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Photography Donna Trope

Forget Botox, here’s a guide to no-needle skincare

If you want the results of cosmetic surgery, but are terrified of needles

Welcome to Beauty School, the corner of Dazed Beauty dedicated to learning. From guides to histories, this is where we shed light on past subcultural movements and educate our readers on current trends and various goings-on.

As the age of cosmetic surgery is truly upon us, non-invasive procedures like Botox and dermal fillers have become as common as Instagram teeth-whitening #spon posts. In fact, they account for 9 out of 10 procedures carried out in the UK and even Superdrug offers them in-store. So it’s understandable if the thought of injectables has crossed your mind, but what the hell do you do if you’re scared of needles? As non-invasive procedures have become the status quo, the beauty industry has come up with a new genre of products that offer the same smoothing and plumping results, but no syringes or needles required.

“More and more, with the advancement of technology, we are seeing non-surgical alternatives to traditional surgical procedures,” beauty powerhouse Nannette de Gaspé tells Dazed Beauty. “People are looking for results with less downtime and a price tag which is easier to swallow.” Last September de Gaspé launched her Vitality Revealed collection, a skincare line that mimics the results of mesotherapy (an injection of vitamins), without the use of needles.  

“I was so excited to be able to offer a needle-free, pain-free, bruise-free alternative to mesotherapy. Our masks are considered as effective as medi-spa treatments and a great alternative to many in-clinic options being offered today. Our vision is to empower people with revolutionary cosmetic solutions that can be done on their terms, are not intrusive, yet are highly effective.”

Until recently, non-surgical procedures were the fastest and most convenient way to treat concerns, but all involved needles. Whether you wanted to look younger with Botox, modify your features with fillers, or simply improve the overall quality of your skin with treatments like mesotherapy or microneedling (the dermaroller procedure that uses small needles to prick the skin to stimulate collagen production), being jabbed was inevitable. While needle-free treatments don’t have the same immediate impact as injectables, or give you the pout that fillers do, they’re becoming a great alternative.

“Injectables are great at eliminating wrinkles but no-needle solutions act more globally, treating wrinkles, as well as dehydration, pigmentation, and acne” – Dr Meder

Whether the thought of being poked and prodded by sharp objects makes you wince, you don’t want to go as far as injectables, or don’t have the budget for in-clinic treatments, it’s worth looking into the benefit of these new skincare innovations. Indeed, there are many pros. “The first pro of no-needle skincare solutions is the absence of a needle: no fear, no potential side effects, and no contraindications for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as those with chronic health conditions,” explains Dr. Tiina Meder, dermatologist and founder of Meder Beauty Science. “The second pro is that no-needle solutions provide a great alternative for those wanting soft and natural looking results. Injectables are great at eliminating wrinkles but no-needle solutions act more globally, treating wrinkles, as well as dehydration, pigmentation, and acne.”

According to Dr. Meder, demand for these type of treatments is increasing daily. “People are looking for solutions that give them more control over the change in their appearance,” she tells Dazed Beauty, adding that customers are seeking out treatments that offer a more natural look. “Non-surgical skincare solutions provide a more natural look compared to their poker-face-inducing counterparts. Non-invasive treatments don’t eliminate all signs of ageing but reduce them significantly, making you look like ‘you’ve aged well’.”

Dr. Meder also explains that while injectables act faster, their results last less than topical solutions. “Botox will provide results in a couple of days and those results will last for four months, five if you’re one of the lucky ones. Whereas a no-needle anti-wrinkle treatment will take around five weeks to show results, but those results will last six months or more. Injectables provide an immediate result, whereas topical solutions will interact with your skin day by day, week by week, changing patterns of age.”

Improved ingredients and advanced technology means our favourite skincare brands are offering viable alternatives to injections. If you’re looking for a painless, subtle and (relatively) cheaper solution, here are the best game-changing beauty treatments that promise the same noticeable results:

Starskin Micro-filler Mask Pack

Starskin’s sheet mask is made with hyaluronic acid to plump and firm the skin. An alternative to fillers that harnesses the magic of K-Beauty and mimics the anti-ageing effects of professional micro-needling.

Nannette de Gaspé Vitality Revealed face mask

This dry face mask provides the results of injectable mesotherapy in a fraction of the time, without any actual injections. The brand’s Biomimetic Micro Vectorized Delivery System reaches the same depths as superficial injections do, offering a pain-free solution for brighter, smoother-looking skin.

Face Gym Skin IV

Known for their facial “workouts”, Face Gym have introduced a no-needles approach to the vitamin IV drips loved by beauty junkies and celebs. The topical treatment is a cocktail of medical-grade vitamins and collagen and elastin-boosting ingredients. Customers can combine the treatment with any of their workouts, or book their signature The Boss facial, which already includes Skin IV.

Dr Brandt Needles No More

Created by Botox experts, this cream targets expression lines, types of wrinkles caused by muscle contractions which dermatologists say can only be treated with Botox. The formula helps relax the muscles under the skin and boost collagen production to keep your complexion smooth and plump.

Nip + Fab No Needle Fix

This whole range promises to target the signs of ageing by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, offering a super affordable answer to fillers for those looking for firmer and toned skin.

Meder Beauty Myo-Fix Concentrate

“Myo-Fix is based on three neuro-modulating peptides in a highly concentrated emulsion, used for both a professional treatment and a home care product,” says Dr. Meder. “You can feel the difference in a few days of regular use. It won’t provide an exact botox effect, however, in a few weeks’ time, skin will become relaxed, wrinkles will be much less visible, and superficial wrinkles will disappear.”