Young-looking skin can be difficult to achieve. Some people rely on Botox, but it has a lot of harmful side effects and doesn’t really help in the long run.
If you want something that is safe, natural and easy to use daily in the comfort of your own home, look towards plants. There are plenty of plants that have been around since ancient times and are well known to help soothe the face and have anti-aging properties.
Purpose of Botox
Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It’s the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism. This bacterium is injected into the body, usually around specific muscles on the face. These injections last about three to six months before you have to get another.
The primary purpose of Botox is to help reduce wrinkles and other aging features on the face. However, it does have other medical purposes like helping to reduce underarm sweat, uncontrollable blinking, migraines, overactive bladders, muscle spasms, and eyes that face different directions.
Why Is Botox Bad?
Botox has a lot of different side effects that make it not ideal to inject consistently.
Has Side Effects
Some of the common side effects of Botox, especially when used constantly for a long time are:
- Headache or flu-like symptoms
- Droopy eyelids
- Drying of the eyes
- Crooked smile
- Upset stomach
- Numbness near the injection site
More serious, but rare side effects include:
- Problems with vision
- Difficulties speaking or swallowing
- Struggles with breathing
- No control in the bladder
Will Actually Age You
On top of these medical side effects of using Botox, there are other issues as well. One is that most people often believe Botox to be an anti-aging measure and use it at an early age to prevent any issues.
However, using Botox regularly can actually make your muscles weaker over time. Consistent use leads to weak muscles and causes your skin to become thinner and loose. This means that, over time, you may have a face that actually looks older rather than younger.
Since your muscles become weaker, they won’t be able to work as well as they should. You may find yourself not being able to recreate the same movements you did before. For example, you might not be able to smile as easily or scrunch your nose.
Doesn’t Completely Eliminate Wrinkles
Botox cannot fill in deep wrinkles and most likely, will not completely smooth them out. Botox is most commonly used to treat frown lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eyes), and forehead lines. Botox will not treat wrinkles caused by sun damage or gravity.
Plants That Serve the Same Purpose
Thankfully, there are plenty of natural remedies that work better than Botox and are safer to use.
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
Frankincense is a great addition to any skincare routine. It is an astringent, so it helps to protect the skin and reduce acne and blemishes. When you use frankincense oil on the face, you can pay special attention to places that wrinkle and sag, like under the eyes, around the neck, and near the edges of the eyes and mouth.
Maple Leaf (Acer rubrum)
Maple has a lot of benefits in all parts of the plant, from the sap to the bark. The leaves in particular have been found to contain phenols, that prevent the production of elastase. Elastase is an enzyme that breaks down elastin in the body.
Elastase reduces the elasticity of the body and can cause wrinkles, freckles, and age spots. While red maple leaf extract can help the skin retain elasticity, it cannot address existing wrinkles, so it’s best used as a preventative. Some studies suggest that putting maple leaf into face lotions could have a lot of promise.
Myrrh (Commiphora Myrrha)
Myrrh is another plant that works well in oil form, both for scars and wounds. It has been used as far back as the Egyptians for healthy skin.
Myrrh oil not only has antibacterial properties, but it also detoxifies. Massaging the oil into the skin helps your body produce more elastin and collagen, which naturally tighten your skin. This means that Myrrh essential oil fights aging signs like fine lines and wrinkles.
Hibiscus has a lot of benefits for the body. It helps to produce collagen for one. Collagen is a protein that is vital for many parts of the body, including skin, bones, ligaments, tendons, and more. Collagen also increases how hydrated and elastic your skin is, which reduces wrinkles and dry skin as you age.
Hibiscus can also prevent the breakdown of your skin’s elasticity by increasing elastin production in the body. Elastin is constantly being broken down, so having a constant supply can help reduce wrinkles and even fight against skin cancer.
Another benefit of hibiscus is that it is rich in antioxidants. This helps to combat free radicals in the body. Free radicals are essentially pollution that leads to skin aging. The specific antioxidants that the body produces are anthocyanosides. They also help to prevent inflammation and large pores on the skin.
Putting hibiscus into facial scrubs or masks can help to prevent signs of aging and improve elasticity.
Mafana (Acmella Oleracea)
Mafana is also known as Biotulin. It is a cream that works very similarly to Botox, but it doesn’t require injections and there are far fewer side effects. It is often referred to as vegetable Botox due to its beneficial similarities.
This plant is an anesthetic and anti-inflammatory so it helps to reduce wrinkles and prevent any future wrinkles. This is due to an amide it has.
Sandalwood (Santalum Album)
Sandalwood is another antioxidant. Most people find they enjoy mixing sandalwood powder with rosewater to create a paste. Red sandalwood is best for the face, but is hard to get in powder form. However, you can also use it as an oil or soap.
Due to its antioxidant properties, it works to reduce wrinkles and eliminate free radicals. This was another product that has been used a lot by older civilizations to improve their complexion.
Coconut (Cocos Nucifera)
Coconut is ideal for hydration and reducing fungus and bacteria on the face. Coconut works to trap moisture and create a barrier that soothes rough and dry skin. The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties can also help calm the skin when irritations occur, making it feel and look better.
Cold pressed coconut oil is the way to use it.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
The skin tightening herb with uses and benefits that increase collagen production and firmness. Gotu Kola is an herb that’s been traditionally used in Asia for its heal-all abilities. Gotu Kola can be consumed or applied to your skin & hair topically, as it is available in the form of capsules, powder, shampoos, ointments, and soaps in Ayurvedic markets.
Babchi (Psoralea corylifolia)
Native to India and derived from the seeds of the Psoralea corylifolia plant, bakuchiol has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic skincare remedies for centuries.
Bakuchiol functions similarly to retinol, increasing cell turnover and thereby stimulating collagen production. It helps diminish signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, and overall photodamage.
Cherry blossom (Prunus avium)
Cherry blossoms are extremely high in antioxidants that help mop up skin-damaging free radicals. These pretty petals are also a storehouse of essential fatty acids that help repair the skin’s natural barriers and promote a smooth, supple complexion.
Cherry blossoms boost collagen synthesis, which increases skin elasticity and improves the appearance of pores.
Vanilla (Vanilla Planifola)
Vanilla is high in B vitamins and is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. This helps you keep an even complexion and protects against environmental damage. It can also soothe your skin due to its ability to reduce irritations. Vanilla essential oil is the most common way to use it.
Make sure to dilute essential oils with carrier oil before applying them topically. The most used carrier oils are sweet almond, cold-pressed coconut, grapeseed, jojoba, and olive oil.
The Bottom Line
When people use Botox, they are often looking for a magical cure that will erase wrinkles. While Botox can help with this, if used for a long time, it can actually make your face look older, rather than younger.
Using some of these collagen-boosting plants to keep your face plump and hydrated is key to preventing wrinkles and fine lines.
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