Yes, there are those salesmen who would sell you almost anything in the name of skin care, but there are a few skin care ingredients and treatments that are extremely effective. Over the past decade or so, researchers have spent a great deal of time and energy in trying to determine exactly which treatments work on your skin and how they work.
The key to understanding what ingredients and treatments work came about with increased knowledge about the connective tissue of the skin (known as the dermal collagen). The fact that researchers understood that external factors also play a huge role (apart from genetics) in causing wrinkled skin also enhanced the discovery process.
According to a review published in “The Archives of Dermatology”, there are 3 anti-aging treatments that are extremely effective – topical applications of retinol, injection of hyaluronic acid and carbon dioxide laser resurfacing. All three treatments depend on the interaction of fibroblasts with the collagen that they produce. Dr. J. Leffell, a professor at Yale Univerisity, mentions that the study is not among the hype, but actually among the “good science” prevailing in the field.
Generally, your collagen fibers are expected to last for approximately 30 years. However, the damage caused by free radicals and exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun hastens this process. As a result, the exposed areas of your body – such as your face, neck, hands, upper chest and arms – suffer the most and end up becoming wrinkled and pigmented. Moreover, this also causes the connection between collagen and fibroblast to weaken and wrinkle. Experts state that there are ingredients such as topical applications of retinol (a form of Vitamin A) that can be quite useful to counteract this problem. However, retinol also makes your skin more sensitive to the damage caused by UV light. As a result, using broad spectrum sunscreens that offer you SPF 30 sun protection is essential as well.
Carbon dioxide laser resurfacing is the other treatment that has been tested properly when it comes to wrinkles. The treatment works by inducing high levels of MMP (an enzyme which destroys fragmented collagen) and replacing it with undamaged collagen). The healing process usually takes 2 – 3 weeks and the wounds need to be cleaned with saline and treated with ointments in order to prevent scarring. Experts believe that this process can be done only once and the results should generally last you for years.
Finally, another effective way of treating wrinkles is injecting a type of hyaluronic acid into the dermis. The injection causes the fibroblasts to respond by producing more collagen. Numerous studies have demonstrated that this treatment can increase your collagen production almost immediately and visible results are generally seen in a month. The effects usually last for about 6 months.
Ultimately, choosing the best treatment is a matter of perception and choice. It’s a matter of how much of a problem wrinkles are for you and how much you’re willing to do to get rid of them. But for people who really want to improve their appearance, the benefits of these treatments far outweigh the problems or side effects that they might have.