Can a cream have the same effect as botox? Right now, that’s a tricky question. In the past, the answer has always been a categorical no. If a beautician or department store sales assistant tries to hit you with the phrase “this is a miracle cream – it’s like botox in a bottle”, don’t believe them.
Botulinum toxin injections, or botox as we’ve come to know them, work by paralysing the facial muscles, and so far manufacturers haven’t been able to recreate this effect with topical skincare, in part because the molecules of botulinum toxin solutions are too big to penetrate the skin barrier.
Despite all this, there have been mumblings among pioneers in the aesthetics industry that topical botox may not be that far off. A pharmaceutical company in the US, Revance Therapeutics, is currently putting a botulinum toxin gel through stage three clinical trials for treatment of crows’ feet, and is expecting results in 2016.
That’s not to say that there aren’t powerful topical products out there that can have a visible effect on lines and wrinkles. Myo-Fix product range by Meder Beauty, for example, uses a cocktail of muscle relaxing peptides so it has a similar effect to injectable toxin treatments. “I don’t like the term “Botox-like” – Botox is Botox and peptides are peptides,” says Dr Tiina Meder, founder of Meder Beauty and the brains behind Myo-Fix product. “The big difference between peptides and injection is with injections you see results immediately, or within 48 hours. With peptides, you will see results in two weeks, maybe ten days after you begin to use the product. You need to be patient.”
Dr Meder recommends a course of 30 days using Myo-Fix, which needs to be applied directly to the lines and wrinkles twice a days, to see optimum results.
There is a downside to My-Fix treatment; you have to remove any AHAs or retinol products from your skincare routine in order for it to work. “The peptides are extremely sensitive to pH,” explains Dr Meder. “If pH is less than 4.5, the peptides will be partly destroyed.”
Because of the peptides’ sensitivity and the specific way in which it needs to be applied in order it have the best affect on the wrinkles, Dr Meder says it’s best to have a professional treatment first and learn how to apply it yourself. Sure, it’s obviously in her interest to get customers in to clinics to spend money on treatments as well as products. But if there are this many provisos for applying a topical product sold through doctor-fronted clinics, it doesn’t bode well for the miracle creams you can buy online.”