Botox is an injectable toxin produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum, and is the most popular treatment used to smooth out wrinkles in the forehead (frown lines) and around the eyes (crow’s feet). It is a medication and neurotoxic protein with a very dangerous side effect: Botox can be very toxic in large doses.
Despite its potential side effects, Botox is used in small doses under its trade name to relax your muscles and stop muscle spasms, and in cosmetic procedures (often called botox surgery), to fill in wrinkles, smooth skin and help reduce perspiration (when injected into the armpits). Because of its potential toxicity, people are looking for natural alternatives to Botox.
Causes of Wrinkles
Our skin has two layers: the epidermis (outer layer) and the dermis (below the epidermis). Wrinkles happen in the dermis. The dermis is made up of collagen and other proteins. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen. The collagen is what makes our skin elastic and smooth. Less collagen results in saggy skin with wrinkles. Lots of factors contribute to this process. Here are some:
- Sun damage
- Poor nutrition
- Facial expressions (laughing, squinting, etc.)
- Pollution and toxins
- Natural aging
- Sleeping on your side (with your cheek pushed against your pillow)
Natural Botox Alternatives
Here are 10 natural alternatives to Botox application.
1. Coenzyme Q10
Take 100-300 milligrams of coenzyme Q10 daily. There is considerable scientific evidence that this supplement can act as an antioxidant and energizer that can prevent many of the detrimental effects of sunlight exposure.
Retinol is most favorite anti-aging ingredient. People commonly confuse it as an exfoliator, but what it really does is push skin cells up to turn over in a healthier way, and it helps grow collagen to flatten wrinkles.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an amazing oil that can rebuild our skin tissue both topically and internally. Coconut oil is both hydrating and rebuilds our connective tissues, and damaged connective tissues are often the cause of wrinkles.
4. Algae and Kelp
Antioxidants have long been valued for regenerative skin care benefits, and the world’s oceans are home to particularly potent renditions of the wrinkle fighters. If you think about where algae and kelp grow, they’re able to survive and flourish in the harshest conditions – which means huge anti-aging benefits when you harvest the plant extract.
5. Bee Venom
The latest flashy buzzword in defying wrinkles is bee venom, which some experts say contains natural anti-inflammatory and anaphylactic properties that can temporarily relax lines caused by clenched facial muscles. There is scientific evidence that shows it could help wrinkles. The venom is extracted through a process that maintains and protects the bee’s well-being and lifespan.
Forbes lists the stem cell technology used in Amatokin as another natural alternative to Botox. Amatokin’s creators report that the product targets stem cells to reduce wrinkles, even out skin tone and renew your skin. But such technology can be pricey. Amatokin retails for almost $200 for one ounce.
A plant-based phytochemical that is found in everything from red wine and tea to apples and onions, quercetin contains natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that prove beneficial in skin care, diet, and even in the treatment of skin barrier conditions like eczema. Quercetin doesn’t biologically decrease wrinkles, but it’s kind of like using a primer before applying makeup – it definitely helps plump up skin and fill in lines.
8. Aloe Gel
Aloe Gel containing 1-3 percent alpha-hydroxy acids. This is the most potent natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids!
This polysaccharide is produced by the fungus Aureobasidium pullulan. Pullan is seen as an ingredient specifically in anti-aging products because of its ability to provide an instant skin-tightening effect as it adheres to the skin. It is able to quickly form a sheer film that improves skin’s texture and appearance.
It is temporary and will wash off when you cleanse your skin, but it is a great, natural non-toxic alternative to Botox.
Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide has been shown to effectively treat a variety of facial conditions – from wrinkles to acne to rosacea – by helping enforce the skin barrier and preventing the swelling action of skin cells. Niacinamide helps decrease wrinkles by negating the inflammation that causes the free radical activity that leads to deeper and more pronounced lines. Niacinamide works well in conjunction with sunblock to even out skin tone too.
How to Prevent Wrinkles
Because our bodies are composed of mostly water, it’s important to keep ourselves hydrated. Just be sure you’re hydrating with water and not sugary drinks like sodas or juice. Drinking plenty of water keeps your body and skin hydrated so your skin stays smooth and clean — a natural and healthy alternative to Botox.
2. Manuka Honey Extract
Not just good to eat! This well documented extract makes it one of the most biologically active and beneficial honeys for the skin. It’s perfect to enhance your skin’s renewal process.
3. Camelina Oil
The nourishing and protective properties of this skin oil reduce the signs of skin aging and improve skin elasticity. This light ingredient contains vitamin E and omega 3 to effectively improve fine lines and wrinkles without the need for needles.
4. Cranberry Seed Oil
What’s really exciting about cranberry seed oil is that it has the perfect ratio to omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which means that this oil will absorb amazingly into your skin, giving your skin greater hydration. Your skin will benefit from the flurry of antioxidants contained in this oil including vitamin E.
Many people use Botox to smooth wrinkles on their faces, but a lot of those lines and wrinkles could have been avoided in the first place if they were protected from sun damage. If you’re out in the sun, be sure to wear a non-toxic sunscreen every time you go outside. Staying out of the sun and using safe sunscreens are early ways to prevent the need for a cosmetic procedure like Botox.
6. Healthy Lifestyle
Another important way you can naturally take care of your skin so you can avoid Botox and its potential side effects is to just take care of your body. Don’t smoke. Avoid excessive alcohol or drug use. Exercise. Eat healthy by feeding yourself foods rich in vitamins and nutrients. If you take care of your body and your skin, you’re more likely to avoid the need for cosmetic surgery like Botox.