NEW YORK, Aug. 13 Findings from a studyreleased today revealed that a limited amount of clinical research exists toprove the effectiveness of many over-the-counter (OTC) anti-aging products.The study is published in the July/August 2007 issue of the Aesthetic SurgeryJournal, the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society forAesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).
OTC anti-aging products represent a billion dollar industry: wrinklecreams have been marketed to the American public since the early 19th century,and Americans spent more than $2 billion on these products in 2000 alone.While a limited body of evidence exists to prove the efficacy of many of theseproducts, their popularity continues to increase.
"This study underscores the need for much greater study of, and publiceducation on, the effectiveness of OTC anti-aging products," said Timothy A.Miller, MD, Chief of Plastic Surgery at UCLA, lead author of the study."Although there are a number of beneficial OTC remedies in existence, for manypatients, prescription-strength or surgical procedures may be necessary toachieve desired results."
The study consisted of a review of existing research on ingredientscommonly found in OTC anti-aging creams. Key compounds under review includedvitamins, antioxidants, alpha-hydroxyl acids, moisturizers, pentapeptides andbotanicals. Of these, Vitamin C, alpha-hydroxyl acids and pentapeptides wereshown to be the most extensively researched with proven anti-aging benefits.
Vitamin A, or retinols have shown great promise, however their effectshave only been proven in prescription-strength formulations; OTC benefits havenot been determined. Minimal studies have been performed on Vitamin B, thoughwhat evidence does exist is promising. Moisturizers have not been extensivelyresearched, but have been shown to improve the hydration and appearance ofskin.
Botanicals such as grape seed extract, soy compounds, green tea and Gingkobiloba are relatively new in the market and have gained great popularity inrecent years, but their healing qualities have yet to be proven throughrandomized, placebo-controlled human trials. Many cell culture and animalexperiments have been conducted to investigate the efficacy of these botanicalcompounds, however, indicating the potential for many beneficial effects suchas increased collagen expression, improved antioxidant activity, acceleratedhealing and enhanced hydration.
"Consumers need to be realistic about the outcomes they can expect fromOTC anti-aging creams, at least until solid clinical evidence of theirefficacy exists," adds Foad Nahai, MD, Atlanta plastic surgeon, President ofASAPS and Associate Editor of ASJ. "No matter what the treatment -- OTC,prescription or surgical procedure -- it is always important for patients toeducate themselves and discuss options with their doctor."
The Aesthetic Surgery Journal is the peer-reviewed publication of theAmerican Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and is the most widelyread clinical journal in the field of cosmetic surgery, with subscribers inmore than 60 countries.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the leadingorganization of board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmeticplastic surgery. ASAPS active-member plastic surgeons are certified by theAmerican Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians andSurgeons of Canada. http://www.surgery.org.
SOURCE American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
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