Cosmeceutical | Ageing

Can an Anti Ageing Cream Perform Like Botox

Is there really such a thing as Botox in a bottle, and does it work?

With so many anti ageing products going viral on Instagram and TikTok.

Is the holy grail anti-ageing cream that has eluded us for so long now a reality?

It has snake and bee venom, peptides, and stinging nettle.

Can they really deliver that wow, tightened effect?

Or is it just more pseudo-science and unsubstantiated claims by the skincare industry?

For this article, we’re going to dive into all things anti-wrinkle.

Well, assess the value and potency of this new generation of line-busting ingredients.

And determine the low down and the inside scoop.

On whether these anti ageing creams match up to Botox.

Anti Ageing Cream

First, a caveat: we appreciate that anti-ageing no longer sits well with many consumers because it’s considered ageist!

The more succinct pro-ageing is acceptable as a selling point.

So, whilst we acknowledge the new terminology such as skin-plumping, anti-wrinkle, and line-reducing.

For this article, we will stick to the terminology of anti ageing.

What do we want from anti-ageing ingredients?

  • we want to improve our skin texture, smooth out any surface roughness, reverse hyper-pigmentation and dull dark spots,
  • tighten and tone loose areas of our skin,
  • reverse those pesky expression lines, boot fibroblasts to generate new collagen and elastin

As we age, we all want to restore that youthful glow and improve the areas that differentiate between old and youthful skin.

How Anti Ageing Creams Work

The latest anti-ageing creams use several mechanisms to smooth out fine and wrinkles.

  1. Some less natural creams help temporarily ‘blur’ out your lines using a ‘Polyfilla’, a layer of silicones and polymers, to smooth and fill lines and pores, making your skin’s surface look flawless.
  2. Some formulas like betox skin shot contain bee venom and proteins or sugars that form an invisible film that temporarily tightens the skin’s surface, pulling it taut and making lines magically disappear. These tensors have impressive and immediate lifting effects on your skin.
  3. You can plump out lines with humectants that flood your skin with moisture by attracting and locking water, such as hyaluronic acid, urea, or sodium PCA, into your skin’s layers. When applied regularly, they can help improve your skin’s structure. It is important not to underestimate humectants like those found in our Quench plumping peptide gel, as they offer more than a temporary cosmetic fix.
  4. Peptides are essential signalling molecules made up of chains of amino acids that inhibit neurotransmitters. Essentially, this means that they can help relax muscle fibres in your skin, preventing the micro-contractions that create the folds that set over time.

They  Offer Temporary Tightening Effect

Temporary tightening ingredients can give dull, lacklustre skin a youthful boost.

Some of these latest-generation tensors turn plant proteins and sugars into polymers that tighten, lift and hold.

The best thing about these tensors is that they go beyond the temporary effect these ingredients have always been limited to.

The following ingredients in your anti ageing cream can offer some remarkable temporary results for your skin.

  • probiotics
  • prebiotics
  • soy protein
  • xanthan gums
  • algae extract
  • fish collagen
  • hydrolysed wheat
  • polysaccharides or sugars
  • carrageenan, xanthan or agar gum
  • fermentation technology

These ingredients create a skin-contracting bio-film to form on your skin.

They can also help restore your skin’s microbiome health, moisturise, and calm your skin while giving it a temporary lift.


But the question remains: can anti ageing cream offer a botox in a bottle-like effect on your skin?

The tensors we discussed above only offer a temporary fix.

So, we need to focus on the following more expensive neuromodulation ingredients that promise these long-term benefits.

So let’s dive deeper:

Snake venom 

Referred to as Syn-Ake (1), this ingredient is a small synthetic peptide that mimics the functionality of the temple viper’s venom.

The molecule is so tiny it can penetrate deeply to relax muscle fibres, often with effects visible in the first few weeks.

It must be blended in the correct concentration and formulation to achieve this effect.

Neuromodulating Bee venom

Our hero ingredient at NC HQ is used in our Betox lifting skin shot.

Betox contains a mix of proteins and other active substances, including apamin, that act as a mild neurotoxin.

The mechanism of action is different from other ‘neuromodulating’ toxins in skincare, as this study (2) suggests.

Bee venom acts by inhibiting the activity of enzymes that participate in skin ageing.

Power Lifting peptides

Some peptides are potent, helping to relax the skin’s tissues and inhibit the expression of wrinkles and fine lines.

This study (3) found that they contract your skin a little like Botox stops muscles from moving and creates folds in your overlying skin.

They kick-start all kinds of functions in your skin, like increasing collagen production and transporting nutrients into cells.

When it comes to selecting a formula containing peptides that are neuromodulating and that will help to lift your skin, price is an indication of quality because good quality lab-designed peptides are expensive.

Many brands and products skimp on concentrations, so we recommend that you become your own label detective and check your ingredients list.

If you find them at the bottom of the list, you’ll know that that formula will not produce the desired results.

That’s why so many peptide-based anti ageing cream products are often disappointing; you want to ensure they are close to the top of your chosen product’s INCI list.

DNA age delay skin shot is a formula with a high concentration of peptides to help create that tensor, neuromodulating effect.

When to Use Peptides

Another reason is they are being formulated incorrectly: Peptides can easily be destroyed by your exfoliating acids like AHAs and BHAs, and not many manufacturers seem to understand this.

For this reason, we at the Naked Chemist will never recommend combining a peptide and an exfoliating acid.

We also caution against combining peptides and vitamin C.

If you love using exfoliating toners or serums, apply these in the morning and use your peptide simultaneously.

If you want to learn more about peptides, we have created an article here.

Stinging Nettle Toxin

This is another natural toxin now widely used in skincare and can potentially halt the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibres.

However, there is no evidence or publication on nettatoxin, which appears to be a commercially registered claim having a wrinkle-relaxing effect.

As far as we know, nettle has no proteins or peptides.

To conclude. The naked truth

So now we have unpacked all of this. What exactly is the low down?

Is there really such a thing as Botox in the bottle, and do they really work?

When formulated well and in the right quantities, peptides, bee venom and snake venom are the quickest routes to tighter, smoother skin.

But there is a caveat because we always approach ingredients and their role on the skin from a skin science perspective here at NC.

Studies are being carried out with good feedback on the ability of these tensor and neuromodulating ingredients to visibly reduce lines and wrinkles when used regularly over long periods.

We believe that, realistically, lines and wrinkles are just one marker of photodamage.

Therefore, a combined approach is the most effective way of fighting ageing and its many visible signs, including fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, photo ageing, loss of elasticity, and so forth.

We use neuromodulators such as peptides, bee venom, and snake venom and combine them with a good vitamin A product, which we discuss here and here.

It goes without saying that you need to use UV protection. Robust studies over many years support it.

So, to effectively inhibit your expression lines, we recommend having a multi-pronged approach to fight signs of ageing.

Making long-lasting, structural changes rather than focusing on just one expression of skin ageing is the best way to reduce expression lines and every other sign of ageing.

This is achieved through, among other things, barrier-repairing agents such as ceramides and collagen boosters such as retinol, specific peptides, snake venom and bee venom.

Do that consistently daily, and your best-looking skin will always follow.


  1. Cosmetics with snake venom
  2. Cosmetic Applications of Bee Venom

  3. A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Study Investigating the Efficacy and Tolerability of a Peptide Serum Targeting Expression Lines

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.