It’s a fact that we tend to lose 1% of collagen from the skin a year after hitting 30, and that means, appearance of fine lines, loss of elasticity and plumpness in skin, and laugh lines quite early on. As we age, the production of collagen decreases in the skin and it starts to lose elasticity as a result. When there is lack of collagen, facial muscles tend to become weak, causing the skin to sag and wrinkle up. Constant exposure to harmful sun rays can also damage the collagen and elastin fiber in the skin, leading to wrinkles. We have all heard about botox injections that claim to iron out wrinkles and it’s thought to be ultimate measure to erase or diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but to be honest, it’s not an affordable procedure and not accessible to all. Botox is usually targeted towards women who fall into the “mature” bracket, particularly on the wrong side of 40s, 50s, and 60s. Some women may trigger premature ageing on their skin, in their 30s, due to excessive sun exposure (without SPF protection), wrong dietary habits, faulty lifestyle, lifestyle practices, and often fall on expensive creams, serums, and botox injections to iron out their wrinkles, crow’s feet, and to tighten up sagging skin. But as we have mentioned earlier, botox is not exactly affordable to a large population and may even have potential side effects, so in this post, we have listed down 10 skincare ingredients that work similar to botox (though the results would not be as dramatic). Our aim here is to use good skincare ingredients to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and not to recommend injections that would paralyze facial contractions in an effort to iron out signs of ageing. In fact, these skincare ingredients are better than botox in making your skin healthy.
What is Botox?
As the elasticity of our skin reduces and collagen production also gets diminished, with age, the appearance of wrinkles is quite normal. Botox is an injectable drug that contains botulinum toxin that help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and slow down the ageing process. Botox is more appropriate to be used on areas that have significant muscular movement. Botox injections will help from lines from getting deeper on the face by relaxing the facial muscle, and in that way, it can slow down ageing (only where it is injected).
How Does Botox Slow Down the Ageing Process?
When collagen and elastin production drops, as one ages or due to factors like wrong dietary and lifestyle habits, prolonged exposure to sun, or with constant movement of facial muscles – deep lines, crow’s feet, fine lines can develop on the skin. Botox injections work by relaxing facial muscles and preventing them from constricting. These lines include lines across the forehead, around the sides of the mouth, crow’s feet and wrinkles on the sides of the nose. Botox temporarily blocks the facial muscles that transmit signals of contraction to the brain. When someone takes Botox injections, their facial muscles get paralyzed temporarily, to give their face a smooth and taut appearance.
1. Retinol/retinoids: This ingredient, which is a class of vitamin A derivatives, is being widely used in anti-ageing skincare routines to firm up skin and to prevent breakdown of collagen fiber. It’s a potent ingredient that is available in cream, ointment, and serum formulas to not only smoothen up skin, but also to clear uneven skin tone, clear age spots, hyperpigmentation, and even acne. Retinol can be labelled as an anti-acne, anti-pigmentation, anti-blemish and anti-ageing ingredient. If you are having any of these issues with your skin and planning to opt for retinol, it is always better to approach a skin specialist/ dermatologist who can advise the right retinol based product suitable for your skin type. If you have sensitive or dry skin, it is always better to consult a doctor before trying retinol-based products.
2. Ceramides: Ceramides are a class of fatty acids that are found naturally in the skin’s layers. Ceramides are fats that hold form a protective layer, preventing moisture loss, and protect the skin from environmental factors. It’s a fact that fine lines, and wrinkles show up prominently when the skin is dry. That’s where ceramides can help, because they maintain skin’s barrier and provide ample hydration to the skin, giving it a plump and firm appearance.
3. Peptides: Peptides are strings of amino acids, which are the building blocks that make up proteins in our body, including collagen in the skin,” Without these proteins, we will see wrinkles, brittle nails and dry hair that’s prone to breakage.” Peptides serve as the building blocks for not only new collagen, but also elastin fibers.
4. Collagen: Collagen is an ingredient that helps to keep skin taut and firm, thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin.
5. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and it helps to clear dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and even out skin tone. This vitamin also boosts collagen production.
6. Vitamin E: This vitamin has antioxidants which have amazing effects on both skin and hair. Vitamin E oil and capsules are hugely popular all over the world to tighten up skin. Vitamin E protect the skin from anti-ageing effects caused by sun by absorbing harmful UV light from the sun when applied topically.
7. Hyaluronic acid: It is basically a gel like molecule that acts as a cushioning agent in our body. For example: Imagine our epidermis layer (inner layer of our skin) as a sponge, the solid part is collagen and the substance that holds a sponge together is hyaluronic acid. Hence, it acts as space filler keeping our skin healthy and young. As we grow old, our body drastically reduces the production of hyaluronic acid leading to wrinkles, crow’s feet and other ageing issues. Almost half of the body’s HA is located in the collagen of the skin. Hyaluronic acid acts as an excellent moisturizer and gives a grown-up’s skin a fresher, younger and supple look.
8. Niacinamide: Vitamin B3, also called as niacinamide, is popularly used in skin brightening creams to treat hyperpigmentation. Niacinamide is an excellent anti-aging ingredient because it fights wrinkles and breakouts.
9. Alguronic acid spheres: These spheres come in a concentrated gel format and claim to smooth out the appearance of lines and deep wrinkles with time.
10. Centella Asiatica: What is known locally as gotu kola, Centella asiatica has strong anti-aging properties and helps to firm up skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It is also thought to help with reduction of stretch marks and cellulite.
11. Squalane: Squalane is a natural compound that is already present in your body, but its production slows down when you are in the mid or late twenties, which in turn results in aging and dryness. It is extracted from many plants like wheat germ, olive, palm trees, etc. This ingredient is used extensively in anti-ageing skin care products, moisturizing products, anti-acne creams. We list out 7 Reasons on Why you should include squalene in your skincare routine here.
12. Ferulic acid: It is usually paired with vitamin C and it’s a strong antioxidant with anti-ageing benefits.