rather than the makers – discovered just how good the cream was at reducing facial wrinkles and uneven skin tone.
Now Klein Becker, the makers of Strivectin have reinvented the cream as “the botox alternative” and the formulation has been updated. It’s included in this list because it is something of an anti aging classic and it consistently receives high ratings and positive reviews in the forums. Definitely a good anti aging cream by all accounts at a reasonable price – but whether it really can be called an alternative to botox is doubtful.
5. Dermaquest Skin therapy Peptide Mobilizer – High levels of a range of peptides that work together to relax wrinkles and stimulate collagen production. Highly rated by users and – as a little goes a long way – it should be worth the money.
These are all excellent well-proven products backed up by good user reviews. In terms of making a final choice for a botox substitute – I would go for Dr Brandt Crease Release - or the excellent Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Growth Factor Extreme Neuropeptide Serum.
Neither will achieve the full effects of a botox treatment – but they would be pretty scary over the counter creams if they could!