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Botox in a Bottle: What is Behind This Current Trend?

As we age, fine lines and wrinkles become etched into the skin. Dynamic wrinkles are one of the telltale signs of the natural aging process, and occur over time as a result of repeated use of the facial muscles. When you make a facial expression, such as smiling or furrowing your brow, fine lines and creases appear in the form of smile lines framing the mouth, crow’s feet around the eyes, or frown lines across the forehead. In youth, these lines disappear as soon as you stop making that expression, but as you age, these dynamic wrinkles stay visible even when your face is at rest. The appearance of fine lines can be one of the very distressing signs of aging and have many people asking how to smooth out these wrinkles. For many, their first thought is Botox or hyaluronic acid filler, which are effective treatments but that involve going under a needle. For those who are wary of needles, luckily there is a topical skincare option for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face: Botox in a bottle.

Botox® in a bottle, a term that has been popularized recently on TikTok, is the name for a topical product with anti-aging properties, which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face. The product, which often contains the peptide Argireline, is added to your daily skincare routine in order to combat aging skin. On social media, botox in a bottle has been promoted as a low-cost, non-procedure-based alternative to Botox or dermal fillers, both of which can be costly and involve injections with a needle. For patients who are hesitant about undergoing a Botox procedure but are still looking for a solution to aging skin, there are many effective anti-aging skincare products available. If you are looking for a recommendation for the best products to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin in order to brighten and rejuvenate your skin, you can make an appointment with expert dermatologist, Dr. Michele Green, for a recommendation today.

Dr. Michele Green has been at the forefront of anti-aging treatment for over 25 years. Her office is located on the Upper East side of NYC, and is consistently voted as one of the best dermatologists in New York by Castle Connolly, New York Magazine and Super Doctors. Dr. Green was one of the first dermatologists to treat patients with “Botox in a bottle” in New York and is an anti-aging specialist. As a leader in cosmetic dermatology, she designed her MGSKINLABs, Inc line of products to complement Botox, filler, and laser treatments. During your consultation, she will help create the best anti-aging protocol for you, with the best skincare routine, hyaluronic acid fillers, skin tightening, and other non-invasive cosmetic treatments.

What is botox in a bottle?

For many patients who are looking to eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that have developed on the skin, Botox seems like the best option. Botox, or botulism toxin type A, is injected into the muscle to block the neurotransmitters that are responsible for causing the muscle to contract. These muscle contractions are what leads to dynamic wrinkles and, as such, when the Botox injection blocks the neurotransmitters, the muscle relaxes and the skin becomes smooth, eliminating the wrinkles. Botox is very effective in treating dynamic wrinkles but may not be the best option for everyone. For patients who are looking for similar results at a lower cost and without the use of needles, skincare products referred to as “botox in a bottle” is a good option.

The Ordinary’s serums containing Argireline solution 10% and Matrixyl 3000 act similarly to Botox by inhibiting the neurotransmitter responsible for muscle contraction, which smooths out and prevents wrinkles and stimulates collagen production. For that reason, these products are often called “botox in a bottle.” However, this combination of products are not the only ones that can provide the anti-aging effects of smoothing out wrinkles and generating the production of collagen. When trying to determine the best combination of skincare products for all skin types, it is best to consult with an expert dermatologist, such as Dr. Green. Together you will determine the best products or combination of products that will provide you with brighter, firmer, younger-looking skin.

How does Botox in a bottle work?

As a result of the natural aging process, the skin becomes less firm and fine lines and wrinkles set in. As we age, the body produces less of two kinds of proteins – collagen and elastin – which are responsible for plump, firm, and youthful looking skin. When collagen and elastin production decrease, the skin begins to sag and becomes looser. This further accentuates the dynamic wrinkles that set in over time. Dynamic wrinkles are those creases that are caused as a result of muscle contractions from making facial expressions. When you are young, the smile lines, crows feet, or forehead creases that form when you smile or frown will go away when your face is relaxed. But repeatedly making those facial expressions cause the lines to become etched into your skin. For this reason, anti-aging products or procedures are best when they stimulate the production of collagen and elastin or work to prevent the contraction of dynamic wrinkles. And that is where Botox in a bottle comes in.

When beauty product-promoters on TikTok say “botox in a bottle,” they are often referring to a product by a brand called The Ordinary, which contains the peptide argireline solution 10%. A peptide is a short chain of amino acids that makes up a protein and argireline is the brand name for the peptide acetyl hexapeptide-3, which makes up the SNAP-25 protein. Argireline blocks the release of the neurotransmitter catecholamine, which is responsible for telling the muscles to contract, and stimulates the production of collagen. When a product containing argireline is applied to the skin, similarly to the botulinum toxin A in Botox, acetyl hexapeptide-3 inhibits the neurotransmitter that is responsible for the contraction of the muscle. As a result, the muscle does not activate and dynamic wrinkles will not form on the skin. Products containing acetyl hexapeptide-3 also stimulate the production of collagen, which aids in the plumping of the skin, resulting in smoother, brighter, more youthful skin.

Does botox in a bottle really work?

