Botox Without Injection?

If you’ve been patiently waiting for a topical with similar results to Botox injections, be patient just a little longer--we’re almost there! A topical gel form is already in Phase 3 FDA testing and could be on the market in the U.S. in the near future. So far, the gel has been tested on superficial wrinkles like crow’s feet with promising results.

But don’t plan on canceling your cosmetic surgeon or esthetician appointment. When the gel is finally approved for use by the FDA, this product will not reside in your makeup drawer, said Just like injections, it must be applied by a trained, experienced skin care professional or physician who knows facial anatomy. Even a centimeter off during application could impact its effectiveness.

The formula, developed by Revance Therapeutics, is botulinum toxin A called RT001. According to the company, results so far have been impressive with 89 percent of patients claiming it smoothed their crow’s feet after a single treatment with no significant side effects. The results lasted three to four months, which is similar to the injectable version. Whether the gel can penetrate deep enough to combat more pronounced wrinkles, like those on the forehead and between the eyes, is yet to be seen.

The advantages of using RT001 over Botox are obvious. The gel does not require an injection, nor does it require multiple applications. Doctors apply the product to the targeted area and remove it after 30 minutes. Additionally, Revance claims that unlike its injection-based counterpart, patients won’t have to fear “frozen-face” after treatment.

If you simply can’t wait for RT001 FDA approval or the idea of needles have kept you from experiencing Botox, a Korean company called Midaskin claims to have a topical Botox product on the market. Featured in 2016 Korean Beauty Trends, says this is one of the biggest ingredient breakthroughs to come out of Korea. explains - the product, called BoLC A+ facial serum, contains 95 percent of the same amino acids found in injectable Botox. The serum does not require professional application. Unlike the effects of Botox injections, which can be seen in five to seven days on average, Midaskin says BolC improves fine lines and wrinkles after three to four weeks.  

In the meantime, injectable Botox remains the go-to anti-aging procedure. Dr. Goesel Anson, a prominent board-certified plastic surgeon and co-creator of the JuveRest® Sleep Wrinkle Pillow, tells patients to consider Botox (or Dysport, Xeomin, which work similarly to Botox) when they start to notice scowl lines or crow’s feet, even when they’re not actually making those movements.

“I recommend Botox when the wrinkle lasts longer than the expression, but before it becomes permanent,” says Dr. Anson. “Typically, that happens in your 30’s but depends on individual skin quality.”

 While topical or injectable Botox may solve some of your wrinkle problems, neither are effective for sleep wrinkles. In fact, even if you try to fill sleep wrinkles with fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane, they will come back or develop in adjacent areas. The only anti-aging method for diminishing or preventing sleep wrinkles is to eliminate contact between your pillow and your face during sleep. To learn more about the causes and remedies for facial wrinkles check out Which Wrinkles Are Which and How to Prevent Wrinkles While You Sleep.