Anti Aging Skin Care Info

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Anti Aging Skin Care: Are Eye Creams Just Rubbish?

Filed under: Anti Aging Eye Creams by admin

In terms of anti aging skin care around the eyes, the top problems most older people will complain about are getting rid of puffiness, dark circles and wrinkles. And you could easily spend some serious money for a product that does nothing for you. We give you some surprising facts about eye creams from consumer trials, an overview of some of the controversies, and an in depth look at one of the new ‘miracle products’ for dark circles and puffiness. We hope this thought provoking guide will give you more idea when it comes to shopping for eye creams to help you beat back time.

One way to judge whether any product works is to read consumer reviews. Individual reviews will of course, only reflect one person’s skin reaction to one particular product – and their expectations coupled with how much they paid. A better indicator is mass trials, like those found in popular newspapers and magazines. One survey worth mentioning is the amazing results of the UK’s Daily Mirror Beauty awards, in 2009 (1). Their number one mass market eye cream was astonishingly, a super cheap supermarket brand (Tescos Derma+). Reviewers liked its cool sensation and in blind tests, thought it was a higher end product retailing at around £20 (around $13) – it sold for £2 (around $3) a tube. Next was a paraben free product retailing at £8.99, (around $12.50) again, not a high end product and then there was the jaw dropper of the lot. Readers in the UK will be familiar with Aldi – a store so cheap, none of its brands are remotely recognisable, where for years you had to pay in cash only and it among the first to charge for grocery bags. A little like the runaway fast fashion story of the UK’s Primark, which has won awards for its fashion, most of which retails for under £10 (around $6-7), scarily regardless of the garment type, Aldi’s own brand £1.59 (around $2) anti aging eye cream scooped the third prize. A word of caution though from America’s ‘cosmetics cop’ Paula Begoun, on the cooling effects of creams.

Paula busts the myth that any cream, lotion or other product that causes tingling or cooling sensations is working effectively. Instead, she characterises the skin producing those sensations in reaction to the cream as a local irritant.

Paula echoes Giselle Mir, founder of Mir cosmetic line, in saying that over time irritation is ultimately damaging to skin and produces more markedly aged looking skin. Which is precisely the opposite of what those eye creams were sold to do. Another revelation from Paula is that we may all be getting sold hokum buying separate eye products. Paula reckons that if a face cream is of good enough quality, it should be safe and effective to use on the skin around the eyes. She feels that consumers are simply paying too much by purchasing separate eye area skin care products.

One ingredient touted as the answer to dark circles under the eyes is haloxyl™, a chemical compound patented by the Sederma company. It is advertised with a variety of opinion as to what it is it actually does. It is described as something that loosens and then eliminates darker blood pigments, and in some reviews, it even absorbs such pigments. The skin under the eyes is thin, which explains why you can see blood pigmentation there. It’s listed on sale as water, glycerin, steareth-20, N-hydroxysuccinimide, chrysin, palmitoyl Oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 – yes, a whole bunch of chemicals. It is worth noting hydroxysuccinimide, may act as an irritant. Brands using haloxyl™ include ‘Elite Serum’ (which we’ll come to in later, RRP $99/ around £62) , ‘Skindoctors’ (around £32.95/ around $50+), ‘Serious Skin Care Hi Bright’ (around $32.95/ around £20), and ‘Purity Dark Circles’ (around $32.95 / around £20). Again and again, resellers promote Sederma’s stated research of a 19 – 45% reduction in dark circles and puffiness in tests. What’s interesting about this product is its easy to buy as an isolated ‘active ingredient’, which does raise the question of consumers trying to save a few bucks with home chemistry –for a product that’s going near the eyes! Not recommended without professional training, to say the least.