Several studies have examined the effectiveness of products containing argireline on the reduction of wrinkles and fine lines. These studies have found that argireline-containing products can indeed reduce the appearance of fine lines and can also prevent the development of dynamic wrinkles. Botox in a bottle products that contain argireline have been found to be very safe as well and there are no significant side effects. That said, while the product can reduce the appearance of wrinkles by blocking neurotransmitters, topical creams do not have the ability to penetrate into the muscle the way that an injectable such as Botox does. As a result, the wrinkle reduction results may not be as dramatic as receiving Botox itself. Patients beginning a topical anti-aging treatment should expect that results will not appear immediately. Botox in a bottle treatments need to be applied to the skin every day and work slowly over time.

botox injection dr green 2

How to use Botox in a bottle

Botox in a bottle involves a serum or combination of products that are applied to the skin on the face in order to reduce the appearance of dynamic wrinkles. When you have your initial consultation with Dr. Green, the two of you will discuss your aesthetic goals to determine the treatment plan that is right for you. Dr. Green can recommend the best combination of products that will have your skin looking younger, while also addressing any other specific needs, such as treating dry skin or eliminating dark circles under the eyes. The skincare products that Dr. Green recommends will differ in their application schedule. Some may necessitate application in the morning or every night before you go to bed. For most products, you should be diligent about adding them to your skincare routine every day in order to get the best results.

What is Botox?

Botox is the brand name for botulinum toxin type A, a neurotoxin that can be used to eliminate dynamic wrinkles for smooth, plump, youthful-looking skin. When Botox is injected into the muscle, the botulinum toxin blocks the neurotransmitters that are responsible for telling the muscle to contract. As a result, the muscles responsible for creating dynamic wrinkles on the skin no longer activate, which smooths out the fine lines.

The results of the Botox injection often become visible within a week of the procedure but fade after three to six months. Botox injections can be repeated once the effects of Botox begin to fade for continued smoothness. The procedure itself is quick and involves minimal discomfort, especially when performed by an expert, board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Green.

How many units in 1 vial of Botox?

Patients often wonder about the amount of units in a syringe or ask how many units in 1 vial of Botox. The answer is that typically, 1 vial has 100 units of Botox. It is important to note, however, that the number of units necessary for a treatment varies based on a number of factors: the area of the body in which you are receiving the treatment, the surface area of the treatment zone, and the size of the muscle being treated. For example, most men have facial muscles that are larger than those of most women and for that reason, would require more units of Botox to treat the same area.

While a vial typically contains 100 units of Botox, you will not receive the whole vial for your treatment, as most areas require much less. Delicate areas of your face, such as the eye area and the corners of the mouth, may require less than 10 units to smooth out the wrinkles. The exact number of units will vary from person to person, but on average, the units necessary for each area of the face are as follows:

  • Corners of the mouth: 3-6 units
  • Horizontal forehead lines: 15-30 units
  • Glabella area (lines between the eyes): 20-25 units
  • Crow’s feet: 10-15 units
  • Masseter: 25-50 units

LC 47 yo f before and after Botox forehead glabella and eyes front MGWatermark

Botox in Glabella and under eye area

How is Botox similar to Botox in a bottle?

Botox is a procedure that involves the injection of the neurotoxin botulinum toxin A, while the product most often referred to as “botox in a bottle” is a topical serum containing the peptide argireline. The two products are similar first off in their function: both serve to eliminate dynamic wrinkles that appear on the skin as a result of the natural aging process. The second key similarity is the way in which Botox and the Argireline serum work. Both serve to block the neurotransmitter responsible for the muscle contractions that cause dynamic wrinkles. In the case of Botox, the neurotoxin botulinum toxin A is the active ingredient inhibiting the neurotransmitter, while in botox in a bottle, the peptide acetyl hexapeptide-3 is the active ingredient blocking the neurotransmitter. The result for both is that since the muscles are unable to contract, it smooths out the skin at the treatment site for younger-looking skin.

How do Botox and Botox in a bottle differ?

While the function of Botox and Botox in a bottle is similar – eliminating fine lines and wrinkles – there are some key differences that set the products apart. For one, while botox in a bottle does work to inhibit the neurotransmitters that are responsible for muscle contractions, one of the key features of botox in a bottle is how it stimulates the production of collagen. While the neurotransmitter blocking capabilities of botox in a bottle are known, researchers are less certain if that is the direct cause of the reduction in wrinkles seen in the product. Some researchers postulate that it has more to do with the stimulation of collagen production, which helps to revitalize the skin.

The products also differ in depth at which they can penetrate the muscle for muscle relaxation. Botox in a bottle is a topical serum, meaning that it is applied to the surface of the skin. For that reason, the active ingredients responsible for inhibiting muscle contraction cannot penetrate too deeply into the muscle. Botox, on the other hand is injected directly into the muscle and therefore can provide more thorough and dramatic muscle relaxation effects.

