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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 tripeptide trifecta continued...

“These are designer peptides,” says Beer, who describes them as “groups of amino acids” that inhibit some of the natural enzymatic ― and yes, aging ― processes that break down and destroy critical components of youthful skin, including collagen. “By providing stability for these and other critical components,” Beer says, “[tripeptides] tip the scales in favor of remaining more youthful and less damaged.”

Lumene, a Scandinavian company exporting moderately priced skin care to the U.S., is counting on that. They combine tripeptides with the antioxidant properties of sea buckthorn oil, for their new Premium Beauty line ― with research they claim proves it works.

The much more costly Osmotics Anti-Radical Age Defense Line offers a tripeptide formula that not only has antioxidant properties, but also claims to stimulate collagen production.

Narins continues to site a lack of published medical data. Schlessinger is even more blunt. “Cosmeceuticals can do some wonderful things for the skin,” he says, “including diminishing brown spots, improving texture, and making the skin feel smooth again. But filling in wrinkles ― I don’t think so.”

Until published medical studies do surface, it may be up to consumers to decide for themselves if even the cosmetic results have merit.

DNA repair and younger skin

One more class of products offering new hope in a jar takes the sci-fi approach of tinkering with DNA to turn back the clock one molecule at a time. One such product is called “Remergent.” Sold through doctor's offices, Remergent reportedly works by delivering to cells small packets of enzymes with the capability of repairing DNA. When DNA, the basic component in all living cells, is damaged ― whether by too much sun exposure, or through the chemical assaults of pollution ― cells undergo changes that can result in anything from accelerated aging to disease, including cancer. The company's website points to several published clinical studies they say document their product's ability to control or even reverse DNA damage.

But while Beer is certain the technology is possible, he is less sure it is here. “None of these (studies) correlate the reversal of any age related symptoms or of any skin cancer treatment with their ingredients,” he says. “So while I believe that the technology for DNA repair holds great promise, I am awaiting evidence to convince me that it comes in a bottle.”

Jamal is even more skeptical: “In order for DNA repair to occur, the effect has to take place in the nucleus of the cell ― and my question is, are the agents able to affect nuclear processes [in your skin] as well as in the dish in the lab?”

Perhaps time ― and more research ― may answer that question.

So in the meantime . . . what's a girl to do?

Brush Up on Beauty

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