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Botox Alternative Treatments

Are there any Botox alternative treatments or products that work?

You’ve seen the ads promising to make you look “10 years younger” claiming to be “Better than Botox” with topical skin care products. Some of them even have reviews and personal stories from customers who have tried their “revolutionary” product without the “dangers” associated with Botox treatments. But does “Botox in a bottle” really work? Is Botox really dangerous, or has it just gotten a bad rap? This article aims to offer insight into Botox alternative treatments, including what works and what doesn’t.

How does Botox work?

Botox before and after
Individual results may vary from person to person.

Botox, or botulinum toxin, works by targeting and relaxing the underlying muscles that create lines and wrinkles in the upper face. It’s a localized muscle relaxer which, when injected by a dermatologist, smooths out existing lines in the forehead, between the eyebrows, and around the eyes (crow’s feet). It also inhibits excessive muscle movement to prevent deepening of existing lines and the creation of new lines. After a few months, Botox begins to wear off and repeat treatments are required to maintain results.
Botox is a prescription treatment. It must be administered by a physician and cannot be used at home or by unlicensed providers.

Botox Alternative Skin Care Products: Why They Don’t Work

Claiming that a Botox alternative such as a cream or another application is as effective as real Botox is quite a leap. After all, if we were to rub Botox on your face here in our practice, it wouldn’t be effective at reducing your lines and wrinkles at all. This is because Botox must be injected directly into the muscle to be effective.

Over-the-Counter Topicals Can’t Reach Muscles, No Matter What They Claim

“Better than Botox” topicals currently on the marketing contain ingredients and ingredient combinations that are helpful for anti-aging of the skin and facial rejuvenation, but the claims of muscle targeting for deep-penetrating benefits are quite a stretch. These ingredients include:

  • Peptides
  • Neuropeptides
  • GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric)

All of these ingredients are similar to what your body produces on its own, so it’s safe to assume that these topicals are generally safe for use. However, the effectiveness of a topical agent penetrating deeply enough to target the muscles that create lines and wrinkles in the upper face has been proven untrue and cannot be effectively used as a Botox alternative.

What About Nanoparticles?

Many topical applications use nanoparticle technology for improved effectiveness. Nanoparticle technology can be defined as the shrinking of particle sizes to microscopic levels. Particles this small can easily pass through your skin layers without causing inflammation and irritation. Words that will be used in the advertising blurb or on the packaging of a product containing nanoparticles include microparticles, nanoparticle, micronized and nanopeptide.

Although topical solutions may be able to provide minimal reduction of superficial wrinkles, you should not expect them to provide the same effect as Botox or its clinically proven counterparts.

Why Botox Alternative Topicals Continue to be Popular

If given the opportunity to choose between the application of a cheap over-the-counter cream that claims to work as well as Botox injections, who wouldn’t choose the cream? Of course, consumers want to save money, avoid trips to the clinic for facial injections. It’s understandable. However, in this case, cheap topicals are actually very expensive — because you aren’t much for your investment.

One Botox Topical Shows Promise

Allergan, the makers of Botox, recently purchased a potential topical Botox alternative. Anterios-developed NDS technology shows some promise at delivering Botox into the treatment area without the need for injections, but it’s still in the development stage and patients would still receive these topical treatments in a clinical environment, so you won’t find this on drugstore shelves.

Botox Alternative Treatments That Produce Real Results

There are two alternatives to Botox that have been proven effective in clinical trials, and both are botulinum toxin that are injected by a dermatologist in a medical clinic: Dysport and Xeomin.


Xeomin before and after
Individual results may vary from person to person.

Dysport is a prescription injection designed to remove moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows. Produced by the makers of the popular dermal filler Restylane, Dysport is the most well-known Botox alternative injectable treatment used today.


As with Dysport, Xeomin is useful for removing moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows. When administered by a board-certified dermatologist, Xeomin is an effective anti-aging treatment with similar results to Botox.

Get Botox or Botox Alternative Treatments in Indianapolis

Are you ready for products and treatments that really work to turn back the clock and slow the effects of aging on your face? Trust the experts at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana. Our practice is a leader in injectable anti-aging, with dermatologic surgeon Dr. C. William Hanke having performed clinical research trials on Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin, in addition to countless other anti-aging and skin rejuvenation devices and products.

Schedule a consultation with board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Hanke today!