Wrinkle Creams

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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When shopping for wrinkle creams and other anti-aging topical treatments, one must remember that unless one is actually using a medical cream which requires a prescription, anti-aging creams and lotions are considered to be "cosmetics" by the Food and Drug Administration. Cosmetics are not as closely regulated by the FDA. This means that even the most outlandish claims can be stated, with little fear of repercussion. Cosmetic manufacturers do not need to provide solid medical proof to claim their products work. So, forewarned is forearmed. Be skeptical.

AHAs and Other Proven Effective Ingredients

That said, there are some ingredients which have been shown via independent clinical studies to have at least some effect on revitalizing the skin, and to reverse, to some degree, the appearance of aging. The most well known of these are AHAs, also known as alpha hydroxy acids. AHAs have been found to improve elasticity, skin texture and the appearance of skin wrinkling. The problem is that too low a concentration will have no effect, and too high can be potentially irritating to the skin. Search for products that contain a minimum of eight percent, but no more than 15 percent.

The most effective AHA is that known as glycolic acid, typically derived from sugar cane. For maximum efficiency, use glycolic acid products consistently, at least once a day, after a thorough cleansing of the skin for maximum absorption. Some experts feel that using a salicylic wash prior to the application of the glycolic acid product helps to boost the absorption power of the latter.

Other ingredients shown to be effective in fighting wrinkles include tretinoin and other retinoids--all of which are related to vitamin A. Retinoids increase a skin cell's responsiveness to the natural hormone that stimulates skin renewal. In numerous clinical studies, the effects of topically applied vitamin C and vitamin C derivatives appear to be effective (vitamin C wrinkle creams need to meet at least 10 percent concentrations, and be stabilized by other ingredients). Other ingredients which appear to be efficacious include furfuryladenine, a plant-derived substance often praised as being a non-irritating alternative to Retin-A; antioxidants, including vitamin E, lycopene, green tea and grape seed extracts, and coenzyme Q10; copper peptides, which are fragments of protein molecules found to be highly effective in wound healing and skin cell generation; palmitoyl pentapeptide, a patented skin rejuvenation compound chemically similar to collagen; and colostrum, a mammal milk rich in growth factors.

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