You’ve more than likely seen some of those so called “best face care products” brandishing claims across newspapers, magazines T.V and even online: ominous photos of hypodermic needles posed along side innocuous, even innocent looking containers of cream.
Their advertising message is simple: Topical cosmetic lotion promises the same wrinkle-relaxing, age-defying results as some expensive wrinkle-filling injections like Restalyne, Juva Derm or even Botox.
But can they seriously deliver? If you’re skeptical about what you read or watch, you’re not alone. Not surprisingly, some doctors also question these claims and their promises.
The bottom line is that if these face care products could accomplish the same thing as a medical procedure, they would be medicinal drugs and not cosmetics – and this is what you have to keep in mind when deciding whether to try or buy.
Some of the best face care anti-aging technologies focus on compounds called pentapeptides – these are small groups of long-chain amino acids that function as chemical messengers throughout your body. Among the most popular of these face care creams containing these ingredients include Amino Genesis, Regenerist and DERMacai.
And though dermatologists suggest there are no published medical studies showing they deliver, skin care experts involved in product testing say there is ample science behind the pentapeptide treatment technology.
“It had a very strong pedigree going into the study – we weren’t just looking for the next hope in the jar, we were really looking at medical scientific data before we started down the path with these skin care products,” says Lauren Thaman Hodges, director of Beauty Science for Olay anti-aging skin care products.
Research on pentapeptides was originally carried out in relation to wound healing. As part of your body’s natural response to the help skin heal, published medical studies demonstrated that peptides are instrumental in increasing your cells in the skin to help produce more collagen.
Collagen Is Key
However collagen isn’t just for healing minor wounds. It also plays an essential role in how your skin ages. Collagen is the support structure that gives our skin a young firm appearance. When levels remain bountiful, our skin looks young and rejuvenated. When levels decrease, we lose that support and wrinkles and sagging begin to form.
While sagging-filling injections can temporarily fill in the gaps, some dermatologists believe that topically applying these peptides to the skin might well help it make more collagen by itself. This would have a “filling” effect similar to the wrinkle injections-but without the dreaded needle!
However, by then adding synthetic peptides with a fatty acid – essential at getting into the deeper layers of your skin – Olay developed the compound palmitoyl pentapeptide-3. DERMacai uses a similar complex known as palmitoyl Oligopeptide. Both companies claim this increases collagen production and firmer, more rejuvenated youthful looking skin within 2 to 8 weeks.
Director of Olay, Lauren Hodges states: “We don’t suggest it’s more effective than a medical procedure – we just claim that many women aren’t ready (for a needle) so until they are, or if they never are truly ready, we are giving them an alternative with a skin care anti-aging technology you can use at home”.
As Olay spokesman Dave Owen suggested also, when their ads include the question, “Is this better than Botox?” what they are really asking is: “Is this better than Botox for you?”
“We’re just stating that if you’re not completely ready for an injection, then the ingredients in these products can really make a difference in how your skin looks – and it’s obviously the end results that count”.
They argue though that these skin care products contain much more than just pentapeptides. They include herbs, minerals and vitamins with anti-aging potential. This is at least true in the case of DERMacai, which was originally developed not for anti-aging purposes, but for treatment of stretch marks – since stretch marks are the result of split and broken collagen fibers – their dermatologist researchers theorized that a peptide involved in collagen production and healing wounds might also help repair stretch-marked skin.
However it wasn’t long before women soon discovered on their own that this compound could actually help build collagen reserves anywhere they’re needed – including those tiny lines around your eyes, mouth and forehead.
And the rest is face care anti-aging history.