Anti Aging Skin Care Info

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A Critical Eye On Anti Aging Skincare

Filed under: Overview by admin

If you’re using anti aging skin care products, or are thinking of starting to use them, read our non-biased information on how the products  actually work here. Click on our categories on the right for the in depth guides to some  major trends in the anti ageing skin care beauty industry, or read our sumaries below.

Anti ageing skin care is obviously a sizeable industry, with companies lining up to sell anti ageing creams, lotions, treatment devices, pills and supplements, not to mention cosmetic surgery. On the other side of the coin, some skin care experts claim no products can halt the appearance of fine lines and that some products sold actually damage the skin over time.

Women today are under more pressure than ever to stay younger looking longer, like the stars in the magazines – and lets not forget many magazines now routinely airbrush their photos.

Retinol Creams

Retinol (vitamin A) is reported to reduce wrinkle depth. The effect is due to a mild inflammatory response provoked when the vitamin is applied to skin. The skin responds by puffing up, which gives the wrinkles a shallower appearance. Whilst the creams are hugely popular, some controversy exists due to their mode of action (1).

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs or ‘fruit acids’)

These creams have skin effects documented by the American Food and Drug Administration agency (FDA). They note products containing AHAs are used in cosmetics as they cause exfoliation of surface skin. The effect depends on the concentration of AHAs in the products in combination with the effects of other ingredients (2). Again, some controversy exists (1).

‘Botox’ injections

One of the most famous ‘fixes’ for wrinkles and fine lines, this has been the subject of both controversy and praise. The generic name for the substance injected is Botulinum, and the most famous brand name within beauty treatment is “Botox Cosmetic” or “Vistabel” in the UK). It is injected into to muscles to stop the nerve impulse that tells the muscle to relax or contract, paralysing the muscle. The area around the injection is smoothed whilst the rest of the face remains the same. Botox has been declared as legal for use only by suitable qualified professionals in the USA and UK. In some places, its use is regulated by precautionary measures, which professionals must legally follow (3).


Another huge controversy currounds the use of parabens in cosmetics – chemicals which help prolong the shelf life of the products and keep them fresh and hygienic. Cancer research scientists have raised terrifying concerns that using parabens may be linked to certain cancers and they have been held responsible for rashes and allergic reactions (4). On the other hand, there are also cancer reserach organisation that refute any link to cancer and the FDA has not ruled parabens harmful yet (5). Read the real story of how the scientiifc ommunit, the beauty industry and consumers are reacting to parabens in countless everyday skin care and beauty products.

Natural skin care treatments


Roundup of benefits of comsetic acupuncture (dubbed the ‘acupuncture face lift’), facial massage, natural products and sun advice. Natural treatments usually claim to be safer, less damaging to skin than the ‘science in a jar’ brigade.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: NONE of the above advice can be a substitute for medical or professional skin care advice – please only consult qualified general medical and/ or dermatology physicians for serious skin complaints. The information here may reflect manufacturer’s claims and this site cannot be held responsible for such claims made.

RS Brown


  1. Mir, G. Anti Ageing and Sun Care. [online] Hertfordshire, UK: Mir. Available at:

2.       American Food and Drug Administration. (2009). Alpha Hydroxy Acids in Cosmetics. [online] Washington: Department of Health and Human Services. Available at:

3. Singer, N. (2009). FDA Orders Warning Label for Botox. [online] New York Times.  Available at:

4. Dabre, P. (2009). Underarm Antiperspirants/Deodorants And Breast Cancer. Breast Cancer Research 2009, 11(Suppl 3):S5. Available at:

5. FDA. Parabens. FDA [online]. Available at:

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‘Botox’ injections (“Botox Cosmetic”, “Vistabel”)

Filed under: Botox (/"Vistabel") injections by admin


The famous substance injected is actually a type of Botulinum, a toxin which blocks nerve impulses to muscles to stop relaxing or contracting, in effect, temporarily paralysing the muscle. The effects take an average of 2 to 10 days to become noticeable and commonly wear off in an average 6 months. The treatment is designed to:

  • Smoothe out fine lines and wrinkles
  • Create a younger looking face
  • Create a younger looking neck
  • Enhance self confidence

Where and what are the injections commonly given for?

Eyes – (crow’s feet)
Forehead and brow – (frown lines)

Mouth – (vertical lines on the upper lip or down turned mouths)
Neck – (lines and lifting the jowl line)

Since it can be injected into specific areas, it can be used to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles whilst leaving the rest of the facial muscles unaffected.

Botox suspected in media!

Botox suspected in media!

This is the source of genius for journalists- if the facial muscles in one area appear smooth and still, it can be salaciously scrutinised as to whether or not the celebrity has ‘had Botox’ done.



The most famous brand names for botulinum within beauty treatment are “Botox Cosmetic” and “Vistabel”.  It isn’t new – in 2009, the procedure had been practised for over 15 years.

The British Association of Cosmetic Doctors claim the ultimate aim of the treatments are to change muscle habits – frowning and squinting – which over time will help reduce more wrinkles and fine lines being formed (1). (And we thought it was just to get the forhead flat in a matter of days).

Some Important Considerations

The British Association of Cosmetic Doctors (1) advise the treatment is not for use:

  • In pregnancy
  • If breast feeding
  • If diagnosed with a neuromuscular disorder

The Association also states your practitioner should be told of all medication patients take (including herbs Gingko Biloba and St John’s Wort).

Potential Side Effects

They cite the main potential Botox side effects as transient and not major, such as temporary headache and  short-lived redness, swelling, bruising or numbing at injection sites; temporary headache and temporary numbness at the injection sites. Less common risks include eyelid drooping (ptosis) and slight puffiness. The Association advises potential patients to discuss this with the doctor as the occurrence rate will vary from doctor to doctor. Finally, for some rare cases, after several weeks resistance to the treatment develops and the effects can no longer be seen.

Controversy – FDA statements

Erupted when American reports emergerged over the reports of 16 children who had tragically died following medical treatment with Botox to treat leg spams (1) . The powerful Food and Drug Administration (FDA) subsequently ruled that from April 2009, all product packaging must contain warnings of severe medical complications in the event of overdose (2).  In those tragic cases, the dosages would be called into question,  given the children’s lower bodyweights kilo for gram administered. The treatment the children recieved is likely to have been at higher dosages than those administered for anti aging skin care cosmetic use in adults. Nonetheless, warning labels must now be carried on every box of “Botox Cosmetic” in the states. Their announcement also stated adverse effects in adults had been reported for ‘approved uses’ of the product and that the toxin may be able to move from the injection site to other areas of the body. The share price for manufacturers dipped. However, in early Augugst 2009, the FDA issued and update stating “No definitive serious adverse event reports of distant spread of toxin effect have been associated with dermatologic use of Botox/Botox Cosmetic at the recommended doses (for frown lines between the eyebrows or severe underarm sweating). As well, no definitive serious adverse event reports of distant spread of toxin effect have been associated with Botox when used at approved doses for eyelid twitches or for crossed eyes.” (3).

Kath Smith


1. British Association of Cosmetic Doctors (2009). Muscle relaxing injections (Botox / Botulinum toxin® ) [online]. BACD. Available at:

2. Food and Drug Administration (2009).  FDA Requires Boxed Warning for All Botulinum Toxin Products. [online] Department of Health and Human Services. Available at:

3. Food and Drug Administration (2009).   FDA Gives Update on Botulinum Toxin Safety Warnings; Established Names of Drugs Changed. [online] Department of Health and Human Services. Available at:

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