As you get older, you might start to notice the signs of a life well-lived appear on your forehand and around your eyes and lips.
Some might look at injectable options to banish these crow’s feet and laughter lines.
While there’s nothing wrong with choosing aesthetic procedures – nor is there anything bad about letting your face age naturally – some beauty buffs are choosing a third option: using products that give a smoothing effect.
‘Notox’ is the shift towards non-invasive forms of anti-ageing, and with the hashtag garnering 10.3 million views on TikTok, it’s quickly growing in popularity.
Alternative facialist Justine Masters suggests people are skipping injectables because “it’s not agreed with them before”, she says.
“It might have caused droopy eyelids, creating a bad experience or effects on the body, or maybe they just don’t want to pop a toxin in their bodies for health reasons or [because of the] cost every few months.”
Skincare junkies have been on the hunt for non-invasive alternatives, but what are they – and do they actually work?
“As we age, we lose collagen and elastin in our skin, which are two key proteins that help to keep its structure up and give it bounce,” says aesthetic doctor Dr Deepa Panch from Acquisition Aesthetics.
“When we lose these, we start to notice lines and wrinkles appear.”
Injectables help by “relaxing the underlying muscle, so minimising the appearance of these lines”, she says, so alternatives “would include treatments or products that boost your collagen and help with skin support”.
Panch suggests collagen serums and supplements can help improve elasticity. “There are also lots of collagen supplements on the market, but my personal favourites are those that are in a liquid format using marine collagen.”
She also advises preventative measures: “Ensuring a good skincare routine and making sure to include a daily high factor SPF helps to protect collagen breakdown from UV rays.”
“Retinol can be used to boost cell turnover and speed up collagen and elastin production,” says Masters.
Dr Colette Haydon, dermo-pharmacist and founder of Lixirskin, agrees, saying: “Retinol boosts protein production in the dermal fibroblasts to give density, volume and firmness.”
Those with sensitive skin may find retinol causes irritation. Start slowly to build up your tolerance, only use it at night and follow with sunscreen the next morning.
LED masks have been said to improve collagen production.
While you can use industrial-strength ones at a dermatologist’s office, many brands have at-home alternatives which claim to improve the appearance of skin.
One brand, Omnilux, has been used by A-listers like Bella Hadid and Mindy Kaling, and claims to be clinically proven to significantly reduce fine lines, wrinkles, redness and acne.
They do this using “optimised doses of red, near-infrared and blue light to supercharge the body’s own natural cellular healing response”, explains dermatologist Dr Hany Abi Ghosn.
Omnilux recommends using the mask at least three times a week for optimal results.
Maintaining hydrated skin is key to keeping it looking firm and bright.
“Hyaluronic acid improves volume by keeping the dermis hydrated, but also has the ability to keep cells tightly together to lift the skin,” explains Haydon.
She recommends using a product containing hyaluronic acid – which studies suggest can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water – during the day to complement retinol used at night.
The most shocking (literally) notox treatment involves zapping your skin with microcurrents of electricity via a small handheld device.
“You can use microcurrent to lift and tone the facial muscles, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles,” says Masters of the painless process.
The aim is to stimulate the skin and muscles to create more chiselled cheekbones and a snatched jawline.
Six notox heroes to add to your skincare routine
Skinny Tan Notox Dream Serum
Katherine Daniels Rehydrating Concentrate
Vichy Laboratories Liftactiv Retinol Specialist Serum
Omnilux Contour Face
NutritionX Repair Collagen Shot 12x60ml
Q+A Hyaluronic Acid Face Mist