The timeline on which results are shown differs between the two products. Botox treatment occurs in a dermatologist’s office and the botulinum toxin type A is injected directly into the muscle. As such, results are seen very quickly after the initial treatment – within ten days of receiving the injection. Botox in a bottle, on the other hand, takes much longer for results to be visible. Patients will apply the serum daily at home. The effects of the treatment will appear gradually over the course of several weeks to several months. While the effects of Botox in a bottle take longer to show, if patients apply the serum every day, the effects will continue to be present. The results of Botox wear off several months after receiving the treatment, though the procedure can be repeated.

Another difference between the two products is the cost involved with treatment. The serum or series of products required for Botox in a bottle treatment costs much less to purchase than a Botox treatment. Both Botox injections and Botox in a bottle treatments involve continuous use so which you choose involves your own cost-benefit analysis. While Botox injections are more expensive, you will only need to receive the treatment once every six months or so and the effects are more pronounced. As such, Botox is a higher cost but less frequent maintenance and more dramatic results. Botox in a bottle, on the other hand, is a lower cost to purchase the product each time but does require daily maintenance with less pronounced results. Ultimately, neither product is necessarily better than the other – it is about making a determination about which product is best for you.

E.A 35 year old female 2 weeks Before and After Botox Forehead Glabella Crowsfeet MGWatermark

Botox treatment for crows feet, before and after

What are other skincare products that work like Botox in a bottle?

There are many products that work like Botox in a bottle to exfoliate the skin, stimulate skin cell turnover, and increase collagen and elastin production such as topical retinol creams, peptides, and growth factors. Other skincare products such as hydrating moisturizers and sun protection cream help with overall skin wellness for a younger, healthier look to your skin. Dr. Green has her own line of skincare products in her MGSkinLabs collection with many options for anti-aging and wrinkle prevention and elimination treatment:

Essential Antioxidant Infusion: PM Retinol & Vitamins –  This topical retinoid found in MGSkinLabs is applied in the evening before going to bed and helps to stimulate the creation of collagen while you sleep. The product also contains vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin. The result is diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the surface of the skin and repairing the elasticity for a firmer, more youthful appearance.

Intense Anti-Aging AM Serum – This serum, best used in the morning, is ideal for patients with sensitive skin who are looking to the reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. When sensitive skin becomes inflamed, it can actually speed up the aging process and contribute to older-looking skin. This product, when used daily, can help with cell turnover and renewal to erase and prevent wrinkles.

Eye Cream: Line & Wrinkle Repair – This retinol-containing eye cream helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eye – including eliminating the severity of crow’s feet. The cream moisturizes and repairs the skin around the eyes for firmer, more youthful-looking skin.

Three Step Anti-Aging System: Vitamin C, Sunblock, & Retinol – Dr. Green often recommends her three step anti-aging products that, when combined, serve to rejuvenate the skin and protect it from further damage or wrinkles. The first step is a vitamin C serum called Vita-C Serum, which stimulates the production of new collagen. Next, the Essential Anti-Oxidant Infusion exfoliates the skin and promotes new cell turnover. Lastly, Dr. Green recommends antioxidant facial sunscreen, which protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays that contribute to older looking skin.

Where can I buy Botox in a bottle or other anti-aging skincare products?

The anti-aging products listed above can be easily purchased from Dr. Green’s MGSkinLabs online store. Dr. Green has a whole line of anti-aging products that countless of her patients have been extremely satisfied with. If you are looking to specifically buy The Ordinary’s Botox in a bottle product, there are many online stores that provide you with access to the product including Amazon.

How much is a bottle of Botox?

The cost of Botox in a bottle depends on the products or series of products that you would like to buy for their anti-aging properties. The price of the product depends on the manufacturer of the product and the online store from which you buy. Dr. Green recommends the anti-aging products found at MGSkinLabs as she can vouch more directly for the effectiveness of those products.

What The Ordinary product is like Botox in a bottle?

The Ordinary is a company that has released products deemed by TikTok users as “Botox in a bottle.” Certain TikTok users have praised the combination of two Ordinary products for their anti-aging, wrinkle reducing effects: the argireline solution 10 percent with the matrixyl 3000. Users suggest a DIY approach for mixing these two serums in order to create the Botox in a bottle.

What are peptides and how do they help with anti-aging?

Peptides are short chains of amino acids that can help to make up the body’s natural proteins. One such protein formed of peptides is collagen, the protein responsible for keeping your skin firm and smooth. Argireline, the brand name for the peptide acetyl hexapeptide-3, helps to increase collagen production in the body, thereby improving the firmness and plumpness of the skin, as well as reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

How do I get started with topical anti-aging solutions?

A great place to start when considering topical anti-aging solutions is to consult with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green. Dr. Green is an expert in skincare with over 25 years of experience determining treatment plans that suit the needs of each individual patient. Dr. Green was one of the first dermatologists in New York to treat patients with Botox, Restylane, and other hyaluronic acid and dermal fillers. As an expert in non-invasive cosmetic procedures, she will help design the best combination of dermal fillers, chemical peels, cosmetic lasers, Botox, and skin care routine, to help prevent aging skin and treat existing sun damage and wrinkles. To find out which anti-aging treatment would be best for you please call us at 212 535 3088 or contact us online today.

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