Healthy Skin

Notox: can we get smooth skin without injectables?

While botox used to be one of the only options for keeping skin smooth and wrinkle-free, a new era of skincare is seeing beauty fans turn towards non-injectable methods to achieve a more youthful glow. So-called ‘notox’ is on the rise, with treatments, ingredients and products that promise a non-invasive approach to smoother skin.

But do they actually work? And can they ever really compare to more invasive methods like injectables? We explain what you need to know about the world of notox.

Common skin changes in midlife

As we get older, it’s normal for our skin to lose its elasticity and experience a loss of volume. We may notice fine lines and wrinkles accumulating and becoming more prominent, whether that’s around our eye area, mouth or forehead. Our skin may feel like it’s less plump and we may notice sagging, including around our jawline.

While there’s absolutely nothing wrong in ageing naturally, some of us may consider turning to wrinkle-relaxing injectables – including botox and fillers.

Botox (botulinum toxin) temporarily prevents a muscle from moving, helping to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. This procedure can cost around £100 to £350, depending on the clinic and location. Results last around three to four months but can vary.

Fillers, on the other hand, temporarily add volume back into the skin, and are commonly injected into the lip and cheek area. These procedures must repeated every few months to maintain results.

The cost can range anywhere from £150 to several hundred pounds depending on the area treated and type of filler used.

You may notice mild irritation or bruising with fillers or Botox, but it’s unlikely it would stop you from normal activity.

Notox: smoother skin without injectables?

Skincare ingredients

While creams, lotions and serums are unlikely to provide the same (almost) instant results as injectables, over time they can help to improve signs of ageing.

Patience and consistency is key, but we can expect to see results anywhere between a few weeks to a few months with some of these ingredients. It’s worth bearing in mind that we need to keep using these ingredients to maintain the results, too.

One of the most popular ingredients among notox beauty buffs is retinol. And for good reason.

Research shows it can help to target fine lines and pigmentation, while also helping to boost collagen production to keep skin plump. You can find it in nighttime moisturisers and serums – just be mindful of what other ingredients you combine it with.

Another ingredient to add to our beauty arsenal is vitamin C. When applied topically, this powerful antioxidant can help with fine lines and wrinkles, while also helping with pigmentation concerns, including age spots.

Peptides are another notox fan favourite. They’ve proven to be helpful with any lines and wrinkles in your skin, especially in the lip area.

And not forgetting hyaluronic acid. Also found in injectables, this is one ingredient that will work almost instantly. It acts as a humectant, attracting water into the skin. This helps to plump out the complexion, although not as dramatically as injectable versions.

Expect to pay anywhere between a few pounds for a budget brand hyaluronic acid, all the way up to £50 (and sometimes even more) for a luxury product.


Laser resurfacing is an advanced treatment that’s carried out by a qualified practitioner to improve the skin’s appearance and overall health.

Ablative lasers direct short beams at the skin to remove the outer layers and encourage new skin to grow. This in turn helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lessen any past pigmentation and scarring.

Non-ablative lasers are less aggressive, but also help to stimulate collagen.

You can often choose to target a certain area such as your forehead, or treat an entire area like your face. You will need downtime to allow your skin to recover and you may experience redness.

Ablative lasers tend to have the most dramatic results and, while effective, non-ablative laser facials may need repeated sessions.

Depending on the clinic and type of facial chosen, a laser facial can cost anywhere between a couple of hundred pounds to over £2,000. Packages, which include multiple sessions, may make this cheaper for you.

While laser facials don’t provide the same instant results and plumping effects as injectables, experts say the results from this treatment for overall skin health can actually be longer lasting. Results from some ablative lasers may even last years.


Chemical peels, or skin peels, remove the top layer of skin, helping to promote the cell turnover process and leave skin looking youthful and glowing.

Peels can be done both in beauty salons and at home in varying strengths, all revealing smoother and brighter skin.

An in-salon chemical peel can range from around £50 to £200, depending on location and type chosen.

While they won’t provide the same dramatic results as one performed by a professional, at-home peels – which contain ingredients such as glycolic acid and AHAs – can range from £10 to £50, depending on your product and brand of choice.

Chemical peels work on both pigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles, whereas injectables can only plump and smooth.

That being said, recovery time for salon chemical peels is much longer than injectables. Depending on the type of peel used, you may need to take up to two weeks out of your normal schedule to allow skin to recover.

A light chemical peel can be repeated every few months, whereas a deep peel shouldn’t be performed more than once or twice a year.

Note: if you have particularly sensitive skin, this treatment might not be for you, so always do your research before taking the plunge.


Another effective salon procedure for fine lines and wrinkles, microdermabrasion uses fine crystals and a vacuum to remove dead skin cells.

In turn, this helps to smooth the skin while improving the appearance of fine lines, and pigmentation.

You may need multiple treatments, and it isn’t as effective on deep wrinkles, according to experts.

The cost of a single microdermabrasion session ranges around £50 to £100, and you may need multiple sessions. However, like with other procedures, buying multiple in a package deal may bring down this cost for you.

Microdermabrasion can help to rejuvenate skin but this procedure is unlikely to provide the same kind of results that injectables can. That being said, it’s a far cheaper option if you would still like to try a salon treatment.


While there’s no magic wand to undo signs of ageing, lifestyle choices can help.

Drinking plenty of water is key as dehydration can cause fine lines and wrinkles to appear worse.

A varied and colourful diet rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and protein is important too, as it can help to support natural collagen production.

Vitamins such as vitamin C, E and carotenoids are beneficial for skin, and you may want to consider a collagen supplement, too. We love Ingenious Collagen – use LIZLOVES for 15% off.

Wearing SPF, being cautious of alcohol and sugar consumption, and avoiding smoking are all important factors in helping to keep skin healthy.

The verdict

While ‘notox’ alternative treatments may not offer the same dramatic effects of injectables or surgery, some of the procedures – such as chemical peels – can actually address multiple skincare concerns, such as pigmentation, while also plumping and smoothing the skin (something injectables can’t).

Non-invasive treatments tend to be cheaper, and are less of a commitment financially if you want to maintain results. However, they can’t provide the same instant results that injectables can.

Our take? It depends what your priority is. For instant results, injectables are your best bet. But if you’re committed to improving skin health in the long-run, non-invasive treatments are the go-to.

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