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People are using flaxseed as a ‘natural botox’, but does it actually work?

Predictably, party season plays to trends such as red velvet makeup and glitter eyeliner. But it's also the time of year when natural Botox alternatives go viral. ‘Flaxseed Botox’ is this year's iteration with the search term amassing 30.1 million views on TikTok.

Many of these videos start by detailing all you need to create DIY Botox (water and flaxseeds, for the uninitiated). What then follows is a before and after picture of barely-there wrinkles transforming into super-snatched skin.

Influencer Drea Hespen went viral for her video where she swears by flaxseed Botox, calling it “goopy like the texture of egg whites” but once dry you can "immediately start being able to tell that it works" and that “you almost can't move your facial muscles.”

@dreabuer #Diy #botox #flaxseed #results ♬ Little Life - Cordelia

Another, Jenna, shared how she makes the viral mask by adding two tablespoons of flaxseeds to two cups of water, which she puts in a pan. After bringing the mixture to the boil on the hob, she lets it simmer for 10 minutes before straining it through a cheesecloth to remove the seeds from the thick, clear gel.

@itsjennnnnaa FLAX SEEDS BOTOX! Im obsessed!! 😍😍I will litterally try anything before ever touching my face. Im going to continue for 1 week too see how it goes! #flaxseedsbotox #flaxseedsbenefits #flaxseedsgel #flaxseedsmask ♬ original sound - jenna

In a video with 1.9 million likes, Jenna says: “My forehead was not budging, it was stiff.” So is Botox in a bowl a legitimate, natural alternative to pricey injectables?

It's not the first time that influencers have been seen slathering their faces in raw food. The ‘egg white facial’ trend took over TikTok earlier this year, claiming to help remove blackheads from pores. While flaxseeds, the ingredient du jour, are commonly used to improve digestive health in the wellness space, aesthetic doctors have been quick to debunk the idea that they can get rid of lines the way that Botox can.

For starters, Botox is a neurotoxin that is injected into wrinkles and backed by robust clinical research, says Dr Sophie Shotter, medical director and founder of Illuminate Skin Clinic. “The effect of the flaxseed mask tightening on the face could give a very temporary tightness, but this is not akin in any way shape or form to Botox," she notes. "Botox is a purified toxin produced by a specific type of bacteria. It stops nerves from communicating with muscles, which, in turn, creates a relaxation of the muscle that lasts several months. Flaxseeds do not contain this crucial toxin.”

That's not to say, however, that flaxseeds don't benefit the skin – just not in the way the homemade mask is being used on TikTok. “Omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds can be useful as they give a hydrating effect to the skin,” Dr Shotter adds. “But there is no way that they will have any positive skin benefits applied as whole seeds to the outside of the skin surface. Flax seeds can be milled and eaten as a good dose of plant-based omega-3, but there is no evidence that this would be absorbed topically.”

The original article can be found on GLAMOUR UK.

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