Everyone’s heard of it? Botulinum toxin, known in Italy as Vistabex, Azzalure or Bocouture, has been in the spotlight for years, adored by its fans, who see it as the end to the evils of ageing, and criticised by its haters. The latter are convinced: Botox is responsible for every cosmetic excess bandied around by the media. In actual fact, the credentials of type A botulinum toxin (protein produced by the Clostridium Botulinum bacteria) are top-notch. The substance has been used for over 20 years in the medical field, especially in neurology and ophthalmology, and as a myelorelaxant, effective at fighting certain types of migraine, for example, or hyperhidrosis of the hands and feet.
Only recently has Botox been used for cosmetic purposes, to smooth out wrinkles, but it has undergone just as many trials and experiments for cosmetic use as it has for medical use. It acts on the peripheral nerve endings, preventing the release of acetylcholine and consequently interrupting the connection between nerves and voluntary muscle tissues, which lessen the contraction. Result: a smooth, unlined face for about six months.
Well now botulinum toxin has hit the headlines again. According to a recent study, carried out by two Canadian doctors and published in Jama Facial Plastic Surgery, the journal of the American Medical Association, type A botulinum toxin is also capable of rejuvenating skin. If injected directly at cutaneous level – and not into the muscles as has been standard practice up to now – it would improve the biomechanical properties of the skin, stimulating the production of the collagen fibres that support the tissues, helping them to fight the sagging that occurs naturally due to age and the force of gravity
The trial lasted four months and was carried out on a group of 43 women, of an average age of 52, who had never undergone treatment with botulinum before and had fine lines around the eye contour. The results are excellent, with an improvement of the parameters linked with the resistance and suppleness of the skin. This opens up a whole new range of possibilities for botulinum toxin, Vistabex, Azzalure or Bocouture, in addition to its widely proven anti-wrinkle properties. The two actions – skin rejuvenation and temporary elimination of wrinkles – could become the two steps of comprehensive facial restructuring.