Botox injections have been relied on for decades to make aging beauty bothers like fine lines and saggy skin practically vanish with the prick of a needle. But with the average cost of one syringe of Botox at $466, women are turning to more affordable alternatives that they’re referring to as “notox” on social media. These at-home treatments mimic the results of Botox and other in-office services to help turn back the clock. In fact, TikToks about notox have garnered over 23 million views. To learn more about this viral beauty trend and for the DIY remedies and products (all under $20!) that will reveal a younger-looking you, keep scrolling.
What exactly are notox treatments?
Notox treatments involve using natural plant extracts or oils, facial massage or exercise techniques and affordable products to solve a host of aging skin problems in a cheaper, safer and just as effective manner as Botox. What’s been making this trend popular on social media: “It aligns with the growing interest in natural and non-invasive beauty solutions,” explains esthetician Justine Kahn, founder of Botnia Skincare.
Another big pro of notox treatments? There’s no downsides like there can be with Botox. Case in point: Botox results last only up to six months and it can leave patients expressionless in the short-term but also in the future due to facial muscles shrinking and becoming weak from the injections. These potential long-term effects are another reason why women are seeking alternatives to Botox and other injectables, notes Kahn.
If you’re like us, you’d rather play it safe and opt for wallet-friendly and harmless notox approaches like the ones to follow.
The best DIY notox treatments
Notox remedies can offer both temporary results, so “depending where your skin is in its aging journey, the impact of notox topicals might be just what you’re looking for,” says Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD, dermatologist, President of Modern Dermatology in Westport, Connecticut and Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Yale New Haven Hospital. Here, 7 needle-free strategies that will leave you looking youthful fast.
1. Notox trick to erase neck lines: A peptide cream
Botox is often used to reduce horizontal creases on the neck for a smooth and ageless look. The notox way that offers similar results? Pick a daily moisturizer that’s made with peptides. “Peptide-infused creams can help boost elastin production and improve skin elasticity, which may reduce the appearance of horizontal neck creases over time,” says Kahn.
The INKEY List Peptide Moisturizer (Buy from Amazon, $14.99)
Infused with a blend of peptides, glycerin and shea butter, this moisturizer hydrates and plumps skin when applied on the neck. Tip: Rub it onto neck skin in upward strokes as downward motions enhance the aging effects of gravity.
2. Notox trick to plump thin lips: A cinnamon oil salve
Both Botox and hyaluronic acid–based lip fillers are commonly injected to “reinflate” thin lips, but the natural alternative that’s all over social media? Applying a cinnamon essential oil-infused salve onto the pout. How it works: Cinnamon’s compound cinnamaldehyde increase blood flow to lips, which results in a temporary fuller appearance, notes Kahn. In fact, this compound has been found to stimulate collagen production so lips appear youthful and more voluminous long-term a well.
To do: Mix 1 Tbs. of olive oil (it moisturizes) with 2-3 drops of cinnamon essential oil. Swipe a thin layer onto lips and let sit for 1 minute, then rinse. Note: It’s best to use this treatment sparingly (1-2 times a week) and cautiously as cinnamon can be irritating to skin.
3. Notox trick to fade (and prevent) scars: Silicone strips
Surprisingly, Botox can be used to diminish the appearance of bumpy, raised keloid scars (which are caused by an overproduction of collagen during skin’s healing process). But using silicone scar strips can be equally as effective. “Silicone scar strips provide a protective, occlusive environment that supports scar healing,” says Dr. Robinson. This “creates a hydrating environment that will help to regulate collagen production,” she adds, which promotes wound healing and can prevent the formation of keloid scars.
Mederma Silicone Scar Sheet (Buy from Amazon, $11.29)
These sheets are made with medical-grade silicone and skin-safe adhesive that feels like a second skin when placed on top of areas with scars. To get the skin-smoothing benefits, place one sheet on scars at night; remove in the morning.
4. Notox trick to diminish laugh lines: A facial exercise
Laugh lines around the mouth can become less apparent with Botox — but a big downside of the injection is that it “freezes” muscles, making it difficult to smile or frown. To soften these lines without the stiffness, try an easy daily facial exercise. “Performing facial exercises and massages helps tone and strengthen facial muscles,” says Kahn. The best results for laugh lines come from strengthening the orbicularis oris muscle, which runs around the mouth. Bonus: Toning this muscle can firm up cheeks and jowls, too.
To do: Cover your teeth with your lips and make an “O” shape with your mouth. Keeping teeth covered, smile as widely as you can; release and repeat 6 times. Hold the smile (with teeth covered) and place your index finger on your chin. Tilt your head back and move your jaw up and down. Repeat twice; relax.
For more facial exercises that reduce laugh lines, watch the below video from face yoga expert Danielle Collins.
5. Notox trick to nix crow’s-feet: A petroleum jelly mask
While Botox is effective at making crow’s feet disappear, dabbing on petroleum jelly works just as well to plump skin and blur theses lines. That’s because the jelly has a high molecular weight that creates a film that traps moisture in the upper layers of the skin’s surface. “This prevents moisture from evaporating, which plumps up dry wrinkles so skin appears smoother,” says Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Washington, D.C. Plus, petroleum jelly is gentle, so it won’t irritate the delicate skin around the eyes.
To do: Simply dab a pea-size amount of petroleum jelly around the eyes nightly before bed for smoother skin come morning.
6. Notox trick to soften forehead furrows: Kinesiology tape
While Botox is the in-office favorite treatment for reducing wrinkles, applying kinesiology facial tape will also help “iron out” furrows when used overnight. “Kinesiology tape can provide temporary support to hold the skin and muscles taut, potentially reducing the appearance of deep-set creases,” says Kahn. This also prevents the formation of new wrinkles since skin won’t scrunch up while sleeping.
Comfordent Kinesio Tape (Buy from Amazon, $9.99)
This tape is made of skin-safe adhesive that won’t cause irritation and feels comfortable when applied on skin. Plus, applying it on other sections of the face, like around the eyes and mouth and onto the neck will help smooth creases in these areas.
To see how to apply the tape to smooth forehead wrinkles, check out the below video from @veleriiaveksler on TikTok.
7. Notox trick to firm saggy jowls: A vibrating facial stone massage
Injecting the jawline with Botox tightens and lifts the area to eliminate jowls. But so can massaging the area with a vibrating facial stone massager. It works by “exercising” and toning the muscles beneath the jaw as its pulses. This tightens up lax skin to diminish the appearance of jowls, and it improves circulation to encourage skin-firming collagen production so the tightening results last.
Plum Beauty Rose Quartz Vibrating Facial Massager (Buy from Amazon, $18.99)
Gentle vibrations from the stone tighten skin and feel relaxing when indulging in some self care. To use, start at the base of the neck and move the wand up toward the chin and along the jawline for two minutes a day.
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