Needle-Free Alternatives to Botox?


Can you achieve fewer wrinkles without injecting toxins into your face?

Expression lines. Even though they’re really a reflection of a life rich with laughter, it sort of sucks that after a while, they tend to stick around even when we’re not smiling. Caused by repeated muscle contractions, over time, skin loses its ability to rebound and starts to crease more permanently where the contractions occur, giving us those dreaded lines between the eyebrows, forehead rows and marionette lines around the mouth. The most common, and yes, we must admit, effective way to reduce these types of wrinkles is via Botox injections (or similar products) into the muscle causing the contraction to basically paralyze, which halts the cause, allowing skin to bounce back and the line to smooth out.

While many regard Botox injections as a safe, relatively low risk procedure to soften these lines and prevent new ones from forming, many of us aren’t too excited about the notion of going under the needle for a little dose of potent poison. Side effects can include swelling or bruising where injected, headache and flu-like symptoms. If not injected into the right places, the toxin can spread into surrounding areas, causing eyelids to droop or become crooked or cocked, dry eyes or excessive tearing. These issues are temporary and will usually resolve within a few months, but scarier side effects where excess toxin that can’t be absorbed by the muscles spills into the blood stream and cause botulism-like effects include all over muscle weakness, vision problems, trouble speaking or swallowing, breathing difficulty and loss of bladder control.  Good times…not to mention the pain and the expense. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather opt for one of these needle-free options to minimize expression lines.


1.  Patch them up:  Made from a polyethylene film with a non-toxic adhesive, Furlesse patches are hypoallergenic, latex-free, PVC free, BPA free and have been through extensive testing to ensure they don’t cause harm to the skin.  Designed to help minimize 11s, forehead rows, crow’s feet, vertical lip lines and smile lines, they work by holding skin taut and flat, thereby reducing the depth of the wrinkle. Honest to god (or whoever you  might pray to), they help achieve smoother skin within hours.

Queen of the hive

2.  Pick your poison:  There’s another natural poison creating a buzz in beauty – been venom. While the plight of the world’s honey bees may cause some to steer clear, studies suggest that purified bee venom applied topically can relax wrinkle-causing facial muscles while also increasing blood flow and stimulating collagen and elastic. It goes without saying that if you’re allergic to bees, or vegan, steer clear. Before you shove your face into the hive, opt for a less painful (and far safer) application via a facial mask. Wedderspoon’s Queen of the Hive Face Contour Mask uses ethically sourced bee venom, certified organic ingredients and is cleanly formulated.
3.  Interrupt communication: Peptide based muscle relaxing ingredients are not included in many wrinkle targeting cosmetics.  The growing list of peptides used to reduce wrinkles includes Argireline, Snap 8, SYN-AKE, and Leuphasyl, and I’m sure I’m missing a few here. These peptides work by targeting the neurotransmitters in cells that tell muscles to do things like contract, and instead tells them to relax. The theory goes that this minute reduction in facial muscle contraction will reduce expression line wrinkles. To boot, these peptides also stimulate the production of collagen for a one-two punch to reduce wrinkle depth and help prevent the formation of new ones.  Check out No-Tox by MyChelle, a cleanly formulated option featuring peptides to reduce wrinkles.


4.  Relax them:  Also known as the tooth ache plant, Acmella Oleracea is the source of an active ingredient called Gatuline Expression, another ‘Botox in a jar’ cosmetic ingredient shown to relax facial muscles. Long used to alleviate tooth and gum pain, this plant extract  has pain reducing  qualities when applied topically. Applied to the face,  it is readily absorbed and has been shown to relax facial muscles and thereby reduce wrinkle depth. Look at Camocare’s Youth Elixir Serum as one option for a natural serum using Gatuline Expression.

Looking to try brands like these?  Check out Goodebox, a healthy beauty & natural wellness sample service.

Have any interesting home remedies to reduce wrinkles?  Tried another clean beauty product that’s worked for you to reduce wrinkles?  Let us know!

Top image: Andres Rueda