If I had it my way, I would have regular facial massages, facials, chemical peels, light therapy sessions, microneedling treatments, botox appointments, and more. I would fit them into my *not* tight budget and *not* busy schedule, my skin would be glowing, my wrinkles would fade, and all would be right in the world. I pray that will be my glorious reality one day, but until I have the resources to support that (because let’s be honest, it’s way too expensive and time-consuming), I will be taking advantage of any and all at-home treatments that I can get my hands on to achieve the same results. And luckily, there are a lot of them on the market.
When faced with decision fatigue from all of the options, I leaned on experts to learn which devices and products are the best at-home alternatives to botox and microneedling, and what I learned was that there are even more benefits to using at-home devices than saving time and money:
- They require little to no downtime
- They are more accessible to those who travel often or live far from a provider
- They are more gentle compared to the intensity of in-office treatments
- They can result in tighter, more youthful-looking skin since you can use them more regularly than you can go for in-office visits
With that said, I couldn’t keep these to myself, so I am sharing 12 of the best at-home alternatives to try if botox and microneedling aren’t in your budget (or if you just want to reap the rest of the benefits).
Before you dive in, know this: “At-home tools and devices are meant to be used on a weekly cadence to reach goals,” says Adi Kempler, licensed esthetician and regional educator at Heyday, just like you would go for regular appointments. So if you’re looking to get lasting results with at-home alternatives, “consistency with any treatment, product, or routine is the best way to ensure you get the maximum benefits,” she added.
To seamlessly incorporate these devices into your routine and develop consistency, first, familiarize yourself with the instructions that are specific to the device. Some can be used daily while others are better to use only a few (2-3) days a week. Whether you decide to incorporate them in the morning or at night is up to you—just make sure to always start with a clean face (after you cleanse, but before you apply products) and monitor your skin’s reaction (if any!) and progress to determine how much your skin can handle.
At-Home Alternatives to Botox
As an alternative to botox, experts recommend microcurrent devices since “microcurrent is the gentlest, most natural way to smooth facial wrinkles,” says Pooja Johari, founder of 7e Wellness. Similar to botox, microcurrent stimulates facial muscles, except it uses low-voltage electricity to do so as opposed to injections. “Since microcurrent uses electricity, not everyone is a candidate to use these devices,” says Kempler, so check with your doctor before you use any of these devices or use non-electric tools and products to achieve similar results.
When shopping for microcurrent devices, you will notice that they are priced between $200-$1000. However, more expensive doesn’t always equal better. The most important things to look for when shopping for devices are ones that offer more than one type of waveform, have add-on accessories and applicators that make use easy, and ones that come with support like how-to videos, as recommended by Johari.
If you’re looking to further your results, LED, radiofrequency, cavitation, gua sha, cryotherapy, dermaplaning, and more pair well with microcurrent devices.
This single-probe device is a great start if you're new to microcurrent facials. Using the device and the recommended treatment, you'll begin by applying a gentle current to targeted areas of the face (where you want to see results). The tender current will stimulate facial muscles, cell growth, and collagen production.
This mask might not be easy on the eyes, but it is dermatologist-recommended. This red light therapy device offers clinically proven anti-aging and skin rejuvenation results. Didn't see that coming, did you? 10-minute sessions help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, the appearance of pigmentation and redness, and promote healthier, younger-looking skin. It's all natural with no pain and no downtime.
If this is your first time seeing this device, where have you been? NuFACE's microcurrent facial-toning device helps to improve the look of lips, eyes, and brows by visibly toning and lifting in as little as five minutes per day.
This award-winning, clinically-proven skincare tool can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, blemishes, and acne with the support of red light and microcurrent therapy. You're only five minutes a day and three times a week away from the skin of your dreams.
Said to be "the ultimate device for facial health," this device is a facial massage and treatment in one. It offers skin-toning microcurrents and rejuvenating light therapy to firm and tighten skin, improve facial muscle tone, and plump your skin for a youthful glow.
These look so funny on, but there is a reason they have more than 25k reviews on amazon. These patches act as a great alternative to botox, especially if you can't use a microcurrent device. They work like a cast or a splint holding the facial muscles smooth and relaxed, training them to stay that way.
At-Home Alternatives to Microneedling
Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure that involves repeatedly puncturing the skin with tiny, sterile needles. This minimally invasive procedure helps treat skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation, fine lines, enlarged pores, wrinkles, skin elasticity, and more by increasing the skin’s collagen production. Since microneedling treatments can cost anywhere from $200-700 per session and most clients need anywhere between 2-5 sessions to receive results, the cost adds up quickly.
Experts agree that at-home derma rollers are the next best thing. The small, fine needles are able to penetrate the skin in the same way that microneedling would. “Gently rolling over the skin will slightly puncture the surface of the skin to help boost our skin cell renewal process while helping with product penetration,” explained Kempler.
If needles freak you out, don’t worry. We included alternatives you can use that don’t have needles to achieve the same results.
This bestselling microneedling device comes with two attachments and a balm to help you achieve visibly firmer, brighter skin and more-awake-looking eyes. If you struggle with texture, dark circles, fine lines, or enlarged pores, this device can help revive the look and feel of your skin.
This 2-in-1 microneedling device can help strengthen your complexion and reveal healthy-looking layers of skin through gentle exfoliation and a liquid vitamin treatment made with Vitamin F and glycolic acid.
This pen uses a vibration mechanism (with five different settings) that produces faster and more precise needle strokes. This can help penetrate the skin more easily and gently than derma rollers since less force is needed to get you the results you want to see.
Needle-free? Say no more. This device uses electricity to create non-damaging pathways in the skin for pain-free results. It can help increase product absorption, improve texture, remove dead skin cells, and more that can lead to brighter, healthier skin.
Another needle-free device option is the Droplette—a physics-powered device that can transform traditional water-based serums into a tiny, rapidly-moving mist. The mist can penetrate the skin's barrier with no needles and no pain for clinical-grade results.
Infused with retinol, vitamin C, and peptides, these microneedling patches contain hyaluronic acid microneedles that dissolve to create tiny pathways for your products to seem deep into your skin. This can help diminish the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and more.