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Do Anti-aging Products Really Work? The Science Behind Them

By HERWriter
 
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The Science Behind Anti-aging Products: Do They Really Work? nenetus/fotolia, Edited by Erin Kennedy

If an anti-aging product claims to reverse the signs of aging, can it be true? The answer is, no product can turn back the hands of time, but there are products that can help improve the appearance of our skin and help block the effects of exposure to the environment.

New York-based dermatologist Dr. Fayne Frey told Today.com that anti-aging products are deceptive.

“If you are looking for ‘the fountain of youth’ in a bottle, you will not find it in over-the-counter skin care products,” said Frey.

On her website, she attempts to help consumers make sense of what products can and cannot do, and to provide help in knowing what to purchase.

Over-the-counter products may only contain low concentrations of active ingredients. They do not have to provide proof that they actually work, as they are not regulated by the FDA the way prescription creams are.

Prescription creams are considered drugs so they must show both safety and efficacy, which is determined through studies and clinical trials.

Moisturizers are the mainstay of over-the-counter anti-aging products.

A variety of ingredients may be added with claims that they reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However, they can only temporarily do so through hydrating the top layer of skin.

This hydration is accomplished by using products that provide a barrier to trap water in the outer layer of the skin.

- Occlusives block water evaporation from the skin, using an oily coating. Examples are petrolatum, mineral oil and vegetable oil. They tend to be sticky, so alone they are not the most desirable skin products.

- Humectants act to draw water from the skin and air, to create a smooth appearance. Ingredients such as glycerin, urea, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, propylene glycol, sorbitol and vitamins provide for this.

- Emollients make skin appear smooth and soft by using ingredients such as lanolin and sunflower seed oil.

Read more in Your Ultimate Guide to Beautiful Skin

1) Does your wrinkle cream really work? FDA warns about false claims. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
http://www.today.com/health/does-your-wrinkle-cream-really-work-fda-warns-about-bogus-t10391

2) Fry Face.com. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
http://www.fryface.com

3) The Truth About Anti-Aging Products. Retrieved September 20, 2016.  
http://www.livescience.com/36720-anti-aging-products-lotions-supplements.html

4) Best Anti-Aging Ingredients - Anti-Aging Beauty Ingredient. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
http://www.webmd.com/beauty/best-anti-aging-tips

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.