It's a billion-dollar industry aimed and anyone trying to stop the aging process dead in its tracks. Advertising lures you into the false belief that their products do and can stop Father Time on the face and body. It's no different than what was going on in the late 1800's when strange concoctions were mixed to solve medical ailments and sold to the public.
What Experts Reveal
Stanford University skin specialists recently did a review of the skin creams and eye creams and determined what many already know, yet, they still buy the products in their hope to defy the ageing process.
In order for any such cream to even have some impact (and temporary, at best) they must have key ingredients, these are: Vitamin C and OTC Retinol or the much stronger prescription, Retinoid.
Retinols and prescription retinoids are closely related chemical compounds derived from vitamin A. Retinoids are typically prescription strength, while retinols are generally found in over-the-counter products. Another key ingredient is hyaluronic acid. This is a substance the body produces naturally that helps keep the skin hydrated.
The OTC retinols should be at least around 1% strength or more. It is hard to tell many times because the potency is seldom disclosed. Vitamin C helps with collagen production and is a potent antioxidant that can diminish wrinkles. But, retinol or retinoids are preferred because studies show either works in reducing the wrinkles and lines across the face to some degree on a temporary basis, that is the the key operative word, using creams never permanently remove existing wrinkles and lines (unless you believe they do, LOL).
There are facial creams and eye creams. According to the results, there is little difference except eye creams are much more costly and often have the same ingredients as the facial creams. Now, some eye creams are made differently on the molecular level to allow deeper penetration into the skin but again, the effect is temporary, and any real permanent change takes months to see, not days or weeks. The best protection for the skin when outside is suntan products with at least 50 SPF rating or more.
Fighting the aging skin dilemma is actually more effective from within the body via collagen. There are many products out there with collagen that you mix with water or pre-mixed. Collagen is vital for the skin under layers that are similar to that of a building foundation in a house. The deeper layers of the skin need collagen to sustain the firm appearance of the skin and when age reduces collagen production the skin foundation begins to collapse producing sagging and wrinkles. Collagen molecules are too big to be absorbed through the skin, so creams with this are just bogus snake oil.
When buying a collagen mix product look for the following in a 24 gram serving:
- 18 grams of protein
- 90 mg vitamin C
- 20 grams of collagen
- 160 mg Hyaluronic Acid (a moisture holder for skin)
The above is suggested in their amounts, but all should be listed on the container, if they are not all there, do not buy. Nearly all OTC collagen is bovine sourced. Collagen powder mixes are NOT the same as sport or protein drink mixes. The only thing they have in common is protein. None of them have the other listed ingredients that help the skin structure. Many mixes also have Peptides. This is important also in that they reduce the size of the molecules of collagen that allow it deeper into the skin foundation.
The most common prescription is Retin-A (tretinoin) and more reliable since you know the potency stated is verified (versus retinol OTC which cannot be). Studies have shown that when taken in the 40-50s, it does work against wrinkles, however, if you begin taking it much later, it may not work since the body is producing much less collagen and existing wrinkles will not vanish. Using retinol or retinoids is to prevent wrinkles as you age. Once they are there, creams may temporarily reduce them, but only surgery will vanish them.
Lastly, a person's own family genetics play a huge role in how the skin ages, as does diet and how much exposure to the sun you have had without protection.
Look for a few key ingredients in skin care products if you want to deal with wrinkles — but no product will keep your face crease-free.