5 Botox Alternatives That Actually Work

5 Botox Alternatives That Actually Work

Did you know that 40% of adults will consider non-surgical treatment within the next 12 months to counteract ageing skin? Botox is now one of the most popular procedures and is accessible to everyone, but what happens when you want the results but don’t want to go under the needle?

Many of us are toying with the idea of botox, including myself – but at 41 years old, I’m yet to have had anything injected into my face because the advancements in skincare mean I don’t have to. There are plenty of alternatives to botox that will give you a similar effect, but without the needles. Let’s investigate…


What is botox?

Botulinum toxin type A (botox for short!) is injected into specific facial muscles to partially paralyse them. It stops the muscle that it’s injected into from contracting so it appears relaxed and smooth and as a result helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming. The downside is, the effects are temporary, wearing off after six months or so.


What skincare ingredients mimic the effect of botox?

• Antioxidants – prevent oxidative stress that can break down collagen and affect the skin’s natural repair process which can appear as fine lines and wrinkles. Good ones to look for in particular are vitamin E, vitamin C, resveratrol, vitamin A (retinol) and green tea.

• Ceramides – are fats that naturally occur in the skin and make up over 50% of the skin’s composition. They help to strengthen the skin’s barrier and replenish your skin’s existing ceramides so that it looks and acts younger and appears smoother.

• Omega fatty acids – reinforce the skin’s surface by acting like building blocks between the surface layers. They create a smoother, more even, younger-looking appearance.

• Niacinamide – also known as vitamin B3 and nicotinamide it helps to minimise enlarged pores and soften fine lines and wrinkles.

• Peptides – are fragments of proteins that act like the fundamental building blocks of skin. Each different peptide (of which there are many) work in specific ways to target concerns. Argireline – a synthetic peptide is particularly good at mimicking a botox effect on the skin because it helps to reduce movement in dynamic muscles on the face.

• Hyaluronic Acid – naturally occurring in the skin, it holds 1000x its weight in moisture, and as we get older our hyaluronic acid levels reduce which can accentuate fine lines and wrinkles. Adding additional hyaluronic acid to the skin will help to plump out the complexion and make it appear smoother.


How long does it take to see results from botox alternatives?

Admittedly, applying a topical solution to skin is never going to work as fast as having a botox treatment however the results, albeit subtle initially, can still be impressive.

The main thing to remember is that you have to be consistent with your application, it’s not enough to just apply these products every now and again when you remember, if you want to see results, you need to be committed!

Some results will be pretty instant like the ones I put to the test below; however in order for you to reap the benefits you should be using the product for around 12 weeks as a guide. Plus, unlike botox injections, there’s no foreign ingredients in the body, it’s cheaper and you avoid the waxy ‘overdone’ look that can come with over-use of Botox.


1. The Fine Line Reducing Eye Cream

Filorga Time-Filler Eyes Absolute Eye Correction CreamBest Botox Alternatives; Filorga Time-Filler Eyes Absolute Eye Correction Cream 

Why is it a botox alternative?
It contains a powerful tri-peptide and a botox-like active ingredient to help to reveal a smoother, more refined eye contour while minimising the appearance of expression lines and wrinkles.

Star ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, tripeptide, citric acid (for a gentle peeling effect), plumping spheres complex.

Texture: Light and silky cream gel, that feels smooth.

Scent: Strong clean and fresh scent.

Application: Apply both morning and evening on the whole eye contour – including the eyelid.

I’ve been using this eye cream for years; I’ve even got my Mum hooked on it!

It effortlessly smooths out fine lines and winkles thanks to its silky texture – and almost feels like it’s filling them in as you apply it. I love the fact it sits perfectly underneath concealer too (something that I don’t find with many anti-ageing eye creams, which are often too rich). With Time Filler Eyes, you’re not just getting an eye cream that will relax your eye contour and smooth out those pesky signs of ageing. The ingredients go one step further using a lifting complex that gets to work on eye-lidding sagging, a plumping spheres complex ‘fills’ any hollow areas around the eye, while a matrikine peptide makes lashes more voluminous, too. This is an award-winning cult favourite eye cream that is a must if ageing and fine lines are a concern for you.

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2. The Smile Lines Solution

The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%Best Botox Alternatives; The Ordinary Argireline Solution 10%

Why is it a botox alternative?
It contains a 10% argireline peptide complex which has been dubbed the closest thing to botox you can get.

