When most people think about wrinkle reduction, Botox® is probably the first treatment that comes to mind. Celebrity culture and clever marketing have vaulted Botox to the top of the cosmetic conversation. Still, Botox wouldn’t be so well known or sought after if it weren’t effective. And while a single Botox injection won’t work miracles, multiple treatments have helped many people get rid of their wrinkles.
However, Botox isn’t the only way to reduce wrinkles. This is good news for a number of reasons. For one thing, not everyone is a great candidate for Botox injections. This treatment works best for those in good health with moderate to severe wrinkles in specific locations, such as the forehead and neck. Additionally, Botox isn’t cheap, with treatments ranging from $100-$500 and well beyond in certain regions. And lastly, not everyone is comfortable with receiving Botox injections. While the treatment is relatively safe and minimally invasive, side effects and complications can occur, such as pain, swelling, muscle spasms, bruising, infection, allergic reaction, and more.
So, if you want to reduce your wrinkles without resorting to Botox injections, you might try these five cosmetic skin treatments instead.
1. Dermal Fillers
Dermal fillers consist mainly of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring, moisture-storing substance that hydrates and plumps one’s skin. Like Botox treatments, these fillers are administered via injection. Indeed, Botox is sometimes categorized as a dermal filler, though this is a bit of a misnomer.
The difference between dermal fillers and Botox lies in the substance itself, and how it operates to smooth out facial lines. Botox injections contain botulinum toxin (BTX), which essentially paralyzes targeted muscle groups, while dermal fillers like Juvederm® and Restylane® simply fill in loosened areas of skin and provide moisture.
Microdermabrasion is kind of like sanding a wooden surface until it’s smooth. Of course, in this case, the surface is your skin, and this process doesn’t utilize actual sandpaper. Rather, a skin-safe, finely textured material that’s abrasive enough to scrape away dead skin cells from the outer layer is used. These cells are then suctioned away by a handheld vacuum.
This safe procedure encourages the growth of new, healthier, younger-looking skin. As such, it’s an effective method for not only reducing wrinkles but also scars, age spots, discoloration, and more.
3. Laser Therapies
Cosmetic dermatology treatments involving heat and light energy are growing in popularity and showing promise. Laser therapies work by exposing areas of skin to specific energy levels via a beam of light. Different wavelengths (colors) affect the skin in different ways. Some laser treatments, such as Fraxel Re:store, can even stimulate the production of collagen, the protein that gives skin its structure and flexibility, resulting in a reduction of wrinkles and other unwanted visible skin features.
4. Chemical Peels
A chemical peel facial treatment offers another way to reduce the appearance of mild to moderate wrinkles. Like laser therapies, chemical peels help induce collagen production. These treatments contain various acids, vitamins, and other ingredients that slowly peel away the outer layers of skin. The body then responds by producing collagen and replacing the removed layer of skin with a newer, brighter, smoother one. While some spas and salons offer chemical peels to their clients, it’s best to receive these treatments from a certified cosmetic dermatologist.
If inpatient treatments like the ones described above aren’t for you, then you might consider taking oral or topical retinoids to reduce your wrinkles. These vitamin-A-rich medications promote skin health in a number of ways by promoting collagen production and speeding up skin cell growth. Standard retinoids can be purchased over the counter, and stronger versions can be prescribed by your dermatologist.
In addition to the five alternative wrinkle reducing treatments outlined above, you can mitigate facial lines by changing up your lifestyle in a few key ways. Apply a good moisturizer to your skin on a daily basis, avoid prolonged sun exposure; prioritize sleep, exercise, and stress-reducing activities like meditation; quit smoking; drink less alcohol; eat less sugar; and make sure you’re getting enough antioxidants in your diet, like vitamins A, C, and E.
Botox might remain the most well-known method for eliminating wrinkles, but it’s not the only one. Nor is it necessarily the right one for you. If you’re looking for more advice on reducing your wrinkles, the professionals at North Pacific Dermatology can help. Contact our team to learn more and set up an appointment today.