A Dermatologist Says This Serum Mimics the Effects of Botox—And You Can Snag It for $10

written by LAUREN HARANO

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Source: Shani Darden
Source: Shani Darden

A tale as old as time, one of the main skincare concerns people face is subduing wrinkles and fine lines. From taking small steps like staying hydrated and applying moisturizer to larger ones like getting Botox and laser treatments, many people have their own anti-aging methods to keep their skin looking young.

And, thanks to TikTok—or #BeautyTok, specifically—there are now countless resources, products, trends, and ingredients that beauty lovers are exposed to. One of the buzziest ingredients to make waves on the app is Argireline, a synthetic peptide that some have even dubbed “Botox in a bottle.” Scientifically known as acetyl hexapeptide-8, it’s known for its anti-aging properties that mimic the effects of Botox without the invasive procedures.

Sounds too good to be true, right? To find out if Argireline lives up to its reputation, we tapped a dermatologist to learn more about the powerful peptide. Keep reading to see if this skincare ingredient really can prolong your next trip to get Botox.

Dr. Geeta Yadav

Dr. Geeta Yadav is a board certified dermatologist and founder of Facet Dermatology, a Toronto-based clinic that specializes in medical and cosmetic care. She has previously been featured in the New York Times, Allure, and more.

What is Argireline, and how does it work?

“Argireline is a peptide that mimics the effects of neurotoxins by limiting your nerves’ communication with your muscles where it’s applied, limiting the muscles’ ability to contract,” explains Dr. Geeta Yadav, board-certified dermatologist and founder of FACET Dermatology. In practical terms, when applied topically, Argireline can temporarily relax facial muscles. By dampening muscle activity, it can smooth out the skin’s surface and diminish the appearance of expression lines, such as crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles.

“While its effects are not nearly as powerful as those of Botox or other neurotoxins, especially considering that the molecule size is very large and can have difficulty penetrating the skin, it’s a nice topical option for those who want to support the results of their injectable treatments or incorporate a non-invasive, topical alternative into their routine,” says Dr. Yadav. (Basically, it’s not as powerful as Botox—which makes sense since it’s an over-the-counter ingredient—but it does have the same effects on skin, just in a lesser capacity.)

What are the benefits of Argireline?

Argireline’s main benefit is that it can temporarily relax facial muscles, which ultimately reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. By relaxing muscles (much like Botox does), it can help prevent future wrinkles from forming while also smoothing out lines from previous wrinkles.

Aside from its primary advantage of temporarily relaxing facial muscles, Argireline also has other benefits. The synthetic peptide can promote collagen production, which is essential for the overall health of the skin. When your skin produces more collagen, it has a better chance of keeping its firmness and elasticity—ultimately lessening wrinkles. Plus, collagen helps enhance skin hydration since it plays a key role in retaining moisture. This means skin will not only be firmer but also plumper and more supple.

Are there any side effects of using Argireline?

As with all skincare ingredients, it’s important to know the risks. In terms of Argireline, the side effects are much less intimidating than, say, those of Botox. “Risks are very minimal, though some people can experience irritation or potential contact dermatitis, especially if the formula used features a high concentration of the ingredient,” says Dr. Yadav. To avoid this, people with known allergies or sensitivities to specific skincare ingredients should do a patch test before using Argireline products to avoid potential reactions. They should also check the label to see how much Argireline is in the product. (As a rule of thumb, anywhere around 10 percent Argireline is safe for all skin types.) Generally, the ingredient is safe for people with all skin types, including sensitive skin.

Who should use Argireline?

Anyone who is looking to address the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles without going under a needle should consider using Argireline. It’s generally well-tolerated by many skin types, making it a versatile ingredient for those looking to incorporate it into their skincare routine. Plus, it’s preventative, which means it can help stop wrinkles before they start. So, if you start noticing wrinkles, now is the time to add this potent peptide to your routine.

What are the best skincare products that feature Argireline?

One of the most buzzed-about skincare products that feature Argireline is The Ordinary’s Argireline Solution 10 percent. The affordable serum contains a potent concentration of Argireline, which countless customers claim has helped reduce the appearance of their fine lines and wrinkles. Our Beauty Editor swears by Depology’s Peptide Complex 10 percent, which she says has helped to visibly reduce her forehead lines. Additionally, ExLinea’s Peptide Smoothing Serum is another fan favorite. “This formula from PCA Skin combines Argireline with plumping sodium hyaluronate and nourishing squalane, which will further help to improve the appearance of wrinkles and promote more conditioned and smoother-looking skin,” says Dr. Yadav.

The Ordinary
Argireline Solution 10%
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Peptide Complex 10% Argirline
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Peptide Smoothing Serum
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