Anti-wrinkle creams: How can I judge the safety and effectiveness?
As cosmetic products, the FDA regulates wrinkle creams much less strictly than it does drugs. In fact, such products are hardly regulated at all.
Cosmetic products are not required to undergo the same rigorous testing for safety before their approval to enter the market.|
And no official evaluations are conducted to determine the effectiveness of these products, leaving much of the over-the-counter wrinkle-cream industry with no guarantees of any sort.
The FDA only becomes involved when anti-wrinkle products are portrayed in advertisements as drugs, or if they contain ingredients that may be potentially harmful to consumers.
When choosing an anti-wrinkle cream, itís important to keep the following points in mind:
Over-the-counter anti-wrinkle creams have lower doses. Since these products are not distributed by prescription, they have lower concentrations of active ingredients, often meaning the productsí results are limited and short-lived.
The industry is severely lacking research. A great deal of research has been done on various ingredients rumored to fade the appearance of wrinkles. Most nonprescription anti-wrinkle creams, however, have not undergone this research, and thus their effectiveness has not been officially valuated.
There is no cost: effectiveness ratio. Itís important to note that just because one particular product is more costly, it does not mean that itís more effective. In fact, cost generally has no relationship whatsoever to effectiveness in this industry.
Potential side effects do exist. Common side effects associated with anti-wrinkle creams are skin irritation, rashes, burning, or redness. Ensuring that you read and properly follow the provided instructions can minimize your chances of unwanted side effects.
So what should I do for my wrinkles?If youíre going to use a non-prescription anti-wrinkle cream, make sure you take into consideration how often to use it, the type and amount of active ingredient, and exactly what kind of results youíre hoping for.
But all hope is not lost! There are other ways to improve and maintain your skinís health and youthful appearance that do not come in an expensive jar.
Here are some tips to reduce wrinkles in your skin:
1. Protect your skin from the sun.Protecting your skin from the sun is one of the simplest, but most important, things you can do to minimize the natural effects of aging.
Sun exposure is one of the primary reasons for skin problems and premature aging. In fact, exposure to harmful UV rays accumulated over a lifetime causes most of the unwanted changes associated with aging, such as wrinkles, age spots, freckles, and rough, dry skin. But the negative effects of sun exposure go beyond purely cosmetic issues. These harsh UV rays found in natural sunlight and tanning beds often cause much more serious health problems, such as skin cancer.
So what can you do to protect yourself and your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays? Use sun protection as part of your daily facial skin care regime, minimize exposure to the sun during prime hours, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., cover yourself with clothing and hats, and try to remain in the shade when outdoors, and always use sunscreen prior to sun exposure, with regular reapplication.
Many products today have built-in sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or 30, and offer protection from UVA and UVB rays. Try to choose cosmetics that include these very important qualities.
2. Moisturize.Applying a moisturizer after a warm face wash or shower is one of the best things you can do to restore natural moisture to the skin, and maintain a healthy, radiant complexion. There are plenty of moisturizers on the market, so just find the one that fits your skin type! Just be sure to always use an oil-free moisturizer, particularly on the face, to prevent greasy skin and breakouts.
3. Donít Smoke.Smoking rapidly accelerates the effects of aging on the skin. Inhaling smoke decreases blood flow, depriving skin of oxygen and important nutrients, such as vitamin A, that are essential for healthy skin. In fact, even second-hand exposure to smoke contributes to wrinkles, loss of elasticity, decreased strength, and discoloration of the skin. Once the collagen and elastins in your skin are damaged, thereís no getting them back.
If youíre interested in creating a comprehensive, personalized skin-care regimen, your best bet is to see a dermatologist. Your doctor can create a plan just for you by first assessing your skin type, evaluating the condition of your skin, and recommending products. You can also get information on medical treatments to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, such as prescription creams, Botox, injections, or skin resurfacing procedures.
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