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February 9, 2011

Anti Ageing Creams for a Better Appearance

Woman applying anti ageing creamA variety of anti ageing creams now exist.  Trying to find one right for you and your skin, though, may be more a trial and error.  Many creams do seem to minimize fine wrinkles and improve some of the damaged caused to skin by the sun.  But, don’t expect miracles from anti-ageing creams.

Your lifestyle is more important to ageing gracefully and youthfully.  Anti ageing creams cannot overcome years of poor nutrition, smoking, sun damage and hormonal deficiencies.  In fact, replacing hormones to optimal levels may be the best way to achieve youthful skin.

What Anti Ageing Creams Do

First, there are anti aging creams for all occasions.  Creams for the hand, face, eye.  Even creams for use at night and during the day.

Anti ageing creams contain a variety of active ingredients, which have different properties.  Creams contain exfoliates to remove dead skin.  As we age dead skin tends to accumulate layer on layer and needs to be removed to improve appearance and enhance absorption of the other active ingredients.  Alpha-and beta-hydroxy acids are the more common exfoliates in skin creams.

Anti ageing creams contain any number of antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals.  Free radicals accelerate aging and are produced in response to environmental exposure to pollution, smoke, and other toxins.  The more common antioxidants found in creams are vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10.   Grape seed and green tea extracts are also antioxidants.  Green tea also enhances sun protection factor of sunscreens.

Primarily due to a loss of hormone protection, skin becomes dryer as we age.  Moisturizers help the skin to hold onto water making the skin more smooth and supple.  Moisturizers can be water or oil based.  Water based is better for normal skin, why an oil base is better for dry skin.

Hyaluronic acid has moisturizing properties and is found in sound skin creams, but also can be administered by injection as a dermal filler to treat wrinkles.

At the heart of skin aging is damage to collagen or support protein found in skin.  Some active ingredients in anti ageing creams stimulate collagen production.  Vitamin A and retinoid analogs stimulate collagen production, but sometimes can be irritating to the skin.  Sagging skin can be unsightly and is difficult to treat short of cosmetic procedures. Dimethylaminoethanol or DMAE is unique in that it can actually improve sagging of the skin that other active ingredients in anti-ageing creams do not address.

Improving Skin with Hormones

Hormones come in creams, too.  The main reason older individuals skins looks paper-thin is because of a loss of hormones.  Both testosterone and estrogen aid collagen production.   Women need testosterone too, though at much lower levels than men.  Progesterone improves blood circulation and without optimal circulation skin is going to age.  DHEA and testosterone are responsible for sebum or oil production of skin.  A decline in these hormones and estrogens leads to dry skin.

So if your middle-aged and do not like the appearance of your skin, it would be wise to have your hormone levels measured and replace if not optimal.  What’s optimal?  Optimal are levels in the upper third of normal.  You may need to seek help from an Anti-Aging or Age Management doctor who specialize in hormonal optimization.

Related articles include “Skin Aging“, “Anti Aging Collagen“, and “Aging Skin

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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