Hate injections? Is there a “Botox cream” alternative, and will it work?

Can you use an injection filler in a cream based product? I hate injections. What is in Botox, composition? - Sandra

Dear Sandra,

I think we’d all love a way to get the benefits of these neurorelaxers (my own term for Botox/Dysport/Xeomin etc), without the needles. I dislike  the term neurotoxin (medical term), because it implies something is being “poisoned.”   Which it isn’t. Of the hundreds of uses that have medical benefit, they all involve temporary relaxation of a muscle group. It’s  interesting that you ask this, because many people dislike needles. I’m not sure I know anyone who loves them.  🙂 Many people want to get Botox, but are afraid of the injections. Hence the rise in products claiming to be Botox cream alternatives. There is a “Botox” cream in development, but not yet FDA approved. I am hesitant to buy-in to the idea of a Botox cream alternative to injections, though.

A topical Botox cream is unlikely to be a substitute for most injections for Botox/Dysport. Here’s why:

  • These compounds are very large molecules, and difficult to get into the skin in a cream. You can’t just mix a little liquid neurorelaxer with a little cream and have it get where it needs to go.
  • These  (neurorelaxers) all relax the muscles they are injected into. They bind to the attachment of the nerve to the muscle. And then temporarily block the nerve from activating the muscle. Makes sense I hope.
  • The injections need to be exactly in the right place, or problems occur.   For example, if Botox/Dysport is injected in the wrong place on the forehead, you can’t open your eyelid temporarily.  If it’s injected improperly into the lower face, you would look as if you’d had a stroke. So imagine a cream for this.  How would it be as precise?
  • If this product worked it’s way into homes through the internet, it scares me to think children could get a hold of it.

The problem with bootleg and fake products online:

The problem with bootleg products on the web is getting worse and worse. There are tons of products claiming to be or do something that there’s no science to support. These are impure, fake and sometimes lethal pharmaceutical products, created in sketchy factories, and packaged to look just like the real thing.  Scary! You are all smart women/men and I think you see the issues.

On a personal note, my husband was out of town recently and ran out of his SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion water resistant sunscreen, which is great for swimming. We were temporarily out in our products on this site, so he ordered it from Amazon. When he got it, the packaging was perfect, and the product was completely different. It was fake!   When we looked at the packaging really closely, we could tell some subtle differences. Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to mimic the real SkinCeuticals packaging. So, buyer beware!  Please buy from reputable sources. On our skin care product shop, we buy products direct from the brand to ensure validity.

Skin Care Recommendations for those Averse to Botox Injections

There is nothing like Botox or Dysport to relax a deep line of expression, like a frown line. But if you are looking for good skin care products and have mild lines to treat, here are some recommendations on my article here. For those over 40 with more severe wrinkles to treat, your best bets are:  Botox, fillers, Sculptra, and lasers.

Hope this helps, Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

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