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More Hope In A Jar? The Anti-Aging Skin Care Promise

WebMD investigates the newest crop of anti-aging skin care ingredients ― Do they work?

The coffee berry craze

Some of the testing may have already paid off for an ingredient derived from the little known fruit called the “coffee berry” that some now hail as the strongest antioxidant ― and possibly the most powerful anti-aging ingredient ― to date.

The same plant that bears the fruit of your Starbuck's buzz, may also add a kick to your complexion. “Coffee berry,” says Beer, “is becoming popular, and it does contain high levels of antioxidants.” He goes on to say that clinical trials are now underway that may show it is a significant advance.

Coffee berry was introduced to doctors at the 2007 American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting, and many believe it shows real promise.

“[It's] arguably the hottest thing out there now,” says Joel Schlessinger, MD. Schlessinger, who is president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Esthetic Surgery, tells WebMD there is a current study showing coffee berry “has higher antioxidative properties than any product ever tested ― including green tea and idebenone.”

While experts are hopeful that these antioxidant properties may translate into anti-aging effects on the skin, we won't know for certain until the study is published sometime in the coming year. (At publication, WebMD was unable to confirm details of the study or its precise publication date.) Meanwhile, consumers may weigh in a lot sooner.

The first coffee berry product ― a skin cream called Revale ― has already hit the market with more from other companies on the way. And coffee berry won’t be alone on the shelf. A number of other new and unique antioxidant cocktails sit poised and ready to steal the thunder.

One is Estee Lauder's new “Future Perfect” line, boasting a “skin recharge cocktail” that offers the anti-aging protection of an antioxidant known as NDGA that occurs naturally in the body. Recent studies have shown that, when applied topically, it may act somewhat like estrogen, helping to prevent the loss of collagen in skin.

Clinique's Continuous Relief Antioxidant Moisturizer boasts eight antioxidants. At least one ― Eukarion-134 ― supposedly has the unique ability to recycle itself after each free-radical hit. This is significant because most other antioxidants lose their protective power after attacking and disabling a single free radical molecule. By recycling itself, this new antioxidant keeps on working, continuing to fight the damage that leads to aging, for a longer period on the surface of skin.

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