While a complete skincare routine is absolutely key when it comes to the pursuit of flawless skin, and it goes without saying that there is no topical skincare product that can match the results of Botox or fillers (aka Neurotoxins). Having said that, if you’re going to spend a few extra minutes in front of the mirror every morning and night, knowing which active ingredients and formulations will give you the most benefit for your money is essential, regardless of whether you intend to resort to needles. To learn which skincare products come closest to mimicking the effects of dermal injections, I turned to an experienced professional who performs in-office injections daily.
NP Aesthetics owner and operator Nancy Pellegrino (aka Nurse Nancy), RN, MN, NP, and co-founder of THE ROUTE, which she recently launched with friend and beauty industry vet, Courtney Baber, shared with us some of her favorite injectable alternatives and dispelled some common myths about neurotoxins and fillers. As we mentioned, Nurse Nancy admitted that, yes, there is nothing that will work same as injectables, but there quite a few things that will deliver similar results over time and with consistency.
There is nothing that completely mimics Botox. Essentially, it flattens out the outer layer of skin on top of the muscle to prevent wrinkles. Treatments like Botox and Dysport work to remove existing wrinkles and prevent future ones from forming by temporarily paralyzing the muscle. Medicines like Restylane and Juvéderm use Hyaluronic Acid to plump the skin and fill in wrinkles. “Botox flattens out the top layer of skin to control fine lines from forming into deep wrinkles, and in case you already have a deep wrinkle — we call them “coin slots,” — using a neurotoxin you allow the skin to regrow.”
As we all know there’s nothing that can “freeze” your muscles externally, there are other alternatives that promise to prevent the signs of aging without succumbing to an in-office procedure. Naturally, as any derm or skin care professional will tell you, SPF and sun protection is essential in any skincare routine. “Sun exposure accounts for 90 percent of our aging process. Without SPF, you might as well just forget about it.” Now, onto the good stuff. According to Nurse Nancy, there are several active ingredients that will give you noticeable results, similar to topical injections, such as peptides, retinoids, and acids.
“Biomimetic Peptides (one type of peptides) can simulate the way Botox works because they’re able to go beneath the skin and help to relax the muscle a little bit,” she says. This type of peptides has been described as “Botox-Like” as it is identical to the peptides that the body naturally produces. Peptides signal our skin to produce more collagen – which we lose as we age. Using peptide-infused products works like “topical Botox” by signaling nerves to prevent the formation of lines caused by expression and movement of the face.
Next is acids. “Acid products such as Party Peel work to ease lines, smooth our skin and brighten our complexion over a duration” Chemical exfoliants remove rough, dead skin to reveal a smoother, more even surface. While scrubbing is one sure-fire way to rejuvenate your skin and delay aging, it can also be harsh, especially if you have sensitive or reactive skin. With a medical-grade peel, you’ll see results faster (with some downtime), but AHA peels at home will produce similar results-you’ll just have to wait a bit longer. “The Party Peel is safe for sensitive skin because they formulated it with an oxygen delivery system. As a rule, exfoliants work best when the skin is free of product and completely dry. However, the “scrubbing bubbles” that form when you apply the product allow it to penetrate better without stripping.”
In addition to exfoliants and peptides, protecting the skin’s barrier (as opposed to over-stripping it with product) is also crucial if you’re interested in injections. “There are other ways as well to get aged. To have a beautiful skin you need to have healthy skin. As we get older, our hyaluronic acid and collagen diminish, so it’s important one should keep a protective barrier with active ingredients and moisture,” she says. When you apply your product also seems to matter. “Our skin pores tends to close down during the day, and opens up at night and replace all the water lost while we sleep.” That’s why it’s recommended to apply active ingredients like acids and retinoids before bed (noted).
Get the products if you are looking for a non-invasive way to combat lines and firmness, these products should be on your bureau.