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Botox has been used successfully for years to get rid of wrinkles. The problem is that it's an expensive procedure, requires injections, and the results are temporary. And, since it hasn’t been around for very long, there is the concern for long term side effects.
You may have seen a new kind of skin care product on the market - topical products that promise to do the same thing as Botox, but safely. The question is do they work? Are manufacturers' claims substantiated with a significant amount of clinical evidence?
Today, I'll provide an overview regarding how Botox works to eliminate wrinkles and fine lines. In doing so, it will be easier to understand how topical formulations might benefit your skin along with their limitations. We'll explore Argireline and a couple of other Botox alternatives.
How Botox Works
Facial muscles contract and relax based upon signals received from nerves. The muscles and nerves are connected by a neuromuscular junction. When the nerves send signals to the muscles, neurotransmitters are released and bind to receptors on the junction. This causes a chemical reaction which ultimately makes the muscles contract. Botox inhibits the receptors in the muscles that would normally identify the presence of these neurotransmitters. By doing so, it prevents the chemical reaction that causes muscle contractions. In effect, by paralyzing the underlying muscle, Botox doesn't allow the wrinkle to develop.
Topical Alternatives To Botox
Topical Botox alternatives claim to work in the same manner, by blocking the receptors and thereby preventing the muscle from contracting. Here are a few popular products that manufacturers claim will do the same thing as Botox:
Argireline - Argireline claims to result in relaxed facial muscle tension by inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters. Studies by the manufacturer of argireline, Sederma, used a 10% concentration and demonstrated a reduction in wrinkle depth of up to 60% in one month.
Crease Release - this product was created by Dr. Fredric Brandt, who claims to have been involved in the clinical trials that eventually led to Botox's FDA approval. Crease Release uses GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) to encourage internal muscle relaxers to smooth the skin and get rid of wrinkles. It is difficult to find any clinical research to substantiate GABA's claims.
Freeze 24/7 - another "solution" that purports to include a number of topical muscle relaxers, including GABA. Despite persuasive marketing, there is no research to support GABA's efficacy for inhibiting muscle contractions.
Formulations To Reduce Wrinkles
If you’ve tried other skin care products and want to consider a Botox alternative, then argireline has the most evidence to back up its use. Ensure that the product contains a minimum 10% argireline as used in the studies. And remember that more doesn’t necessarily mean better. The manufacturer hasn’t tested concentrations above 10% and you shouldn’t use yourself as a guinea pig just to get a larger dose.
One of the best ways to reduce wrinkles is to minimize exposure to UV rays, which can result in the degradation of collagen and elastin and ultimately lead to wrinkles. Your anti aging skin care routine should include effective sunscreens, antioxidants like Vitamin C, a retinoid and moisturizers. If you still like the allure of argireline, then consider UltimaSkin Wrinkle Relax Formulated with 10% argireline, this product also contains 5 other peptides in a hydrating serum formulation.
Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who speicalizes in anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at www.PharmacyMix.com.