Wrinkles! They're every mature woman's nightmare. Many women are scouring drugstore shelves and taking notes on TV beauty ads, searching for a facelift in a bottle. TV commercials are flashing models pushing formulas that promise to make your skin look youthful and tight as the skin on a drum -- but much lovelier. The American Society for Nutrition recently conducted a study aimed at discovering the connections between "nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance." The society used data from the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Researchers looked into connections between "nutrient intakes" and skin aging in 4,025 women ages 40 to 74. Dermatologists conducted clinical examinations of the women's skin. Skin-aging appearance was defined in the study as "having a wrinkled appearance, senile dryness and skin atrophy (thinning)." Skin aging was found significantly in older women. As if we didn't know it. "Women with a wrinkled appearance, dryness and thinning skin were more likely to be white, have lower family income, be post-menopausal, have higher exposure to the sun, and less likely to be physically active," the researchers stated. Cigarette smoking is a well-established independent risk factor for facial wrinkling and skin aging, the researchers noted.
Vitamin A has long been said to have anti-wrinkle properties. It is used commonly in the cosmetics industry as a topical anti-wrinkle agent. Clinical trials, however, have failed to show this beneficial effect -- at least when taken orally, the study said.
The researchers, however, found that women with a wrinkled appearance had lower vitamin A intakes -- supporting the evidence that vitamin A just may benefit skin-aging appearance.
"We also found that women with a wrinkled appearance also had lower protein intakes," they wrote. Lower protein intakes in older adults were shown to increase skin fragility.
The researchers determined that vitamin C and linoleic acid were warriors in the battle against wrinkles. Linoleic acid is found in soybean oils, green leafy vegetables and nuts. Vitamin C is in citrus fruits, some other fruit juices and tomatoes.
Current dietary recommendations promote higher consumption of fruit, vegetables and fish.
So, fighting wrinkles may be yet another motivation to eat healthy. This was said to be the first study to examine the effects of nutrients, rather than supplements, on skin-aging appearance.
Now, do over-the-counter wrinkle creams really reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles? This depends on a number of factors.
A multitude of wrinkle creams and lotions sold in drugstores and department stores promise to reduce wrinkles and prevent or reverse damage caused by the sun. But do they work? Some research suggests that wrinkle creams have ingredients that may diminish wrinkles. But many of these ingredients haven't undergone scientific research to prove their benefit, according to Mayo Clinic physicians. Creams and lotions may slightly improve the look of your skin, depending on how long you use the product and the type and amount of the active ingredient. Some common ingredients are found in these anti-wrinkle creams: Retinol: This is a vitamin A compound and the first antioxidant to be put in non-prescription wrinkle creams. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals, experts explain. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that break down skin cells and cause wrinkles. A prescription topical treatment called tretinoin is approved by the FDA for treating wrinkles. "That and Differin have been proven to be effective and are ones I prefer," said Dr. J. Ben Hengy, a Michigan plastic surgeon. The FDA also has approved a wrinkle "filler" called Radiesse. It is injected and temporarily corrects "smile" lines. Radiesse is costly; the cheapest rate we found was about $850 a year for injections. Many patients also use muscle-relaxer Botox around the eyes and forehead.
Hydroxy acids: These are synthetic versions of acids from sugar-containing fruits. These acids are exfoliates. They remove the upper layer of old dry skin and stimulate the growth of new skin. Coenzyme Qw: It's a nutrient that helps regulate energy production in cells. Copper peptides: They stimulate the production of collagen and may enhance the action of antioxidants. Kinetin: It helps the skin retain moisture and stimulates the production of collagen. Tea extracts: Green and black tea are said to contain compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea extracts are commonly found in wrinkle creams. Sad to say, but you'll have to dab on wrinkle creams once or twice a day for many weeks before noticing any improvement. And once you stop, your skin will likely return to its original wrinkled appearance, according to dermatologists. So, it may well be that what you eat, more than what you dab on your skin, has the most beneficial effect in the war against wrinkles. Also, it's reassuring to know that real beauty is on the inside, not the outside. Copyright Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society Mar/Apr 2008 Source: The Saturday Evening Post. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. Powered by Yellowbrix.