Article by: Perry Romanowski

I can’t tell if this is hype (probably) or if there is something to this new technology that is supposed to work like botox without needles. The basic story is that researchers took the active ingredient in Botox and put it into a topical treatment gel that supposedly removed crow’s feet wrinkles.

This could be an incredible advance in cosmetics, although it would be more likely an OTC since it is currently going through FDA drug trials.

The treatment is applied to the crow’s feet area, left on for half an hour, then wiped off. According to researchers, 90% of people who had the treatment showed clinically meaningful reduction in wrinkles. In a placebo group 28% saw an improvement. This is interesting itself. 28% of people saw a clinically meaningful improvement with a placebo? I wonder why that would be.

No matter what the results, this product would be a drug so it wouldn’t be directly competing with cosmetics in the US market anyway. But it does make you wonder. With drugs like this, would cosmetics have any chance to compete?


  1. Pingback:To botox, or not to botox? « Nurchamiel + Beauty

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    Hi Perry:
    Everyday there are endless articles about new products that contain new ingredients, etc. that all make claims that are visually undocumented. If these products are so wonderful one would think that proving results would be a simple matter. If Nike was sued and subsequently paid out $25 million because a certain shoe that they advertised did not make a person’s legs and butt firm, then why are cosmetic companies never sued on the basis of false and unrealistic claims that are not substantiated long term. Also, why are more Cosmetic Scientist not into research and development rather than all just copying the same old “tired” formulas. It’s no wonder that people have more bad skin today than at any other time in history. The industry has failed the consumer. Your comments please.

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      Hello Louise,
      I love the skepticism!!

      To answer your questions…

      1. Why are cosmetic companies never sued? This is because they almost never make “false” claims. You have to read what the claims actually say. They may give a false impression (will remove your wrinkles) but they would only claims “makes it look like you have less wrinkles.” The big companies especially, never make claims they can’t justify with a laboratory or consumer panel test.

      2. Why aren’t more chemists in R&D rather than product development? This is a matter of economics. Product development (re-working current formulas) can be put on a schedule. At the end of some set amount of time, companies are able to produce something to sell to stores & ultimately consumers. They know they can be successful. Research however, has no such guarantee. In fact, almost all the money invested in research is going to be wasted testing things that end up not working. It costs lots and lots of money with no guaranteed results. Most companies who have to guarantee a return on their investment to shareholders cannot afford to have their people researching things that may or may not pan out. Interestingly, the only ones who can afford it are the big companies like P&G, Unilever, L’Oreal, etc. These are really the only companies who have true ‘research cosmetic chemists’.

      Hope that makes sense.

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    I think it might work, but then, it should be able to reach the muscles. I’m really curious what the FDA has to say about it.

    Perry, have you ever heard about the ‘placebo-effect’? I think the 28% saw results because they think that the creme might work, so their brains will think that there is an improvement.

    That, or the placebo was a cream just like the botoxcreme, with very powerfull other ingredients, like moisterizers.

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      I’ve definitely heard about the ‘placebo-effect’. I was just curious how the brain would make the skin show an improvement. The placebo effect is an amazing thing and science knows very little about it.

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