Recently a TikTok video by Victoria Benitez went viral for claiming a flaxseed face mask was better (not to mention cheaper) than Botox. The video was viewed more than 6 million times with the TikToker claiming, “It’s Botox you make at home, honey. And the best part is it’s two ingredients: flaxseeds and water,” the founder of the wellness community BeSpoken Society claimed. With the hashtag #flaxseedfacemask trending on social media, there’s great debate over the effectiveness of this grocery-store-bought beauty trick. Dr. Konstantin was asked by the NY Post to weigh in on the subject.
“Flaxseed face masks are good for your skin because they are very rich in fiber. Flaxseed fiber can help maintain skin health by improving skin hydration.” He also explained flaxseeds are very high in natural fiber that will work to hydrate and soothe the skin, while the antioxidants could work to prevent aging. “This is being compared to Botox because of the temporary skin tightening effect. The mucilage in flaxseeds has a gel-like consistency that, when applied to the skin, can create a temporary tightening effect. This can contribute to the appearance of smoother and firmer skin.”
Flaxseed has many health benefits. Packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, the seed has been linked to everything from helping to reduce the risk of some cancers, maintaining healthy weights, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure; and helps with inflammation. Its benefits were so widely touted in the 8th Century that King Charlemagne actually passed laws requiring his subjects to consume the seed.
Kings and laws aside, the power-packed seed is also claimed to have great beauty benefits as well. The omega-3 fatty acids will naturally help with skin glow while the antioxidants and lignans will promote cell turnover in the skin for an added boost of collagen production. It also helps to firm up the skin by evening out skin texture, making it smooth, glowy and youthful. There are in fact a few beauty products out today that contain flaxseed.
While there’s no doubt there are benefits to making flaxseed a part of your diet for health and wellness, how does the face mask stack up to Botox? Flaxseed is great for hydration and anti-inflammation properties, but the benefits of the mask can only go so far. It’s a temporary solution for a long-term issue. Well-hydrated skin will have fewer wrinkles than dry, scaly skin. However, no matter how much the skin is hydrated, there’s also a point when the aging process will overcome the benefits of a good skin regimen.
For long-term solutions, Botox is still your best bet when it comes to the appearance of wrinkles. This doesn’t mean there’s any harm in doing an at-home face mask like the flaxseed one that went viral. Preserving your skin’s moisture and keeping it as healthy as possible everyday is always a good idea. For any doctor who might perform Botox on a patient, masks like this only help them do a better job. After all, it’s about practicing good skin care today for better skin tomorrow.
Dr. Konstantin doesn’t want to disappoint anyone who is on board with this trend, but he does doubt the long-term effects. While it’s great to remember to practice good skincare everyday and viral trends like this are great reminders, he’s also quick to remind us that a trend is just a trend. And good skin should last longer than the amount of time a video has gone viral.