Study the anti-aging skin creams at any local store and you might end up with a few new frown lines from trying to sort them all out.What the heck are aminopeptides, marine collagen, dermo- peptides, Pro-Retinyl A, Pro-Lastyl, Vyo-Serum and Bio-Vityl?Can one product really increase cell turnover, reduce wrinkles, firm skin and provide 24-hour "moisturization?" Can it boost skin strength and resiliency, brighten and smooth, anti-sag and ultra-hydrate?The answer, according to a couple of local dermatologists: Maybe."You can spend a lot of money on these skin care products, but if you're not using sunscreen every day, you're only doing half of what you should," says Barbara Einhorn, dermatologist with Western Dermatology Consultants in Albuquerque, N.M."Definitely there is no cream that works as well as a filler," such as Botox injections, adds dermatologist Janice Moranz.But for baby boomers seeking needle-free and less costly ways to reverse some signs of aging, there is hope.Lookin' GoodJust ask Ann Stokes, co-owner with her husband of Ethan Allen furniture store."I think my skin looks good for 60 -- almost 61," she says. "I could do Botox or fat injections, but I've earned these things (wrinkles); I'm just gonna let 'em show."
Her truce with wrinkles comes from what she hasn't done -- "I've stayed out of the sun since I was 30, and I don't smoke," Stokes explains. And then there's what she has done, including using a wrinkle cream she discovered through Moranz.
"I've tried all sorts of wrinkle stuff, and I haven't had good results with anything," says Stokes. "But I've been using Sens for almost two years, and my skin's never looked this good."
According to Moranz, the best way to battle aging is with a face-lift, followed by laser treatments, Botox and other injectable fillers, and then, finally, skin creams.
"You are going to get some improvement, but it would be a lot more subtle," she says. "You have to be patient because it's not where you wake up and your skin is tight."
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, consumers should look for products with ingredients such as the antioxidants vitamins C and E. An alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) product can also help remove the dead outer layers of skin, leaving the face with a fresh, younger appearance.
AHAs are particularly beneficial for wrinkles around the mouth and eyes, two areas where women usually want to see the most improvement, according to the academy.
Einhorn says idebenone, in Prevage MD, for instance, is "a very powerful antioxidant, and people will see improvement using a product like that." Prevage MD is available through physicians' offices.Moranz says many companies tout topical collagen creams, which she calls "total baloney.""The collagen molecule is too big to get into the skin as a cream; it must penetrate into the skin through cells." The only way to accomplish that, she says, is through collagen injections. She suggests baby boomers concentrate onproducts that have been developed scientifically and studied over asix- or eight-week period for wrinkle improvement, elasticity andsmoothness."If they've done the studies, they'll be wanting you to see it," she adds.For example, the Sens product line that Stokes likes is made byUSANA, a company that claims its pharmaceutical-grade formulas aretested by dermatologists, allergists and ophthalmologists to ensurequality and safety, then tested again by an independent, third-partylaboratory."They actually consider it to be nutrition for our skin, sinceit's our largest organ," Moranz says. "Everything they do is at thecellular level."Moranz offers patients a 10-day supply of Sens samples for $12,so they can see whether it works for them and whether they like thefeel of it.
All skin care products work differently on different people,Moranz adds. "It's a hit-or-miss kind of thing. Some work better forsome than others."Fine WrinklesEinhorn says one of the original anti-wrinklecreams, Retin A, is still one of the best. "It's been found to helprebuild collagen, and it can help with fine wrinkles andhyperpigmentation," she says.Over-the-counter forms of Retin A, such as Retinol, arebasically a milder version of the product. "They're gentler and do seemto help with some mild fine wrinkling and some discoloration from sunand age," Einhorn says.Two questions for baby boomers to ask about products they'reconsidering using are, 1) What's in it? and 2) What's the potential forirritation?People with sensitive skin sometimes find the anti-agingproducts too irritating, Einhorn says. "The biggest issue here is lackof humidity -- everyone suffers from dry skin here, so a lot of peoplehave problems with dryness and sensitive skin."Kinerase is one product that's a bit gentler and is available without a prescription, she says.But more important than trying to erase damage, Einhorn says, is to prevent further damage."If someone's only going to do one thing for their skin, putsunscreen on," she says. "I tell patients to use at least a 30 SPF,especially here in Albuquerque, the UV exposure is tremendous. About 80percent of our lifetime exposure is everyday exposure."
Einhorn stresses that those wanting to minimize wrinkling needto put sunscreen on their ears, neck, face and tops of hands, even inwinter. Women need to remember to protect their neck and V area oftheir chest.Then, as long as people have realistic expectations about thekind of improvements they can achieve, prescription andover-the-counter treatments can be valuable tools in treating agingskin, Einhorn says.As Stokes says, "I think I'm doing the most I can for my skin. I'm trying to take care of myself.""There really isn't a miraculous cure," Einhorn adds, "butthere's so much out there that can really help, and it's OK to want tolook good and feel good about yourself."Source: Albuquerque Journal. Powered by Yellowbrix.