Uncovering Popular Myths About Anti-Aging Creams

According to the revelations of a study by American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, effectiveness of popular over-the Counter (OTC) anti-aging creams do not have enough scientific and clinical research evidence. Findings of this study are available in the July-August, 2007, issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal. It is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic surgery (ASAPS).  

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) is a nodal organization of certified plastic surgeons with cosmetic plastic surgery specialization. ASAPS also brings out an ‘Aesthetic Surgery Journal’ with numerous subscribers across more than 60 countries.

“Over-the-Counter (OTC)” anti-aging-cream products have a market of more than one billion dollars. Marketing of these ‘anti-aging-products’ is also not a new concept. Manufacturing and marketing of these products was an important business activity even in the early 19th century. In the year 2000 alone, the OTC anti-aging cream products sold to the American consumers was over two billion dollars.  Moreover, it is surprising that their popularity is growing exponentially despite the fact that there is no scientific and clinical research base and evidence supporting the effectiveness of these products.

ASAPS study findings show that the  “Over-the-Counter” ‘anti-aging-creams’ have some beneficial remedies for people who are suffering from aging and other related problems. In case of such persons, a surgical process is necessary to get the effective results otherwise. This study impresses upon an urgent requirement of public awareness on the effectiveness of OTC anti-aging products. 

A complete review of the existing research on ingredients found in OTC anti-aging creams was an important part of this study. The ingredients and compounds included vitamins, anti-oxidants, alpha-hydroxyl- acid, penta-peptides and other botanicals. Some of them like Vitamin C, alpha-hydroxyl- acid, and penta-peptides have proved their effectiveness in scientific and clinical research. Similarly, Vitamin A and other retinols also demonstrate effectiveness in some restricted prescription-strength formulations. Effects of vitamin-B are presently under investigation and it may turn out to be a potential ingredient in future. Moisturizers generally prove effective to improve hydration and skin appearance, according to ASAPS. 

Botanical products like grape- seed- extracts, soy compounds, green- tea, and gingko-biloba are newer varieties to enter the anti-aging market. These products are in great demand. Effectiveness of these botanical products is however, not established until this day. Some animal experiments and cell culture results are available for these botanical compounds. These findings do establish some beneficial effects like increased collagen expression, improved anti-oxidant activity, accelerated healing and enhanced hydration reveals the ASAPS-study. 

ASAPS-study concludes that, It is required that people are educated properly about the effectiveness of OTC anti-aging products. Patients need to educate themselves.” Consumers should understand the outcomes of OTC anti-aging creams until clinical evidence arrives”, said adds Foad Nahai, MD, Atlanta plastic surgeon, President of ASAPS. 

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