6 Alternatives to Botox That Can Keep You Looking Young

When it comes to life’s little battles, fighting to look young is one you’ll face long term. Aging is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you must show it. For millions of people, Botox is the to-go tool for making wrinkles and fine lines vanish. What if Botox isn’t your thing, though?

Think about it. There are a few factors that might make you shy away from this technique. First, it’s not cheap. Each Botox treatment can run you between $100-$500 (ouch!). Second, each treatment involves at least one injection. If you’re not comfortable with needles, this is a no-go. Third, Botox, while safe, is made from a toxin (botulinum) that blocks nerve signals to relax your muscles. 

So, what do you do if you decide you’re not comfortable with Botox as part of your anti-aging routine? Don’t panic and don’t stress! You have plenty of options available that can help you hold on to more youthful skin. Read through these six alternatives to see if one might work for you.

1. Apply a Retinoid

Some of the most effective anti-aging regimens are the ones you can do at home. It’s easy and simple because you don’t need to make an appointment or go anywhere for treatment. Retinoid products — drugs made from topical vitamin A — are some of the most common for at-home use. Tretinoin is the best known and has been waging the anti-aging battle for decades. 

These creams do a great job of reducing fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production. They promote a younger appearance in other ways too. When used correctly, they can soften rough skin patches, even out pigmentation, and make age and sunspots fade. Over time, a retinoid cream encourages the growth of new skin cells for a fresher face. 

Keep in mind that retinoid creams can dry you out. So, start using one every other day and slowly work up to daily use. You may start to see your wrinkles fade within three to six months. By six months to a year, you should see maximum improvement.

2. Try a Laser

This might sound more like a science project than a cosmetic procedure, but lasers can help your skin. Laser resurfacing is a proven way to combat acne scars, age spots, and wrinkles. The technique also firms up your skin at the same time. That’s a win-win! 

Depending on the type of laser treatment you choose, the procedure may hurt a little. It can feel like being snapped with a rubber band. You might decide it’s worth it, however. Laser treatments can reduce wrinkles and scars, reduce redness, even out pigmentation, and promote collagen development. Some can even treat sun damage and acne.

3. Go the Chemical Route

Chemical peels are pretty much exactly what they sound like. During your appointment, a provider applies a chemical solution to your skin. It might burn or sting for about 10 minutes, and a full-face procedure could last up to 90 minutes. When you’re done, though, the ultimate result can be a smoother face with fewer wrinkles.

It’s important to note, though, that your face could be red and swollen right after the procedure. You may feel like you have a sunburn with blisters for a week or two. Once your skin calms down, though, you’ll see fewer age spots, fine lines, scarring, or sun damage. If this technique works for you, you can repeat light peels monthly. For deeper peels, you should wait six months to a year.

4. Plump Up with a Dermal Filler

All right, if you’re dodging Botox because of the needles, this option might not be for you. If you’re comfortable with injections, though, a dermal filler can be effective. The difference between the two is what gets injected into your skin. 

While Botox relies on a toxin to relax your muscles, most dermal fillers use hyaluronic acid. It’s a naturally occurring substance that restores moisture to your skin. At the same time, it also plumps up any loose skin that you might have. The result is a more youthful appearance with tighter skin. 

5. Smooth Out with Microdermabrasion

Have you ever sanded a table before painting it? When you’re done, it’s smooth and nearly blemish-free. That’s the same concept behind microdermabrasion, just without using rough sandpaper (thank goodness!). 

With this technique, your dead skin cells are gently scrubbed away with skin-safe material. Then, they’re swiftly removed with a hand-held vacuum. When the procedure is complete, your scars, wrinkles, and any discoloration will be less noticeable.

6. Get an Ultrasound

Ultrasounds aren’t just for pregnancy. They can offer some anti-aging benefits, too. Ultherapy is a relatively new treatment approved by the FDA. It uses micro-focused ultrasound to boost collagen production.

The procedure is completely non-invasive. Just like with diagnostic imaging, your provider will use a wand to deliver ultrasound waves to your skin. Those waves target and gently heat your existing collagen to encourage new growth. After the treatment, your face may be red, swollen, and tender to the touch for a few hours. 

Stopping the effects of time and natural aging is an uphill battle. It’s one worth fighting, however. Botox is one of the most well-known techniques for pushing back against the signs that you’re getting older. Fortunately, it’s not the only game in town. 

If you know Botox isn’t for you, consider giving one of these strategies a try. You’ll find one that fits your needs. And, when you do, your skin will thank you for it.

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