With Botox costing $300 and up per treatment and a series of photorejuvenation laser treatments at about $2000, many patients are now asking me, “Are there skin care products that can be laser or Botox alternatives and get me a similar result?”
Here’s my answer: if you are over 40, with wrinkles from frowning or smiling, and with sun damage in the form of brown spots or redness, then no, there is not a good skin care product that will get you a similar result to Botox. For patients over 40, Botox, fillers, Sculptra, and lasers are the most cost-effective ways to replace lost volume, relax and resurface wrinkles, and reduce brown spots and redness.
But, if you are under 40, and want to save your money, you can use some skin care products that will definitely help you with your lines and with color problems. And the longer you protect your skin, the longer you can go without using lasers, Sculptra, Botox and fillers, which saves you money in the longer term.
Now, bear in mind that my selection of age 40 is a somewhat arbitrary cut-off. Some 40 year olds have beautiful skin, and my statements may not apply to them.
Botox Alternatives – Skin Care Products for Lines and Wrinkles
Here are products that can be Botox alternatives if you’re under 40 and want to reduce wrinkles over time without an injection:
- A Vitamin A cousin, like retinol or the prescription version, Renova or Retin-A. A good over the counter retinol is SkinMedica’s Retinol Complex.
- A good antioxidant. Try SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic or its Serum 10 AOX+(Vitamin C) or its Phoretin CF or Replenix Cream.
- A good zinc-containing sunscreen. For everyday use, try DermaQuest Skin Therapy ZinClear SPF 30, either clear or with a slight tint. There are many others.
Here are more of the best wrinkle creams.
Again, there is nothing like Botox or Dysport to relax a deep line of expression, like a frown line. But if you use the above products, you may buy yourself some time without needing more serious anti-aging repair treatments, like lasers and Botox.
Laser Alternatives – Skin Care Products for Brown Spots
If you don’t want to spend $2,000 or more now to reduce your brown spots with lasers, you can try this product regimen first:
- Renova, Retin-A, or an over-the-counter retinol; again, the SkinMedica Retinol Complex is a good one.
- Prescription Triluma cream – the most effective (in my opinion) of the prescription Hydroquinones
- A good zinc-containing sunscreen, like the DermaQuest Skin Therapy ZinClear.
Here are more of my favorite sunscreens.
Laser photorejuvenation (IPL) or Fraxel will treat color issues like brown spots or redness really well. No product can do what lasers do. But these products will help preserve your skin longer without needing those laser repair treatments.
I recommend only those products I have personally tested, and I have no ties to any cosmetic manufacturer.
To learn more about different treatment options see my Guide to Cosmetic Treatments (for Botox, fillers, lasers, Thermage, Sculptra, etc).
See Dr. Irwin’s expert answers to other reader’s questions on alternatives to Botox and lasers:
I’m 27- Why is Botox not working for me?
Is IPL, Filler or Botox okay with these medical problems?