Retin-A (tretinoin) is the only FDA approved prescription wrinkle cream. It was originally approved for use to treat acne and other skin problems. There are negative side effects associated with its use. Here’s a look at why it might work, the negative side effects and the better alternatives.
Tretinoin is a synthetic form of the antioxidant vitamin A. Antioxidants are known to quench free radicals, preventing them from doing the damage that causes cellular aging. The latest studies indicate that they can also reverse damage that has already occurred.
Researchers have found that the skin’s antioxidant content is much lower in an older person than it is in a younger one, while free radical molecules are more abundant. That’s not a good scenario.
If antioxidants are not present, free radicals can damage the elastic fibers and the specialized cells that produce new skin cells, as well as the melanin producing cells. That’s what you don’t see. The things that you do see are age spots and wrinkles. Increasing the skin’s antioxidants content can prevent and reduce those visible signs.
But, the use of prescription wrinkle cream containing tretinoin is accompanied by unwanted side effects that include redness, irritation, itching and flaking, probably because it is a synthetic form and because of the inclusion of other irritating ingredients, such as artificial preservatives. Natural sources of vitamin A exist and many over-the-counter creams contain those natural forms. They are just as effective and do not cause the irritation.
Some antioxidants may be even more effective than vitamin A, according to clinical trials. For example, the use of topically applied creams containing coenzyme Q10 has been shown to provide a 33% overall improvement in sun-damaged skin.
Sun-damage is one of the causes of premature wrinkles. At some point, there may be a prescription wrinkle cream containing coenzyme Q10 designed specifically for use on sun-damaged skin, which is normally difficult to repair. But, once again, the manufacturers will likely use a synthetic form that is more irritating than the natural compound.
Several studies have shown that the antioxidant has an incredible anti-aging effect. Because of that, there are many over the counter creams that contain a small amount of it. The effectiveness of these products varies, because the results are dependent upon the concentration and the ability of the antioxidant to penetrate through the skin’s layers.
A synthetic prescription wrinkle cream would contain a molecule that is reduced in size, which would allow it to penetrate more deeply. There are some creams on the market that contain the reduced molecule. They are free of artificial preservatives, added fragrances and other irritating ingredients.
Wrinkles are basically a symptom indicating that the skin is in poor health. It is possible to improve the skin’s health and at the same time, improve its appearance.
You don’t need a prescription wrinkle cream to do that. You just need to find one that contains a good concentration of coenzyme Q10 and other beneficial nutrients.
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