Newby Hands, beauty director for Net-a-Porter, agrees, “While I haven’t tried anything over the past 20 years that measures up to Botox, a good hyaluronic acid serum and a retinol-based night cream do mean I can go a bit longer between baby Botox top-ups.”
She explains: “Dehydrated skin is flatter, less plump and will show up more fine lines. I love Dr Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum (£85, net-a-porter.com) and Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (£60, net-a-porter.com). And I’ve learnt to use the bit that’s left on my fingertips to pat on the frown lines and around the mouth.”
Equally, using a retinoid at night (pick a product with retinol or retinaldehyde, a cousin of retinol) will help your skin repair itself and create new collagen. “Retinol is a science-backed game changer when it comes to proven results on lines and wrinkles,” says Hands, who is a fan of Medik8 Crystal Retinal 10 (£79, lookfantastic.com). Surgeon Dr Ashwin Soni and Dr Shotter, meanwhile, both rate Skinbetter Science’s AlphaRet Overnight Cream (£112, store.skinbetter.com).
What about the so-called “fauxtox” creams that claim to reduce muscle movement in the skin? Alice Hart-Davis, editor of The Tweakments Guide, says, “These products contain a blend of peptides that affect muscle movement. New Revox Line Relaxer looks promising. It’s not cheap (£147, revisionskincare.co.uk), but the studies claim a 97 per cent reduction in horizontal and vertical expression lines and under-eye lines – so it may be worth a try.”
Although, Hart-Davis clarifies, no cream is going to reach the muscle layer like toxin injections do, it can have a superficial result on smoothing lines, particularly around the eyes.