Unlike many of the topical creams that we review here, Restylane is an anti-wrinkle treatment that is injected directly into wrinkled skin. This Swedish product has been offered to European consumers as a Botox alternative for over ten years, and is manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Q-Med. Since it is not a dietary supplement, in order to become available in the USA Restylane did require approval from the FDA, which it received in 2003. Currently, the only company licensed to sell Restylane in the USA is Medicis Aesthetics, who are also responsible for clearing and importing other popular European “cosmceutical” products.
So, considering that Botox has a pretty solid track record and a lock on the injectable wrinkle treatment market, why would users opt for the less recognizable Restylane brand? Simply put, Restylane claims to be free of any animal-based ingredients, including the bovine derivatives that make up Botox and also, to some extent, collagen. Many users find this fact appealing in and of itself, but it also means that Restylane could come with fewer potential side effects and secondary skin irritation. It also means that new users can dispense with the time consuming allergy testing process that is associated with first time Botox use. This can be particularly attractive if you are trying to get ready for a big event in a big hurry.
Restylane is commonly used to treat very specific problem areas like around the lips or under the eyes. The main ingredient found in Restylane seems to be a hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a common ingredient in many contemporary anti-wrinkle products, and it is a potent moisturizing agent. This is what forms the base of the Restylane formulation. The other key element found in Restylane is the patented NASHA complex. This stands for Non-Animal Stabilized Hyaluronic Acid. This is a secondary type of hyaluronic acid that, the makers of Restylane claim, has been carefully formulated to mimic the body’s own hydrophilic system. This system is what keeps the skin hydrated and firm. By injecting an artificial substitute into key areas, Restylane attempts to trick the skin and restore it to its youthful condition.
- Manufacturer claims that results last an average of six months.
- Product is all-natural and contains no animal derived proteins.
- Official website offers discount coupons for frequent patients.
- At $500+ per injection, this could turn into a costly beauty care regimen.
- Unlike topical creams, this product does still require doctors visits and needles.
- One possible side effect is that the injection site could swell up following treatment.
- No free product sample is available.
The Bottom Line
This one is really up to you. The whole point of many of the topical wrinkle treatments reviews here is that they save you the hassle and cost of Botox treatments. If we were picking between the two, we definitely find Restylane’s no animal protein policy highly appealing. If you’ve made up your mind to go with an injection treatment, you could do worse than ask about Restylane. However, be aware that there are topical alternatives out there that could save you time and money while still yielding comparable results. Obviously, talk to a skin care professional to learn more about the risks and benefits associated with Restylane.