By Dr. Trevor Cates
Restore your skin without the need for wrinkle filling injections with these natural non-toxic alternatives to Botox
Botox has become increasingly popular… People are hosting Botox parties and even some 20-somethings are lining up for injections.
But what is Botox, really? Are there alternatives? Is there a natural way to get the same effects without Botox?
Botox’s official name is botulinum toxin, which is a potent neurotoxin and referred to as the most poisonous biological substances known. It inhibits the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, which paralyzes the surrounding muscles.
Injections of the toxin into specific muscles causes localized muscle relaxation that smooths the overlying skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
I first learned about botulinum toxin in medical school as a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum found in contaminated home-canned foods, which damages nerves and can lead to paralysis and death. Later, I find people are having it injected into their bodies… hmmm… seems a bit odd if you think about it.
Proponents of Botox say it’s safe, and there have been short-term studies on it suggesting its safety. I still have concerns about both short-term and long-term effects. Some people experience their lower eyelids drooping, uneven smiles and other signs that their facial muscles are not quite working right.
In addition to possible side effects or practitioner error (leaving you with weeks to months of uneven smiles, droopy lids or worse…), many people complain that it is painful and expensive. And, others can often tell that something just doesn’t look “natural” about a face that’s been Botoxed.
Some experts believe Botox can actually make your muscles more vulnerable to sagging than it would by natural aging. Since injecting Botox is essentially freezing the muscles, it may cause the muscles to become weaker since it’s no longer able to contract on its own.
I’ll leave the choice up to you, but in the two weeks it takes for Botox to kick in, you could, instead, be on your way to smoother more youthful looking skin without the toxins.
While Botox technically is “natural,” it is a known toxic substance. The good news is there are natural non-toxic alternatives that can keep your skin looking smooth and youthful.
Society practically demands perfection nowadays but PREVENTION is natural, safe, non-toxic and ultimately is safer than Botox.
Many people use Botox to smooth wrinkles on their faces, but a lot of those lines and wrinkles could have been avoided in the first place if they were protected from sun damage. If you’re out in the sun, be sure to wear a non-toxic sunscreen every time you go outside such as this one. Staying out of the sun and using safe sunscreens are early ways to prevent the need for a cosmetic procedure like Botox.
Because our bodies are composed of mostly water, it’s important to keep our cells and skin hydrated. Just be sure you’re hydrating with water and not sugary drinks like sodas or juice. Drinking plenty of water keeps your body and skin hydrated so your skin stays smooth and clean.
Avoid the age accelerators
Another important way you can naturally take care of your skin so you can avoid Botox and its potential side effects is to just take care of your body. Don’t smoke. Avoid excessive alcohol or drug use and limit your intake of sugar. Instead, exercise regularly and eat healthy by feeding yourself foods rich in vitamins and nutrients.
Power up on age-reversing nutrients
Here are some of my favorite foods and nutrients to slow signs of aging:
AHA’s – Almost every skincare product boasts that it contains AHAs. Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is an umbrella term for a variety of fruit acids including glycolic, citric, lactic, malic, and tartaric acids. One of the BEST and EASIEST ways to get these hyaluronic acids to work is from the inside out, when you eat organic produce.
A fruit mask is one ideal way to benefit from AHA with no side effects.
Lemons – try adding fresh lemon to water or herbal teas. Lemons are low in sugar and full of collagen-enhancing vitamin C.
Apples – great for people on the go. They can be stored just about anywhere without having to worry about temperature. These are full of fiber and vitamin C.
Papaya – one of the best fruits for the skin. Papaya acts as a natural, plant based alternative to chemical exfoliants. The AHAs (alpha hydroxyl acids) act to break down proteins and dissolve the dead skin cells.
Berries – full of antioxidants these tasty treats helps reverse age-enhancing oxidative damage.
Leafy Greens – the next time you are prepping your leafy greens, especially Kale and Spinach, save the Juice! You can create a concoction that can have a smoothing effect on your skin. Spinach and kale are specifically rich in chlorophyll, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that will leave your skin glowing.
You can also enjoy these externally — combine the juice with virgin olive or almond oil to create a green moisturizing oil mask that will hydrate your skin without clogging your pores. Always choose organic greens because they will otherwise have pesticide residues that concentrate when you juice them or make a big salad. Who would have thought greens could be toxic, but they can if they’re not organic!
Bone broth and/or gelatin – if you’re vegetarian, you’ll want to skip this one but these are full of collagen, which helps keep the skin soft, subtle and more resilient to the aging process.
Choose age-defying natural skincare ingredients
Cranberry Seed – what’s really exciting about cranberry seed oil is that it has the perfect ratio to omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which means that this oil will absorb amazingly into your skin, giving your skin greater hydration. Your skin will benefit from the flurry of antioxidants contained in this oil including vitamin E.
Raspberry Seed – this oil is jam packed with skin loving goodies. It is one of nature’s natural SPFs. Raspberry seed is rich in antioxidants combined with superior anti-inflammatory properties.
Virgin Sea Buckthorn – encourage cell turnover and increase the collagen levels of your skin with this amazing oil. The high concentration of the “rare” omega 7 concentration in this oil intensely moisturizes and improves and helps prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
Manuka Honey Extract – not just good to eat! This well documented extract makes it one of the most biologically active and beneficial honeys for the skin. It’s perfect to enhance your skin’s renewal process.
Camelina Oil – the nourishing and protective properties of this skin oil reduce the signs of skin aging and improve skin elasticity. This light ingredient contains vitamin E and omega 3 to effectively improve fine lines and wrinkles without the need for needles!
If you’re really looking to replace Botox, here’s the natural skincare ingredient that creates immediate results…
Pullulan – this polysaccharide is produced by the fungus Aureobasidium pullulan. Pullan is seen as an ingredient specifically in anti-aging products because of its ability to provide an instant skin-tightening effect as it adheres to the skin. It is able to quickly form a sheer film that improves skin’s texture and appearance.
It is temporary and will wash off when you cleanse your skin, but it is a great, natural non-toxic alternative to Botox. (Botox doesn’t even work that quickly!)
Are you excited about these natural skincare ingredients? I know I am! These ingredients, along with a plethora of other amazing ingredients, are going to be featured in my new natural, non-toxic skincare line coming out later this year.