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PRO VS. FAUX: OVER THE COUNTER BOTOX® ALTERNATIVES

Posted by 11.21.12

Do you feel that frown lines and pesky wrinkles are inevitable? Not in the 21st century! Anti-aging is the buzzword these days, and with good reason. There is a world of products that promise to diminish frown lines and wrinkles, both professional and over the counter. The trick, of course, is finding the right one for you.  For many, neurotoxin wrinkle relaxing injections (BOTOX®, Dysport®, Xeomin®) are a go-to solution.

But what if you’re averse to getting an injection, especially with something called a neurotoxin? Can you really simulate the results at home?

Dr. Edward Miranda, a plastic surgeon in San Francisco, CA says that BOTOX® reduces the appearance of wrinkles by weakening the muscles underneath the skin. Consequently dramatic improvement can -counter creams that give you similar effects,” he says.  However, Revance Therapeutics is undergoing clinical investigation for a topical delivery system of a neurotoxin medication that would be applied directly to the skin. If approved by the FDA, it will probably work best where the skin is thinnest, i.e. at the crow’s feet area but not the forehead or brow, and it will be administered exclusively by a doctor or medical professional.

But that’s not to say that frown lines cannot substantially diminish with over the counter treatments. Both topical options and gadgets have yielded palpable results:

LightStim ($249):

Lightstim for WrinklesLightStim is a handheld gadget that can be purchased over the counter or online. It promises to reduce wrinkles by stimulating collagen and elastin production through the use of LED Light Therapy. The gadget is very easy to use, but one caveat, the red light is strong, so if you’re light sensitive, make sure you use the goggles that are provided with the unit. All you need is three minutes a day on the targeted area for wrinkles to diminish considerably over time. In four weeks, my forehead wrinkles had subsided by almost 50% and I was extremely pleased with the results. It also comes with a money back guarantee—so what’s not to love?

PaloVia ($499)

At-home lasers devices such as PaloVia, a fractionated hand-held laser, are also available to soften fine lines with regular use. Approved for treatment of wrinkles around the eye, PaloVia works below the skin’s surface, where wrinkles form. Short pulses of micro-fine laser light reach deeply into the skin’s sub-layers, treating the aging support structure. The first FDA-cleared laser to treat wrinkles around the eyes, PaloVia stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, thereby reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Freeze 24-7 Instant Targeted Wrinkle Treatment  ($65)

This jar is meant for those who really don’t want to wait for results. It promises to reduce wrinkles by as much as 50% to 90% within minutes using the proprietary Freeze 24-7® Age-Less Technology™, which also addresses forehead creases, droopy brows, crow’s feet, furrows, laugh lines, feathered lips, and more. The packaging specifically says that it is a safe alternative to wrinkle relaxing injections without any side effects. Within minutes of use, my wrinkles diminished (not disappeared), my skin became more luminous and pores were reduced. While I won’t say this is a neurotoxin alternative (because the effects can be temporary), this is a great over the counter option for those who don’t want to invest in a professional treatment.

SK II LXP Ultimate Revival Serum  ($265)

I’ve been an ardent admirer of SK-II and its Pitera-based skincare products, and the Ultimate Revival Serum is no exception. This is a rich treatment that promises to improve texture but also fights the signs of aging with a deep hydration. Dehydration is one of the first signs of aging that can lead to wrinkles and deep lines, so if that’s your issue, then this serum is for you. SK-II spokesperson Kate Blanchette has said “LXP is the most luxurious range of SK-II. The new formulations rejuvenate my skin, giving it radiance and firmness. The serum is the perfect addition to my regimen. It’s so luxurious, nourishing and it makes my skin feel smooth and soft.”

Caudalie  Vinexpert Firming Serum ($88)

I am a super believer in the power of resveratrol and Caudalie’s new Firming Serum is a paraben-free lifting and re-sculpting serum that aims to contour skin for visible results. It has proprietary Resveratrol-Oleyl, which helps firm by stimulating the production of collagen, improve elasticity, and visibly diminish fine lines and wrinkles. It also is filled with anti-gravity peptides and argan proteins. In a 22-day trial conducted on 22 volunteers with twice daily application, 96% showed firmer skin, including the jawline.

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