Stop the Clock: Botox Alternatives


Director, Institute of Personal Care Science (IPCS), Australia


The use of botox to prevent expression lines has been scientifically established; however many consumers choose to avoid botox for various reasons, and instead look for topical, non-injected solutions that mimic its activity. This article will take a look at the peptide and naturally inspired botox-like cosmeceutical active alternatives as well as materials used to enhance the activity of botox when used. They too have scientifically established efficacy and the in-vivo results of materials is provided for comparison. 

No single non-surgical procedure has revolutionized the anti-ageing industry like botox has. While botox injections can be given within a typical tea break with dramatic visible effects within days, many consumers choose not to proceed with this option because of cost, potential side effects and the fear of needles. The cosmetics industry has answered the call for safe ‘botox alternatives’ with a variety of active ingredients to provide botox like activity for similar results, almost as rapidly. This article will review the alternatives available and their mechanisms of action. 



In order for you to understand how cosmeceutical actives work to mimic the action of Botox, you first need to understand how Botox works. Botox is used to address the signs of ageing by inhibiting muscular contractions that disturb the packing of the lipid matrix. If you can stop the contractions, the lipid matrix maintains its profile and deformation of the skin does not occur – you effectively stop the appearance of a wrinkle. Purified Clostridium botulinum is injected into the skin, where it cleaves SNAP-25, ...