Individuals concerned with the signs of aging are increasingly turning to over-the-counter products as cheaper, safer and more convenient alternatives to invasive surgical procedures. While no topical cream is truly a “facelift in a bottle,” there is clinical evidence that two high-profile cosmeceuticals–Argireline and Sesaflash–may have an instant lifting effect on the skin. Hailed as effective alternatives to Botox, both ingredients often appear alongside complementary ingredients that offer a more lasting effect on skin texture and appearance when used regularly.


Argireline Products

An independent trial found that a solution containing 10 percent acetyl hexapeptide-8 (manufactured under the trade name Argireline and formerly known as acetyl hexapeptide-3) reduced wrinkle depth by 30 percent over 30 days of use, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. A synthetic peptide derived from natural proteins, Argireline is believed to work by blocking nerve signals to facial muscles, creating a temporary “freezing” effect. Since topicals containing Argireline target the whole face rather than specific muscles, SmartSkinCare.com recommends that anyone prone to facial sagging should approach Argireline with caution and monitor her facial firmness while using it. Popular products containing the active ingredient Argireline include Athena 7 Minute Lift and Dr. Nick Lowe The Secret Is Out Instant Face Lift.

Sesaflash Products

Sesaflash is a non-sensitizing cosmeceutical derived from sesame that has been shown to have a tightening affect when applied to skin in concentrations of 10 percent. In clinical tests on 20 women, deep wrinkles were reduced by 13 percent after 30 minutes, according to manufacturer SEPPIC. Although these results are promising, further independent testing is needed. Popular products containing Sesaflash include Dermajuv Instant Effect Lifting Serum and Stridermatox 10 Minute Age Defying Lifting Serum.

Other Products

Many products containing other active ingredients promise to have an instant lifting or tightening effect on skin, but clinical trials are needed to test their efficacy. Currently, only a very few ingredients–including retinoids and alpha-hydroxy acids–have been clinically proven to improve the appearance of wrinkles, and only with daily long-term use. The Mayo Clinic recommends that consumers consider the following when choosing any anti-aging skin care product: the concentration of active ingredients, the latest research, possible side effects and whether long-term daily use is needed before there are visible improvements.