Aging Skin

You've seen the anti-aging skin care claims everywhere: photos of hypodermic needles posed along side jars of cream. The message is that cosmetic creams promise the same wrinkle-relaxing, age-defying results as costly wrinkle-filling injections like Restalyne, Juvaderm, or even Botox.

But can they?

"The bottom line is that if these creams could accomplish the same thing as a medical procedure, they would be drugs and not cosmetics -- and that's what you have to keep in mind when deciding whether to try or buy," says Marsha Gordon, MD, vice chairman of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

Some of the antiaging treatment technology focuses on compounds called pentapeptides -- small groups of long-chain amino acids that function as chemical messengers throughout the body. Among the most popular creams containing these ingredients include the Regenerist line by Olay, Strivectin-SD by Klein Becker, Wrinkle Relax by DDF, and the Principal Secret Reclaim line.















And though doctors say there are no published medical studies showing they work, experts involved in product testing say there is ample science behind the pentapeptide technology. "It had a very strong pedigree going into the process -- we weren't just looking for the next hope in the jar, we were really looking at medical science before we started down the path with these products," says Lauren Thaman Hodges, director of Beauty Science for Olay skin care products.

Initially, the research on pentapeptides was done in relation to wound healing. As part of the body's natural response to help skin heal, published studies showed peptides are instrumental in increasing cells in the skin to produce more collagen.

SO, DO THESE SKIN CREAMS WORK?

Collagen Is Key; it isn't just for healing wounds. It also plays an important role in how skin ages.

Gordon explains that collagen is the support structure that gives our skin a firm, young appearance. When levels remain plentiful, our skin looks young and fresh. When levels decline, we lose that support and wrinkles begin to form.

While wrinkle-filling injections can temporarily fill in the gaps, some researchers believe that topically applying these peptides (short chains of amino acids linked bu peptide bonds) to the skin might help it make more collagen on its own. This would have a "filling" effect similar to the wrinkle injections – but without the needle!

Others believe that the real secret to cell revival and rejuvenation are Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid.

These are both natural ingredients that work together to erase wrinkles and fine lines at the cellular level - below the surface of the skin - which is why they're so effective.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that slows the rate of free-radical damage, which causes skin's dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles. It helps combat and even reverse time's effect on your skin, because it produces collagen - a protein which makes skin appear plump and firm. Applying Vitamin C to the skin topically is up to 20 times more effective than taking it orally.

Dr. Oz calls Vitamin C "the secret to cheat your age".

Hyaluronic Acid works by binding to moisture. It can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it an excellent natural skin plumper. Hyaluronic acid helps your skin repair and regenerate itself after suffering from dryness, environmental stresses, or irritation.

Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid are all-natural, perfectly safe for all skin types and have no nasty side effects.

What Vitamin C & Hyaluronic Acid do is get rid of all the old, dead layers of skin and help your skin generate fresh new ones. The key is to choose the products that contain the highest and purest quality ingredients, since they're not all the same.















Retinol is a vitamin A compound, the first antioxidant to be widely used in nonprescription wrinkle creams. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals — unstable oxygen molecules that break down skin cells and cause wrinkles.

An anti-wrinkle cream may lessen the appearance of your wrinkles, depending on how often you use it, the type and amount of active ingredient in the wrinkle cream, and the extent of the wrinkles you want to treat.

But if you want to take the guesswork out of your skin care regimen, try these more reliable ways to improve and maintain your skin's youthful appearance.

How to Reduce Wrinkles: What You Can Do

  • Avoid the sun.

  • Wear sunscreen.

  • Don’t smoke.

  • Sleep on your back.

  • Don’t squint — get reading glasses!

  • Eat more fish — particularly salmon.

  • Eat more soy.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies creams and lotions as cosmetics, which are defined as having no medical value. So the FDA regulates them less strictly than it does drugs.

Because the FDA doesn't evaluate cosmetic products for effectiveness, there's no guarantee that any over-the-counter product will reduce your wrinkles.

Consider these points when purchasing a wrinkle cream:

  • Cost. A wrinkle cream that's more costly may not be more effective than a less costly product.

  • Lower doses. Non-prescription wrinkle creams contain lower concentrations of active ingredients than do prescription creams. So results, if any, are limited and usually short-lived.

  • Multiplicity of ingredients. There is no data to suggest that adding two or three of the ingredients above together will be more effective than just one of them.

  • Daily use. You'll likely need to use the wrinkle cream once or twice a day for many weeks before noticing any improvements. Plus once you discontinue using the product, your skin is likely to return to its original appearance.

  • Side effects. Some products may cause skin irritation, rashes, burning or redness. Be sure to read and follow the product instructions to limit possible side effects.

  • Individual differences. Just because your friend swears by a product doesn't mean it will work for you. People have different skin types. No one product works the same for everyone.















Good skin care is important at any age and it is never to late to reclaim bright, firm, supple skin.

Practice good skin care now. The earlier to start, the better your skin will look as you age.

Shopping for anti-aging products can be very tricky. Because I have extremely dry skin, I have to consider this when shopping for skin care products. After much experimentation, I am, currently, using a skin care line from Soap & Glory (available at the Shopper's Drug-store site) plus coconut oil at night and am finding it very effective. Because everyone’s skin type is unique, you must take this into account.


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