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Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New
ASK THE SURGEON
Are there anti-wrinkle creams available without a prescription that really work?
There are products available that will temporarily improve the appearance of wrinkles. The results depend on the type and amount of active ingredient in the cream; examples may include the following: retinol (vitamin A compound, antioxidant), hydroxy acids (synthetic acids), coenzyme Q10 (nutrient), copper peptides (trace element), and kinetin (plant growth factor).
Keep in mind that nonprescription creams have lower concentrations of the active ingredient versus a prescription strength cream. Nonprescription creams are also not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as strictly as a drug; therefore, the cream may not have undergone rigorous testing before entering the market. Anti-wrinkle creams usually require multiple applications per day, with the results disappearing when you stop applying it.
The effort to get and maintain any improvement may cost you more money than another type of wrinkle treatment. Lastly, be wary of any product claiming to permanently eradicate, remove, or eliminate wrinkles—it’s not possible. For more information or assistance in determining a treatment to meet your needs, consult with your facial plastic surgeon.
Look carefully at the labels of beauty products to figure out what is helpful and what is hype. Although the FDA does not regulate cosmetic products as strictly as drugs, there are some requirements in place to assist you. First, all ingredients must be listed on the label in order from the greatest to the least amount. If you see a product labeled, “hypoallergenic,” this means that the manufacturer believes their product causes fewer allergic reactions than other products.
There is no federal standard or definition that governs the use of this term—beware. The term “non-comedogenic” is also not regulated by the FDA, but suggests that the product does not clog pores. Finally, you should never see a cosmetic label stating, “FDA approved,” since this is false and misleading information.
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery has launched a new edition of The Face Book, a popular consumer guide to facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Check out the latest procedures, techniques, and treatments—with a plethora of before/after photographs, patient testimonials, and dramatic illustrations
Three new chapters have been added on office-based procedures: Botox, injectable fillers, and laser and light therapies. Whether you are looking for information on a specific procedure or you want to explore various options, The Face Book, is an excellent, authoritative go-to resource. Ask your physician how you can obtain your copy or go to www.aafprs.org.