First lady Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton (a.k.a. the Duchess of Cambridge) have been exchanging beauty tips, and we have the scoop on the Botox-alternative topical skincare product they’re using to smooth away fine lines and wrinkles.
In an interview with Celebrities: The Style Magazin, Obama’s makeup artist Carl Ray first points out that FLOTUS has not had Botox injections. Instead, she relies on a product called Biotulin (aka “The Organic Botox”), a clear gel marketed as a “natural” alternative to Botox for topically diminishing wrinkles and firming skin—within an hour. The results last up to 24 hours and there may be a cumulative benefit.
According to the company website, Biotulin is powered by three natural ingredients: spilanthol, blady grass and hyaluronic acid. Spilanthol is a local anesthetic that works like Botox, reducing muscle contractions to relax your features. This results in the diminished appearance of fine lines because when you can’t furrow your brows as much, your eleven lines look more shallow (likewise, when you can’t raise your eyebrows as high, your forehead wrinkles are less noticeable). Blady grass is used to supply moisture for “up to 24 hours” because moist skin looks smoother, firmer and more radiant. Lastly, hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in the human body that can hold 1,000 times its water in weight. The main ingredient in injectable fillers such as Radiesse and Juvederm, hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient in anti-aging serums and moisturizers because it’s lightweight yet effective. When hyaluronic acid molecules fill with water, they plump up like sponges, filling out the surrounding skin.
So is this royalty-worthy gel truly natural? It depends on whom you ask. In addition to the three signature ingredients, there’s also grape leaf extract, which is commonly used to condition the skin. But Biotulin also contains phenoxyethanol, a popular paraben-alternative cosmetic preservative that’s been deemed a “moderate hazard” by the Environmental Working Group for potential irritation to the skin and eyes. As with all skincare, you should evaluate the full ingredients list and make a decision based on your personal values.
Botulin states they have tested the product “under laboratory conditions” by using both a muscle contraction model and real humans (but never on animals). It will cost you about 49 euros.
Would you try this “bio Botox” to plump up your complexion?