Another patented product being bandied about is ‘Eyeliss™’, made by the same company. This compound also claims to be able to reduce dark circles and puffiness under the eyes. ‘Eyeliss™’ apparently contains something along the lines of water, glycerine, hesperidin methyl chalcone, steareth-20, dipeptide-2, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7. Both ‘Eyeliss™’ and ‘Haloxyl™’ are using “peptide technology” – but what exactly does that mean? According to Drs. Dahen and Gruenwald, writing for a company selling them, peptides are short chain proteins which in essence, are used to programme skin cells to behave in certain ways (2). Within anti wrinkle formulations, peptides will typically aim to make maturing skin produce more collagen, the elastic fibre that keeps skin young looking. Aging skin produces less collagen as the years go by, so this would seem a desirable effect. The “technology” term is being used to describe the way peptides, short chain proteins, are synthesised to produce specific, local effects. Within eye creams, acetyl-tetrapeptide is being touted as having an effect on lymphatic flow, with a corresponding reduction in edema – meaning puffiness (2).
Which brings us to the ‘Elite Eye serum’.

It’s made by Sederma, and voted best eye product for dark circles and puffy eyes on www.eyeserum.com. Interestingly, its not quite possible to see which company runs that site when you visit it, and its glowing endorsement features prominently on the webpage for Sederma’s ‘Elite Serum’. Its also apparently been featured on Oprah, CNN, Dr Phil, and bizarrely, the food network, which appears to be about, well, food. The serum contains both ‘Haloxyl™’ and ‘Eyeliss™’, which it is claimed in tandem enhance the reduction of local undereye edema (puffiness). There is also ‘Argireline®’. This is an Acetyl (Hexa-) peptide. The serum also contains hyaluronic acid, which has been used for many years in higher end moisturisers. The website proudly displays this ABC television video on the wonders of hyaluronic acid:

Its worth noting that even the glowing ABC film makes reference to the holistic lifestyle of the healthy, smooth skinned octogenarians featured in the Japanese village, including their diet and lifestyle! Although Japanese manufacturers appear to be selling extracted hyaluronic acid in pill form, it may be that scientists are still discovering why it appears to exert some protective effects. Advocates of traditional medicines, such as herbalists, often take pains to point out that each herb contains a complex variety of chemical compounds that act synergistically together to create the herbs effects. Not only that but within traditional Chinese medicine, for example, herbs are most often used in formulas containing up to 20 herbs, creating thousands of compounds. Alongside the chemicals, there is also aloe vera and acia berry.

Both have been promoted as natural ‘wonder’ products, for skin healing and anti aging. Aloe vera is well known for its use as a soothing gel for sunburn, but not as well known for its applications in joint disorders such as arthritis. Along with many natural products, its efficacy is not a view endorsed by the mainstream medical community. Acai berry is another modern dietary supplement, sold nowadays as tablets, juices, powders to make drinks or as whole berries. It contains a moderate level of anti-oxidants, which are themselves the source of controversy within the scientific community as to whether or not they play an important role in anti aging and disease prevention. This is not to say there are not benefits from the berries, but again, like aloe vera, their acceptance by the mainstream medical community is still developing as more evidence emerges; at present, it is probably best described as not widespread. As well as these two naturally occurring ingredients, its then back to the ‘science in jar’ approach.

GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter produced in the body, tends to be associated with its relaxing effects on the nervous system. This is included to apparently relax the muscles and skin around the eyes. Reservatrol is also included, which is currently being studied for its effects on anti aging and cancer. It exerts eostrogenic effects and occurs naturally in foods, including peanuts, and some dark berries.

Elite Eye Serum claims these effects

Its interesting to note that much of the marketing for this eye cream features more or less the same copy, although in some senses this to be expected. There isn’t reference on the company website to the studies on the product or its ingredients other than a roundup of the results. Dark circles can result from a number of factors, such as poor sleep patterns, diet, stress and to some degree genetic factors. It may be worth tackling modifiable factors as part of healthy approach, as, sometimes skin can be telling us the body isn’t having all of its needs met. In the meantime, its also interesting to note that although there are anti aging eye products at the higher end full of newer compounds, there was still popular praise form real life consumers for those creams retailing for as little as £1.59 (£ around $2). And even then, as we’ve mentioned, theres at least one high profile cosmetics guru who says not to bother at all, just use good quality face products!

Disclaimer: As ever, any serious puffiness or other symptoms around the eyes, or other edema, in fact any new symptom should always be investigated by your doctor.

