The cosmetic alternatives to botox proposed by the anti-ageing products market are constantly evolving and growing. In fact, cosmetics has been trying for years to offer ingredients and products that are able to mitigate the signs of aging without having to resort to Botox injections or cosmetic surgery .
Botox injections, although they represent a tried and tested technique, can in fact cause various side effects (sometimes even very serious), they cost a lot and have various contraindications (pregnancy and breastfeeding, taking certain drugs, presence of certain pathologies, etc.) .
In recent years, the so-called biomimetic peptides have begun to appear in high-level antiaging cosmetics, small protein fragments formed by the concatenation of 3, 5, 6, 7 or at most 8 amino acids, capable of simulating the action of proteins present in nature . Cosmetic research aims, in particular, to isolate the functional amino acid sequence of a complex protein, and to bind it to a molecule – generally of a lipophilic nature – to allow or improve its absorption through the skin. A classic example is given by collagen , a protein essential for skin turgidity and compactness, too large to be absorbed as such by the skin. To overcome this inconvenience, the Collagen is heavily hydrolysed , then broken down into very small amino acid chains.
Alternatively, biomimetic peptides capable of promoting their synthesis within the dermis and/or hindering their degradation can be used: this is the case of Palmytoyl Pentapeptide-4 and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-28.
In detail, the aforementioned biomimetic peptides are classified as anti-aging ingredients with a redensifying action, precisely by virtue of their ability to stimulate and promote the activity of fibroblasts in the dermis, with a consequent increase in the synthesis of collagen, elastic fibers and glycosaminoglycans.
Botox-like substances are particular types of substances endowed with an activity similar to that exerted by the botulinum toxin when it is injected in correspondence with the expression lines, caused by the continuous and repeated contraction of the facial muscles .
In fact, these substances are able to induce the relaxation of the mimic muscles, with a consequent temporary relaxation of the wrinkles they cause.
Among the main botox-like substances available in anti-aging cosmetics, we mention:
- Gamma-aminobutyric acid ( GABA, or more simply aminobutyric acid), a particular molecule which is also produced by our body, of which, among other things, it is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter;
- Hexapeptides such as acetyl hexapeptide-8 and acetyl hexapeptide-3 (also known as “Argireline®”);
- A particular pentapeptide known by the name of “Leuphasyl®”;
- A dipeptide known under the name ” viper venom ” or under the trade name “SYN®-AKE” (chemical nomenclature: diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate dipeptide). This compound owes its name to its chemical structure, similar to that of a molecule with paralyzing activity present in the venom of the viper.
X115: The Alternative To Botox
It is with this promotional slogan that the X115® beauty treatment is advertised ; taking a peek at the INCI of the cosmetic formulation, we note the presence of a gamma-amino acid and a biomimetic peptide with muscle relaxant activity , also known as botulinum-like or botox -like substances.
These are, specifically, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and Acetyl Hexapeptide-8. These substances aim to reduce the contraction of the mimic muscles of the face, responsible for the appearance of expression wrinkles, configuring themselves as the cosmetic alternative – safe and non-invasive – to injections of botulinum toxin type A.
Once penetrated into the skin, thanks to their small size, the biomimetic peptides with botulinum-lilke action act by directly stimulating muscle relaxation (this is the case of GABA, which is produced by the same organism as an inhibitory neurotransmitter), or by inhibiting the release of endogenous messengers of muscle contraction (action mechanism of Acetyl Hesapeptide-3 and 8). By relaxing the mimic muscles of the face, the wrinkle becomes less evident.
This effect – if on the one hand it is scientifically demonstrated through short-term in vivo research, but also by empirical experiences – certainly cannot replace botulinum injections in terms of effectiveness. For this reason, in cosmetics, botox-like biomimetic peptides are associated with other substances with a firming and redensifying action, such as hyaluronic acid (preferably hydrolysed), vegetable oils and butters ( shea butter , avocado oil, acai, argan oil ).
Keep in mind that in the cosmetic field, achieving the minimum effective concentrations is a fundamental aspect. Just like a drug, if used in insufficient concentrations, a cosmetic ingredient is completely ineffective.
In this regard, we remind you that the cosmetic ingredients are on the labelthey are listed in decreasing order of concentration, whereby the first in the list is the most abundant, and the last the least representative. Since these botox-like substances are generally very expensive, they are generally used in very small concentrations, therefore ineffective, for pure marketing reasons. In the product examined, for example, we notice that GABA is among the first ingredients, while Acetyl Hesapeptide-8 is in the last place of the list; it follows that the botulinum-like action of the product is linked to the generous presence of GABA, while Acetyl Hesapeptide-8 was probably added only as a marginal substance but with a strong commercial appeal.
We recall, for the avoidance of doubt, that botulinum toxin is not allowed in the cosmetic field and that the cosmetic formulations that are forged the botox-like appellation do not refer directly to botulinum as an ingredient, but to the ability to reproduce its cutaneous effects, which translate into relaxation of the mimic muscles with an anti-wrinkle effect. Just like Botox injections, these substances have no curative effect, i.e. they do not prevent or counteract skin aging. Not surprisingly, the product in question, to reproduce and improve the lifting effect of the Botox, proposes the joint use of a synergistic supplement to the cosmetic formulation,, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and substances ( echinacea titrated in echinacoside ) which act positively on fibroblasts as redensifying-firming agents.
This synergistic IN & OUT nutri-cosmetic approach represents an indisputable excellence in the field of anti-aging cosmetics and nutraceuticals ( nutri-cosmetic approach), because it significantly increases the concentrations of active ingredients available to the skin to defend itself against the metabolic alterations characterizing the skin aging.