Min's Beauty Equipment: August 2013

Friday 16 August 2013

Anti-aging Anti-wrinkle Creams - Do They Work?

Anti-aging Cream: Does It Work?

Have you ever wondered why after using a very good and probably very expensive anti-wrinkle face cream which claims to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, you do not stop ageing? New lines keep slowly appearing on your face even though in the short run your face skin seems to smoothen.

Skin's outermost layer is called stratum corneum which is mainly composed of dead cells. They shed over the course of around 14 days. Most over the counter anti-aging anti-wrinkle creams act on the stratum corneum layer of the skin.

A face cream decreases stinging and burning, and improves the look and feel of the skin.

Anti aging quality comes from the sun protective factor of the cream, otherwise, the cream needs to be obtained through a dermatologist who will be able to give a prescription for a product that has anti-aging qualities. Over the counter anti-wrinkle creams mostly work on the appearance of the skin.

Very often a face cream, anti-aging or not, is just a well constructed moisturiser. Moisturisers can smooth down shedding cells and fill in the gaps between the remaining dead cells to create the impression of smoothness. This effect is temporary until the moisturiser is removed from the skin by wiping or cleansing.

Moisturisers may additionally make the skin feel smoother by filling holes in stratum corneum through swelling. This is why within a matter of hours a good anti-aging or other cream appears to do wonders; but your skin still keeps ageing and any reduction of fine lines is temporary.

Should I buy moisturisers?

From a functional perspective, moisturisers can aid skin healing by decreasing water loss. If you have cracked skin, they will help. Once the skin has healed, there is no need to use them. Creams strip the outer layer of your body of its ability to moisturise itself, thus, you fall into the trap of using skin care products all the time.

Having said that, moisturisers do help with skin appearance by plumping it up. If you are happy to pay money for a cosmetic effect then there is no reason why you shouldn't.

Buy sun cream for best anti-ageing anti-wrinkle effect

Exposure to the Sun weakens the skin barrier. Many creams that claim to be anti-ageing provide photo-protection. Sun definitely ages skin, so any cream containing a sunscreen component may be claimed to be anti-ageing. If you are short of money, invest into a sun cream for the same effect.

If you want to know more about sun damage, you can read about it in the article called 'Sun Damage and the Meaning of SPF'. Just one important point here: sun causes deep wrinkles. If a person avoids sun for most of her life, she will only get fine lines. Look at the picture in the article 'Reversing the Signs of Ageing' and notice that the owner of the face at the bottom left is almost ten years older than the owner of the face at the bottom right. The reason for this is that the lady in the bottom left part of the picture was avoiding sun for most of her life. Amazing results?!

If anti-ageing moisturisers do not work, are there any alternatives?

If you are serious about reducing fine lines and wrinkles, you should go to a dermatologist and get a prescription cosmeceutical. Only prescription cosmeceuticals or drugs will be strong enough to make a noticeable permanent difference. They are known to affect the deeper layers of the skin where collagen and elastin resides, thus, causing skin regeneration. Products that contain active ingredient in the quantities known to make a difference have to be registered as drugs. Drugs have more stringent clinical requirements, and are very expensive to place on the market. As such, manufacturers usually make products that affect the appearance of the skin but not the deeper layers. Cosmeceuticals are allowed to have active ingredients, but it is not known whether the creams containing them are effective or not, so as long as the manufacturer claims that the cream has effect on the appearance only, the regulators will leave them alone. You can keep trying different products and hope that they will make a difference, but the truth is that it's likely you will age the same as the girl next door who does nothing for her skin.

If you want to read about the most important active ingredient that one should ask for at a dermatologist's office, find the section called 'Active ingredients' under the article called 'Reversing the Signs of Ageing'. Alternatively, you can read the article called 'Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 Review', which talks about the best approach in fighting ageing.

My personal story

When I was a teenager I started using moisturisers. I saved my pocket money and bought face creams for it. What a silly idea! My friend who was my age did nothing for her skin for years; she spent her money on better things. I kept piling all sorts of stuff on my face hoping that it would somehow make a difference when I get older. I do not know if it did make a difference, but I know for sure that my buddy who hardly uses any cream up until this day has skin that is at least as nice as mine, possibly better. So, why do I not look better?

Alternative anti-ageing treatments

Derma rolling, LED light therapy, ultrasound therapy, laser and mesotherapy are all alternatives to face creams. They have been scientifically proven by reliable unbiased sources to be effective in fighting ageing.