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02-15-09 | Posted by


Even for Dermatologists it’s becoming a challenge to keep up with the overflowing cosmeceuticals market. The key question that beauty buyers in search of the Holy Grail are really asking is, ‘Will this cream make my skin look better?’.

Consumers are faced with navigating through a sea of misleading and overreaching skin care claims that often oversell their benefits as a quick fix for ageing. Facial aging involves more than just the skin. Your muscles get lazy, skin sags, soft tissue breaks down, and fat accumulates. Creams work well on fine lines and roughness, but fall a bit short when it comes to deep creases. You have to be realistic – nothing is going to give you a facelift in a jar. If you are expecting any cream you buy, whether for $20 or $200, to put an end to your sagging neck, jowls, or double eyelids, you are destined to be disappointed.

Sure we’ve all read those wild claims that have become all too common. For example, the question of whether skincare products can out-perform Botox® injections has long been debated, and the findings show that topical serums are not able to relax facial muscles. They can exfoliate and thin the outer layer of the skin, which helps to smooth surface lines, period. The determining factor has to be science. Just because you can put an ingredient in a test tube in the lab and it stimulates collagen production, does not necessarily mean that if you rub it on your skin you are going to get rid of wrinkles. Lab results don’t always translate to the effects you can achieve when using a product in a jar that gets exposed to air once or twice a day, and may not be used in sufficient quantities or consistently enough to reap the rewards.


Despite the common belief that moisturisers are the mainstay of all skin care regimes, they are quite often overused. All moisturizers have the potential to clog pores and cause irritation, and are best used mainly on dry skin areas. Older, thinner skins need richer moisturizers. Aside from the usual humectants and emollients, moisturisers today are also loaded with antioxidants, AHAs and BHAs, botanical soothing agents such as bisabolol, allantoin, licorice, chamomile, green tea extract, and sunscreens. One important moisturising agent is Hyaluronic Acid, the same component found in injectable wrinkle fillers like Restylane® and Juvederm® Ultra, which reduces dryness and plumps up the cells because it literally holds the water into the skin to repair the barrier.  If you are in the mood to splurge for a flawless anti-aging moisture cream, try Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Crème which contains time released antioxidants. 



An anti-aging regimen should include several of the key actives that act as performance boosters. 


Vitamin A is a very versatile vitamin. The trick with retinol, a potent vitamin A relative, is that it is sensitive to light and oxidation, but if it is stabilized and at a high enough concentration, studies have proven that you can get similar effects to the prescription strength Retin-A or tretinoin. Retinyl palmitate has less of an effect than retinol so you will need to use more of it.  Retinol’s main skin benefits are lines, texture, blotches, sun damage and spots. Use it once a day, wear SPF daily, and avoid using any other products containing vitamin A at the same time. If you’re super sensitive, you may tingle from a daily diet of pure retinol until your skin adjusts, so use caution. Once your skin gets used to it, you will see the benefits in terms of pigment reduction and lines.

RoC® Retinox + Serum Max

SkinMedica® Retinol Complex

L’Oréal Revitalift Double Lifting Eye

MD Formulations Vit-A Plus Anti-Aging Serum


Collagen fibers are made up of peptides, which are proteins known for skin strengthening and smoothing out lines. Several peptides have been shown to generate the production of new collagen, most notably the pentapeptide (meaning 5 amino acid chains) PAL-KTTS which is commonly known as Matrixl, and the hexapeptide (as in 6) called Argirilene. This may remind you of when you took your A-Levels in chemistry, but if your wrinkles go, it will all be worth it. Over time, with continued use, peptides can maintain skin tone and firm texture. Women give up on their skin care way too soon, often in the first few days before it has time to work. It takes at least two months to make new collagen, so stick with it.

Olay Regenerist MicroSculpting Cream

DDF Wrinkle RelaxTM

Estee Lauder Perfectionist [CP +] with Poly Collagen Peptides Correcting Serum

Lancome Renergie Refill 5x Serum


We just can’t get enough of those precious antioxidants. Antioxidants function as free radical scavengers so they are best thought of as photoprotectors, which means that they can enhance sun protection during daylight exposure. There are a handful of major antioxidants that can improve the appearance of ageing skin, and about a zillion minor ones. More than a decade ago Vitamin C took center stage in the cosmeceutical world but we have come a long way from there.  The most important antioxidants in skin care include green Tea, vitamin A, Ascorbic Acid – C, Vitamin E, Grapeseed, Pomegranate, and Alpha Lipoic Acid. There is no one top antioxidant to go for – rather there are several good ones in age reversing skin care. Combination antioxidants work in tandem to enhance their potency; for example vitamin C seems to work better when coupled with E. When it comes to antioxidants, the easiest way to incorporate them into your skin care regime is in a moisturiser with built in antioxidants. Some antioxidants have shorter shelf life – as in vitamin C – which oxidizes when it is exposed to air, so jars and tubes should be tightly sealed and kept in a dark cool place.

Skinceuticals C + E Serum

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Night

Clinique Continuous Rescue Antioxidant Moisturiser

Estee Lauder Daywear Plus SPF15


Age spots and blotches are quite simply caused by the sun. Melanin accumulates where there is sun damage. Darker skin types are prone to patches of brown even long after spots or injuries have healed up.  Skin brighteners can enhance clarity, help even out skin tone, and boost radiance by harnessing the potency of botanicals such as licorice, mulberry, and arbutin – but to keep your complexion even, sun protection is a must.

Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Corrector

DDF Intensive Holistic Lightener

Olay Defininty Serum 

Skin Brightening Gel by Neoceuticals




  1. Beauty In The Bag » Blog Archive » COSMECEUTICALS CONUNDRUM | wrankles.com Says:

    […] Beauty In The Bag » Blog Archive » COSMECEUTICALS CONUNDRUM […]

  2. gorgeousgals Says:

    For brown spots, my doctor gave me Triluma which works great but its a prescription only cream. I love your stuff Bag Ladies! Keep it comin’…

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