1. Daily Mirror. (2009). Anti-ageing eye creams: The Celebs Beauty Awards Winners. [online] Available at:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/celebs-on-sunday/beauty/2009/02/01/anti-ageing-eye-creams-the-celebs-beauty-awards-winners-115875-21083938/

2. Dr. Dahten, A. & Dr. Gruenwald, J. (2009) Anti-Aging Peptides. Inside Cosmeceuticals [online]. Available at;
http://www.insidecosmeceuticals.com/articles/2009/01/anti-aging-peptides.aspx

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

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

Vistabel

Vistabel

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

References

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

http://www.cosmeticdoctors.co.uk/botox.asp

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

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm149574.htm

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:

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm175013.htm

Photo Credits:

1. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/zeathiel

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Retinol creams

Filed under: Retinol creams by admin

‘Retinol’ is a term used widely in manufacturer’s names and promotions for anti ageing skin care creams. Such creams most commonly contain retinyl palmitate. This should undergo a catalytic process of enzyme reactions once applied to the skin, to convert into the skin’s active form of vitamin A, trans-retinoic acid (1). Let’s just say Retinol is marketed as a miricale product:

Rough and ready guide to skin smoothing mechanism

The deeper layers of the dermis (skin) contain collagen, a substance which allows the skin to maintain its shape and elastin, which allows skin its degrees of quite literally, elasticity. Production of elastin stops after puberty, hence some of the effects of ‘age’ on the skin. When the creams are applied, the skin reacts by producing more cells and more collagen, meaning cells seem fuller and rounder. The new cell production moves older cells to the outer layers of the skin where they are exfoliated. This creates the much vaunted effects of the creams, to make skin seem smoo9ther and more radiant (as new cells are less pigmented by UV rays).

Interestingly enough, the concentration of retinol in the creams seems to influence their effect. A fascinating sample by national UK newspaper The Daily Mirror in 2007 (2) found that many manufacturers were shy to disclose exactly how much was in their product, or in what form.

Remember, the mechanism at work is the conversion of the product’s active ingredient to a retinoic acid. Creams which contain retinoic acid itself are classed as pharmaceuticals, because they have significant, demonstrable effects on the skin – effectively making them a medicine. So retinoic acid creams are only allowed to be prescribed – meaning the beauty industry can’t use them in its creams.

Instead, forms such as retinyl palmatate are used instead which convert to much smaller amounts of retinoic acid in the skin.  This has advantages and disadvantages for the consumer. Whilst the effect is less potent than prescribed creams, the products are likely to be better tolerated. The prescribed creams can sometimes lead to adverse reactions such as dry, red & flaky skin in susceptible individuals.

Photosentivity increased & those with sentitive skin:

Retinol over the counter creams leave skin more sensitive to sunlight (3), so sunscreens should always be used even in climates where the sun may seem weak or non-existent some days! Those with sensitive skin are probably best advised to consult a professional before trying it. Pharmaceutical chain Boot’s suggest using their retinol creams by building up the number of times they are used first (2). Always consult a professional qualified doctor for health concerns.

Controversy

Giselle Mir states she qualified as Cosmetic Scientist before founding her own cosmetic company having become disillusioned with misleading cosmetic industry product claims. Mir has publicly stated creams containing retinol essentially irritate the skin, leading to moisture loss from the top layer and premature aging (4).

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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 is not sponsored by manufacturers here but may reflect their claims and this site cannot be held responsible for such claims made.

RS Brown

References:

1. Draelos, Z.D.D. (2006). Cosmetic Formulation of Skincare Products: 30 (Cosmetic Science and Technology). Informa Healthcare.

2. Daily Mirror Retinol (2007).Retinol: Is It Really A Miracle Cream?. [online]. Daily Mirror. Available at:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/celebs-on-sunday/2007/06/10/retinol–is-it-really-a-miracle-cream–98487-19248887/

3. Food and Drug Administration. (2008)  Photocytotoxicity of Retinol and Retinyl Acetate. [online]. FDA. Available at:

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/ScienceForums/forum03/J-11.htm

4. Mir, G. [undated]. Anti ageing and sun care. [online] Mir. Available at:

http://www.coolessentials.com/anti_ageing_and_sun_care.html

Photo Credits

1. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/Egahen

2. http://www.loosha.nl

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