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All The Skincare Products That'll Make You Reconsider Getting Botox

Inch your way to smooth and plump skin without a trip to the doctor’s office.

We all know the natural progression of the signs of ageing: first, we experience dullness and uneven skin tone, followed by fine lines and enlarged pores as we enter our 30s. Then these wrinkles deepen before our skin starts losing its elasticity and volume as we approach menopause. And while there are endless anti-ageing salves that promise to plump, smooth, brighten, firm and lift your skin, there’s nothing quite as instantly gratifying as running to the doctor’s office for a hit (or two) of Botox or fillers to freeze and plump up those wrinkles. Botox (as well as other botulinum toxins like Dysport and Xeomin) have the ability to act directly on your nerves to paralyse facial muscles and make them unable to contract (and further deepen wrinkles), while fillers deliver large hyaluronic acid molecules beneath skin surface to fill “dents” where wrinkles have formed or add volume to sunken areas like under the eyes or around the cheeks.

Yet, despite their prevalence, many women are still nervous when it comes to needles. So if you belong to the above-mentioned but wish to achieve smoothing and firming benefits, there are topical products you can try. Most of these products work by stimulating skin’s natural collagen-producing ability to improve skin firmness from inside out, as well as to reduce the appearance of wrinkles as skin gets plumped. Plus, since it takes at least four weeks for skin to renew itself, most topical products take around the same amount of time to show visible results. However, some products might contain special ingredients that can have an instant but temporary smoothing effect, which makes them great for use before makeup application. Here, the top products that firm and plump skin so you can put off that trip to the doctor’s office, at least for a couple more years.

DrGL Moisturiser Collagen Boost, $268 for 4 x 10ml
When your skin surface is dry, the fine lines can become more visible quicker and with frequent facial expressions, can eventually deepen to form wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. Give your skin the foundation of suppleness and resilience with this moisture-replenishing cream. Containing hyaluronic acid of three varying molecular sizes, it glides onto skin comfortable to restore and lock in moisture throughout skin layers. Dry patches are softened and the skin’s barrier function is strengthened for reduced moisture loss. Expect plumper and smoother skin instantly. Fresh Black Tea Firming Corset Cream, $153 for 50g
Just like its name suggests, this firming cream helps to lift and contour the face and neck for a corset-like effect. Concocted with a powerful black tea complex, goji fruit extract and firming peptide, this melting cream fights the sign of ageing by stimulating collagen production and protecting skin from free radical damage for improved definition along the jawline and facial contours. Kate Somerville Dermal Quench Liquid Lift Advanced Wrinkle Treatment, $144 for 75ml
Inspired by Kate Somerville’s salon-grade facial treatment, this unique at-home treatment features a pressurised nozzle which delivers an Advanced Hydrafill Complex to hydrate, brighten and smooth. PFC-oxygen carriers relaxes facial muscles and infuses skin with oxygen to soften the appearance of lines and impart a healthy glow. Hyaluronic acid and botanical extracts also work in synergy to increase moisture levels and douse skin in antioxidants for plumper skin. Alpha-H Liquid Gold Firming Eye Cream, $109 for 15ml
For those battling eye bags, try this multi-action eye cream. Not only does it contain a Quadruple Peptide Technology to improve skin elasticity, it also contains gentle exfoliating acids to speed up cellular turnover to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. At the same time, light-reflecting diamond particles provide an instant cosmetic effect as it brightens the eye contour area so you look energised. Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Growth Factor Extreme Neuropeptide Serum, $265 for 30ml
Packed with patented ingredients that act on all signs of ageing, this all-in-one serum combat wrinkles, rough skin texture, skin laxity and dullness to restore youth to your mien. Thanks to its patent-pending Growth Factor Extreme NeuroComplex, it provides skin with a specially calibrated formula of active ingredients that accelerates collagen synthesis, calms irritation, protects cell degradation and inhibit muscle contraction for a taut and plump complexion. And that’s not all, it also contains Optical Chronospheres to even out skin tone and blur skin imperfections. Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Night Multi-Rejuvenating Nighttime Serum-In-Cream, $120 for 60ml
Designed to combine the potency of a serum and the nourishing benefits of a cream, this product supports skin’s natural regenerating ability to restore skin to a youthful glow. To activate the product, mix the contents of the sealed pearl packet into the cream and stir until the pearls are no longer visible. Apply onto cleansed, dry face before bedtime and wake up to a smoother, plumper, brighter and more even-toned mien. MTG Plosion Set, $399
For an instantly slimmer and contoured face, try this powerful face mist which infuses skin with carbonic acid and a deeply hydrating lotion. Once penetrated into the skin, the carbonic acid improves oxygenation of skin cells and helps reduce puffiness for a lifted and more sculpted appearance. Simultaneously, skin’s moisture level is replenished, creating a perfectly smooth canvas for makeup application. You can also use this throughout the day as it penetrates makeup to give skin an added lift anytime, anywhere. This Works No Wrinkles Eye Repair, $79 for 15ml
Beyond botanical extracts that are rich in fatty acids to boost skin elasticity, this eye cream also features a time-released formula to gradually and gently deliver retinol without causing irritation to the delicate eye area. It also has a lightweight texture that absorbs quickly without leaving any greasy or sticky residue. Cle de Peau Beaute Wrinkle Correcting Concentrate, $230 for 20ml
Designed to be applied as the last step of your skincare routine (after moisturiser), this targeted treatment contains pure retinol to stimulate cellular regeneration. It is also formulated with brightening and hydrating ingredients to help improve the appearance of dull and wrinkled skin. A tiny bit goes a long way and this can be used on wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. Expect the depth and size of lines to decrease with continued use. 111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Cream, $1,200 for 50ml, at Robinsons Heeren
Before you balk at the staggering price tag, it is crucial to know that not only does this cream utilise a diamond delivery system for optimal efficacy, it also features a NASA-approved technology which supercharges skin’s healing mechanism for accelerated cellular rejuvenation. Known as the NAC Y2, it is the backbone of all 111Skin formulations as it is able to support skin’s innate self-regenerating properties even in extreme conditions like space. This particular cream also contains tried-and-tested ingredients like arbutin, hyaluronic acid and Centella Asiatica, which regulates melanin synthesis, replenishes moisture and speeds up wound healing respectively. However, the magic lies in the Black Diamond particles, which ensure that active ingredients are swiftly and directly delivered to the dermal layer of the skin for dramatic results.