Star ingredients: Argireline peptide complex.

Texture: Light, water-like consistency.

Scent: No scent.

Application: Apply both morning and evening prior to heavier serums and creams.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive product that targets dynamic lines, this is it. It contains 10% Argireline, a synthetic peptide that has several different wrinkle-fighting and anti-ageing effects. The formula works by counteracting visible wrinkle formation caused by muscle movement, and at the same time supports collagen production, targeting the appearance of fine lines by promoting optimal moisture levels in the skin.

I love this because it’s such a simple and quick step to add to your routine, just pop it on before your usual serum (I normally concentrate on my forehead and the areas around my mouth and eyes). This is one that you will need to use for a period of time (for me it was around a month) before you start seeing results.

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3. The Instant Effect Serum

Dermalogica Age Smart Phyto-Nature Firming SerumBest Botox Alternatives; Dermalogica Age Smart Phyto-Nature Firming Serum

Why is it a botox alternative?

Designed to ‘re-awaken’ the skin it lifts the outer layer of your complexion and nourishes it with a firming effect using sapphire-bound biomimetic peptides (which act as a natural skin defence against environmental and lifestyle factors). The star of the show is the caffeic acid, a type of green coffee bean that will reduce wrinkles and fine lines (giving you that botox effect).

Star ingredients: Peptides, caffeic acid.

Texture: A pale yellow gel serum and a clear liquid serum that combine as you pump it to create a silky-smooth texture that absorbs quickly into the skin.

Scent: A botanical, spa-like scent

Application: Can be used both morning and evening. After blending the two serums in the palm of your hand, apply to the face and neck.

One word springs to mind when I talk about this anti-ageing dual-serum – WOW. While researching products that claim to mimic the effects of botox, I’d read numerous people say that they’d experienced instant effects with the Dermalogica Age Smart Serum and now, having tried it for myself, I can vouch for the fact that it really does! It feels really nourishing and rich on the skin when you apply, so although you can use this both in the morning and evening, I prefer to use it just at night and use something lighter on my skin for the daytime. After using this product just once I experienced smoother and more supple-looking skin and the effects after using it for a week have been quite dramatic. My forehead lines have reduced and my overall complexion looks smoother and less puffy. It’s expensive, however, if you stack it up against the price of botox – it’s no comparison!

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4. The Smoothing Day Moisturiser

Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream SPF30 Best Botox Alternatives; Kiehl's Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream SPF30

Why is it a botox alternative?
This anti-ageing cream contains a copper peptide that improves skin by not only firming it, it also smooths and reduces fine lines and wrinkles by promoting collagen and elastin production.

Star ingredients: Copper peptide.

Texture: Luxurious rich texture.

Scent: Faint natural scent, it contains no artificial fragrance.

Application: Use in the morning only and apply to face and neck.

Perfect for smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles during the day, this rich moisturiser is designed to tackle existing signs of ageing but also contains an SPF 30 for added protection for your skin (which helps to prevent further wrinkles). It’s rich in texture, so a little goes a long way (if you apply too much it can look greasy). The effects are plumping and smoothing and I love that it gives my complexion a gorgeous ‘lit from within’ glow and provides the perfect base for makeup.

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5. The Wrinkle-Correcting Night Cream

Filorga Time-Filler Night Multi-Correction Wrinkles Night CreamBest Botox Alternatives; Filorga Time-Filler Night Multi-Correction Wrinkles Night Cream

Why is it a botox alternative?
Collagen-boosting peptides (hexapeptide) included in the formula will relax the features without freezing facial expressions – so it’s just like botox but without the frozen face effect!

Star ingredients: Hexapeptide, gluconolactone (exfoliating effect), hyaluronic acid.

Texture: Smooth cream-gel texture.

Scent: Light fresh scent.

Application: Apply in the evening only to the face and neck.

This cream says that it allows you to wake up to smoothed, plumped and glowing skin and that’s just what I experienced after using this night cream just once. My skin often gets to look dull throughout the day and I dread looking in the mirror at lunchtime because that’s usually when my makeup has settled into fine lines. However, the Time Filler Night Cream has changed this. At midday, my skin still looks luminous and so smooth – to the point where I can’t stop looking at it! The combination of skin-plumping ingredients (including peptides and hyaluronic acid) and gluconolactone (which exfoliates dead skin cells away leaving it looking smoother) rivals any of my friends’ botox treatments!

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