Natural Botox

168: The number of chemicals the average woman puts on her body each day, according to the Environmental Working Group.

60: The percentage of chemicals that are absorbed by the bloodstream through the skin, our largest organ.

What number are you willing to pay to stop the aging process? For one woman, it was $3,500 … and her life. Ranika Hall recently died after undergoing a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) gone wrong, making her the second female to die from the same procedure at a Miami plastic surgery clinic, according to the New York Daily News.

Even if butt envy and rear reshaping aren’t your thing, you still may be contributing to the $15 billion spent last year alone on cosmetic procedures, fillers and face-lifts in the United States. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the amount spent on fillers and Botox alone rose 11 percent last year.

“The rise can be attributed to younger generations seeking to keep their youthful looks and baby boomers attempting to stay competitive in the workplace by appearing young,” the group claims.

While there certainly isn’t anything wrong with wanting to look your best, it should never come at the high price of compromising your physical or psychological health. High school graduates are seeking breast augmentation as gifts and teenagers are fawning for fillers to keep up with the appearances of celebrities and models in glossy magazines. In extreme cases, some people experience what’s called body dysmorphic disorder and become addicted to plastic surgery in order to feel confident.

Lax Cosmetic Regulation

A whopping 44 percent of the $15 billion was spent on noninvasive procedures, including injectable fillers and chemical peels. Add to this the toxicity of the skincare and personal care products being marketed to us on a daily basis. With the lax regulations in the United States, one has to wonder why 89 percent of the 10,500 ingredients used in beauty and personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by the FDA. In sharp contrast, Europe has banned more than 1,300 chemicals from beauty and personal care products, while the U.S. has only banned nine ingredients.

Fortunately, there are better and safer ways to reverse or stop the aging process without going under the knife or subjecting your body to dangerous toxins and chemicals. Here’s a little cosmetic knowledge to add to your anti-aging arsenal.

5 Scalpel- and Needle-Free Cosmetic Alternatives

1. Plumper Lips at Your Fingertips

Photo: JuvaLips

Introducing the painless lip plumper device JuvaLips. I’ve been personally using JuvaLips to enjoy visibly fuller lips at a fraction of the cost of fillers. This all-natural and safe solution magnifies your pout without an overinflated duck lip aesthetic. Say goodbye to expensive lip injections, painful topical acids or fillers. JuvaLips is a battery-operated device you use at home to create visibly fuller lips in mere minutes. It features a push-button control that boosts blood flow into the capillaries of your lips, giving you dramatic and painless Angelina-esque results. It can also minimize fine lines around the mouth area. With a money-back guarantee, it’s a win-win.

2. Ban Blepharoplasty!

While that may sound like an Irish profanity, it’s actually eye-bag removal surgery, which can be expensive — and dangerous. If droopy eyes and dark circles have you feeling down, the highly caffeinated Bright Eyes Mask from the fine peeps at 100% Pure will brighten and de-puff your day. These vibrant citrus green gels are composed of “hydrogel” made from 95 percent organic aloe water and 5 percent plant cellulose that intensely hydrates. The ingredients list also features aloe juice, matcha green tea, green coffee and yerba mate, all organic, plus others that are so safe, you could almost eat them. This mask is super hydrating and will quench your thirsty, dehydrated skin with a blast of certified-organic moisture. Just put the mask on for 15 minutes twice a week and you’ll be seeing things from a new (vegan, nontoxic and cruelty-free) perspective.

3. Swap Chemical Peels for Safer Serums

Say goodbye to wrinkles and hello to smoother skin with One Love Organics Love Springs Eternal Youth Preservation Serum. This super-slick oil is 100 percent naturally derived and contains more than 92 percent organic ingredients. While chemical peels send your face on a bad, sunburned vacation, this lightweight oil is restorative and healing. It boasts clinically proven ingredients from the sea, like algae and blue sea kale, a marine plant. This protein-packed combo firms up sagging skin while hydrating it. Other ingredients (that you can pronounce) include: green tea, watermelon and jasmine oils; Barbary Fig Plant Stem Cells; and D’Orientine S, which together help the aging-backward process by reducing those nasty fine lines and wrinkles. I use this vegan, nontoxic and cruelty-free serum at night to enjoy silky smooth skin in the morning.

Photo: Love Goodly

You can get this and the Bright Eyes Mask mentioned above together in the eco-luxury April/May subscription box from Love Goodly, delivered straight to your door. It’s valued at more than $125 with a retail cost of only $29.95. Plus, each purchase also benefits Farm Sanctuary, a leading farm animal protection organization.

4. Blackball Botox

Seven million Botox procedures were recorded in 2016 alone, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) annual survey. Instead of painful needles and neurotoxic injections around your eyes, try Frownies Eye Gels. These affordable strips target those unwanted expression lines formed from years of laughing, smiling and squinting. Made with natural ingredients, including something called cactus collagen (who knew?), Frownies Eye Gels also minimize dark spots, fine lines and discoloration. Freshen up your face in just 15 to 30 minutes by placing the adhesive strips over your undesired eye wrinkles. The eye gels are super cost-effective, too, since every patch is reusable. When finished, just place them back onto the included tray to moisturize. Then, refrigerate until the next usage. Let’s leave crow’s-feet for the birds, shall we?

5. See the Vegan Light

Photo: MoisturEyes

While a fluffy white robe, soft music and soothing candles is always a welcome thought, the high price of spa treatments isn’t. Many spas use the therapeutic benefits of cucumbers to reduce dark circles and under-eye puffiness. But, with the new MoisturEyes cucumber eye treatment, you can harness the power of this green gourd from the comfort of your own home, and for a fraction of the cost. Founder Blythe Metz is a raw vegan chef, so it’s no wonder she created these completely adjustable wire-rimmed glasses to reap the healing benefits of applying cucumbers under the eyes. As a busy mom herself, Blythe wanted a solution for multitasking that could be worn while standing, sitting or lying down. Take pampering and self-care to a whole new level on your schedule — just make sure to swing by the farmers market first. Seeing (green) really is believing.

I hope you enjoy these five healthy and safe alternatives to the risky business of cosmetic surgery and toxic fillers. Don’t forget the men in your life (read: 9 Reasons Why We Love Natural Men’s Skincare). Do you have a favorite product or tip? Let us know in the comments below and remember, as Marilyn Monroe said, “A smile is the best makeup any girl can wear.”

By Lisa Beres

Lisa Beres is a healthy home authority, Baubiologist, published author, professional speaker and Telly award-winning media personality who teaches busy people how to eliminate toxins from their home with simple, step-by-step solutions to improve their health. With her husband, Ron, she is the co-founder of The Healthy Home Dream Team and the 30-day online program Change Your Home. Change Your Health. She is the author of the children’s book My Body My House and co-author of Just Green It!: Simple Swaps to Save Your Health and the Planet, Learn to Create a Healthy Home! Green Nest Creating Healthy Homes and The 9 to 5 Greened: 10 Steps to a Healthy Office. Lisa’s TV appearances include "The Rachael Ray Show," "Nightly News with Brian Williams," "TODAY," "The Doctors," "Fox & Friends," "Chelsea Lately" and "The Suzanne Somers Show."