The truth about botox
Botox is one of the most common non-surgical cosmetic procedures. The most common use of botox is to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but it has also become increasingly used in lips to make them look more voluminous and defined.
Given its rising popularity, our nutritionists explain botox, what is botox, is it safe, and what are the alternatives to botox?
What is botox and how does it work?
Botox is a toxin called 'botulinum toxin'. It is injected into areas of the skin where it there is neurotoxic activity. Botox is produced by the bacterium called 'clostridium botulinum' and it paralyses nerves by preventing the release of a neurotransmitter called 'acetylcholine'. The paralysis of the nerves causes the muscles where it's injected to become flat and decreases the appearance of wrinkles of the skin.
Botox is not the only option and diet and supplements can support healthier skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
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Is botox safe?
Botox is generally considered safe if it is injected by professional practitioners, as the amount of toxin used is small and it is only injected into specific areas. Interestingly, some research has found that botox when used in the forehead may improve one's mood. This is believed to be due to the decrease in a person’s ability to frown after having botox treatments, which itself sends signals to the brain for a lighter mood.
Some individuals may experience side effects with botox injections. Side effects can include swelling, reddening of the skin, pain, skin discolouration, drooping eyelids, headaches, fevers and chills. These side effects are more common in those who use botox for therapeutic reasons and may also include twitching eyes, migraines and an overactive bladder.
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Research suggests that the risk of serious side-effects increases after the tenth injection of botox, and these side-effects are more serious, and could include heart palpitations, neck weakness, vomiting, blurred vision and swelling.
Best botox alternatives
People generally use botox in order to 'plump up' certain areas of their face, in particular the lips or the forehead, or to smooth out wrinkles, lines or crepey skin patches which are a natural sign of ageing caused by a decline in collagen in our bodies.
What you need to know about collagen
Collagen forms the main structural and elastic component of our skin. Our bodies produce less collagen as we age, and the decrease in collagen leads to gradual wrinkling, sagging and fragility of the skin. Collagen however is much more important for our bodies than just our skin - it's vital for the elasticity of our blood vessels, for our bones, our gums, joints and ligaments.
Contrary to popular belief, rather than taking a collagen supplement made from boiled cow bones or fish, it is more effective to take steps to increase your body's own collagen production to reduce the appearance of crepey skin, wrinkles and frown lines. You can increase your body's natural collagen production though supplements formulated to increase collagen production, and through your diet.
Skin Saviour® nourishes your skin to combat blemishes and fuel your body's natural collagen production for plumper, glowing skin.
Protein rich foods such a beans, lentils, nuts and seeds contain amino acids which are needed by the skin to maintain and produce collagen. Collagen is the main protein structure in skin that gives it bounce and prevents wrinkling. Read more about the best protein sources on a plant-based diet.
Low sugar foods
Sugary foods are a disaster for the skin. They increase the levels of inflammation in the body and increase the level of a substance called 'enhanced glycogen end products', or AGEs for short - which can damage collagen and elastin, and contributes to wrinkle formation. Stick to whole foods and unrefined foods.
Healthy fats such as Omega 3 and high-quality omega 6 (GLA) oils are beneficial to the skin as they help to provide hydration and plumpness to the skin which provides a decrease in the depth of wrinkles and a more youthful appearance.
Our Vegan Omega 3 supplements are high strength and sustainably sourced from algae, with no fishy smell.
Probiotics and prebiotics
Probiotics are found naturally in the gut and when they are in abundant numbers they have a beneficial effect on our skin. Probiotics produce short chain fatty acids which are absorbed in the gut and are used in the skin to provide moisture and plumpness. Prebiotics are the fibres that feed the probiotics in your gut, and one of the best prebiotic fibres is inulin.
Learn more in 'What are probiotics'.
Skin Saviour® is an acclaimed science-led formula of 11 ingredients including clinically studied gut-friendly bacteria ('probiotics'), prebiotics, botanicals and nutrients for healthier ageing and a clearer, glowing skin complexion. Skin Saviour® includes Acidophilus, Hyaluronic acid, Grape Seed, Green Tea, Bilberry, among other ingredients and essential vitamins at their optimal levels.
Antioxidants are needed to protect the collagen in our skin, and to protect our skin from environmental damage. Environmental damage including pollution further decreases the function of collagen and contributes towards ageing. Try consuming 7-9 portions of vegetables and fruit per day and try adding in grape seed extract, bilberry extract and green tea to your daily diet.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient in collagen production and maintenance as it is needed directly for the chemical process of collagen creation.
Read more about the best foods and vitamins for glowing skin.
Hyaluronic acid is the moisture holding molecule in the skin. Hyaluronic acid production decreases with age leading to dull, saggy, dry skin. Taking an additional supplement may help to replace the losses that ageing causes.
Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient in our Skin Saviour® skin health supplement formula.
Red peppers contain high amounts of Vitamin C and chickpeas are rich in protein and Zinc, making red pepper hummus a great food for skin health. Discover easy and delicious recipes today.
Zinc is a mineral needed in larger qualities by the skin. Zinc is needed for normal DNA replication. Each time a skin cell divides, it needs zinc to copy and replicate its DNA. When DNA is not replicated properly it can become damaged which reduces its ability to produce collagen. Zinc is additionally important for healthy hair, read more in 5 key nutrients for healthy hair.
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