The World of Cosmeceuticals

We spend billions of dollars on skincare products every year in the US. There are so many products to choose from even I, the skincare expert, have trouble keeping up with them all.    Over the counter cosmeceuticals don’t have to be approved by the FDA which usually means their benefits and risks are not necessarily adequately tested. For example, the hottest fad right now is this Instantly Ageless cream I’ve been asked about. I have already had multiple friends on social media selling it and putting up “before and after” pictures of it. I’ve had more than one friend text me just this week asking me if they should try it. This prompted me to do a little research on the product. The active ingredient is argireline which is a peptide which claims to have effects similiar to that of Botox/neuromodulators. In 2012, Dr. Oz (the cardiovascular surgeon gone TV show host)said it’s an alternative to Botox. First of all lets just assume it does the same thing as Botox, works just as good at reducing wrinkles but is a cream. That sounds good to me. The before and after pictures and the videos look like amazing results, so far so good.  One application claims to last 6-8 hours and one vial claims to last 2-3 days. One vial cost $7.95. Botox lasts 3-4 months depending on the individual. So if you get 20 units of Botox at $12/unit (average cost when done by a professional expert) and it only  lasts the 3 months that’s $2.67 a day if you get the 4 months that’s $2 per day, both being cheaper than this cream you have to rub on every 6-8 hours. So without seeing any research at all I was thinking to myself pick your poison, getting some tiny shots once every 3-4 months or spending more money and having to apply a cream every 6-8 hours. Then I started searching for an objective double-blind, vehicle controlled study on argireline. I found a double-blind placebo controlled study done in China that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology which showed 10% argireline (I can’t find the percentage in Instantly ageless) was  about 50% effective in reducing wrinkles (that is VERY simplified). There were some flaws in the study such as a small sample size of only 30 patients receiving the treatment. Basically, verdict is still out, not enough research to really sway me one way or the other. Is this just another fad being sold in a pyramid fashion by people trying to make a buck or is this really the next best thing? I don’t know but I do know that I am going to stick to Botox right now due to personal preference. I do have multiple friends trying the product so when I get their report back I will let you know the review.  Picking what cosmeceuticals to use on your skin is complicated but here are some tips I think you should live by.

1.If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Natural isn’t always better nor safer. Some natural ingredients need to be chemically altered to be able to penetrate the skin and for effects to last longer.

3. Stick to dermatologist recommendations- The most studied and researched anti-aging ingredients are the retinoids/retinols and sunscreen. That’s your little black dress of skin care. Sunscreen in the AM and retinol/retinoid at night.

4. Stick with manufacturers you know- Big names usually have big money which equals big research. Example:Cetaphil, Cerave.

5. Expensive and more steps isn’t always better. It’s probably better for your skin to simplify your regimen.

6. Don’t let a dermatologist do your open heart surgery and don’t let a cardiovascular surgeon give you skin anti-aging advice. Okay so you don’t have to “live by” this one, just saying.

Good Luck in the world of cosmeceuticals and if you trust me with your skin then you should definitely schedule a free skin care consult with one of our cosmetic concierges this week. They are personally trained by Dr. Sandy, Honey and myself and they are pretty amazing at helping you fish through the world of cosmeceuticals. Just call the clinic and set up an appointment.

Hope you all have an amazing week and don’t get pinched on St. Patty Day!

Cheers, Nina


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