Mirror, mirror…your aging skin

Posted by on Feb 18, 2011 in appearance | 5 comments

Ugh. Talk about a red flag topic. I can barely look in the mirror these days without cringing! Sure, years of tanning (read: burning) in the sun without the proper SPF cream and lots of time outdoors hasn’t done me any favours. But, it’s difficult to deal with the changes that I see in my skin. And while I truly believe that my wrinkles have been well earned, there are times when I would like to turn back the clock and regain some of that suppleness that 20-somethings take for granted. Uh-oh; is that my vanity showing?

In any case, we’ve explored some of the ‘wrinkles’ in the search for the fountain of youth, dispelling claims that hormone replacement therapy may improve skin appearance or that regular use of over the counter moisturizers can actually melt away the years. In fact, only topical preparations containing antioxidants such as retinoids are believed to help the skin to repair itself; antioxidants have been proven to do this by preventing the activity of of chemically reactive oxygen molecules that live in the body, are promoted through ultraviolet light exposure and attack healthy cells.

However, retinoids are not the only antioxidants that may improve the appearance of photodamaged skin. Indeed, researchers have started to look into the potential of another topical antioxidant — idebenone complex — which is the biologically engineered (and possibly more effective) form of coenzyme Q-10. At last month’s American Academy of Dermatology meeting, Dr. Michael Gold from the TN Clinical Research Center in Nashville presented findings from a study of 32 women (ages 25 to 65)with moderate to severe photodamage who were asked to used a facial cleanser, skin brightener, eye serum and moisturizing cream containing 0.5% idebenone complex. This regimen was used twice a day for 8 weeks and the women also added an SPF 30 sunscreen during the day.

The results are fairly impressive. Not only did rough/dry facial skin, fine lines and wrinkles and patchy skin improve by 36%, but the researchers also reported a 41% improvement in skin elasticity and tone, a 42% improvement in skin brightness and a 42% improvement in skin radiance. Similar reports were made by the women in the study as well.

Thus, it appears that when used consistently, topical skin preparations containing idebenone complex may significantly improve the appearance, texture and tone of photodamaged, prematurely aged skin. Overall, 42% of participants had a global improvement in their appearance.

Is idebenone complex the fountain of youth? Probably not, because as the American Academy of Dermatology recommends, fighting photoaged skin is a multi step process that also includes avoiding sun exposure at certain times of the day, using sunscreen/protective clothing. However, even with the small number of women that have been treated with idebenone so far, I wouldn’t be averse to trying it.

These wrinkles might build lots of character and I’ve earned them. But sometimes a little help can’t hurt, can it?

Hat tip to Journalist Bob Finn,web content editor of the International Medical News Group for pointing me to this study. You can find their coverage of it here on the Internal Medicine News Digital Network.



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