If we're talking Botox, we're talking Hollywood's worst-kept secret. Botox is so commonplace these days that you hardly ever hear about other brand names for botulinum toxin type A. If you're in the know, you might be familiar with Dysport, but we bet you've never heard of the Botox alternative we discuss below. Scroll through to find out what it is!
Xeomin, like Botox and Dysport, is a botulinum toxin type A approved to treat the 11 lines between the brows and frown lines. Dr. Norman Rowe says the injectable paralyzes muscles and smoothes wrinkles. While years younger than Botox (Xeomin was approved in 2012), Xeomin is just as effective as its predecessor. It uses an identical active ingredient, but there's one main difference.
Botox and Xeomin work by the exact same mechanism, but "the primary difference between the products is that Botox has an accompanying, inactive protein, while Xeomin does not have additives," Dr. Rowe says. Xeomin is a purified form of the neurotoxin, still blocking the signals from nerves to muscles, causing the muscles to relax. It's manufactured in such a way that it removes accessory proteins from the active ingredient. "Foreign accessory proteins are not necessary to the function of the drug," Dr. Rowe adds. So, you get the same results without injecting yourself with unnecessary proteins. (Toxins? Yes. Additives? No.)
The treatment is fairly turnkey; the actual injection process takes less than 10 minutes. You will feel a pinch from the injections, but your provider will numb you beforehand. Shortly thereafter, you'll begin to notice a visible smoothing of lines. "Xeomin is a technique-sensitive treatment," Dr. Rowe says. "You should not lose the ability to show expression when you are treated by someone who is licensed, trained, and a medical expert in facial anatomy. It's important to talk to your provider about the results you want from treatment."
The price is roughly the same as Botox. It varies depending on treatment area, but expect to pay at least $300. And Dr. Rowe says the results usually last three to four months, but that that, too, varies by age and skin quality.
Not ready to go under the needle? Try topical Botox. Our K-beauty authority, Alicia Yoon, recommends Midaskin's BoLC A+ Botulinum Polypeptide-1 Facial Cream ($160) and BoLC A+Botulinum Polypeptide-1 Facial Serum ($200).
Would you try "naked Botox"? Tell us your thoughts below!