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Dr. Oz's Anti-Aging Lotions To Fight Wrinkles

Dr. Oz
February 6, 2014 Reviewed by Marta 3 Comments

Dr. Oz (whose new magazine was launched today) went on national television to promote hydroquinone, an extremely controversial skin lightener that is banned in some countries.

Dr. Jeanine Downie, a dermatologist and guest on Dr. Oz’s TV show, said a 2% solution of hydroquinone will prevent and reverse age spots, melasma and other discolorations.

The Truth About Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is an effective inhibitor of melanogenesis, the process by which cells create melanin, the pigment that causes freckle and dark spots. But it achieves this by being cytoxic to melanocytes. Concerns about cancer have restricted the use of hydroquinone in Europe and Japan.

It can also cause irritation and redness and should not be used on skin that is sore or damaged. All in all, it is, in my opinion, irresponsible of doctors to recommend hydroquinone without alluding to any of the potential (and potentially serious) downsides.

Safer Alternatives to Hydroquinone

Decapeptide-12 is a synthetic peptide comprising a sequence of amino acids developed by dermatological researchers at Stanford University, and used in Lumixyl’s Brightening Crème ($120).

Arbutin is a form of hydroquinone found at high concentrations in certain plants. Gentler than hydroquinone, it can be found in Your Best Face Restore ($120).

Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is a non-irritating, stable form of vitamin C. It can be used at concentrations as low as 10% to suppress melanin formation. It can be found in Arcona Instant Magic Reversal Serum ($105).

Much less controversial were Dr. Oz’s other recommendations: He said multi-peptides restore firmness to sagging skin because they contain amino acids that promote collagen growth, and he advised applying retinol at night and using soy cream in the morning.

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The Truth About Multi-Peptides

I am totally, 100% with the good doctor on this one. Peptides are chains of amino acids. When collagen breaks down, it forms specific peptides that signal to your skin that it was damaged and needs to make new collagen. So by applying peptides topically, we are trying to trick our skin into thinking that it has lost collagen recently and needs to make more. A dipeptide has two amino acids, tripeptide has three amino acids and a tetrapeptide has four amino acids.

My favorite multi-peptide serum is BRAD Biophotonic Essential Elixir Multi-Peptide ($95) with at least 12 amino acids. To take one example, the amino acid arginine plays a pivotal role in cell division and the healing of wounds. This leaves my complexion looking dewy and rested. Skinfinite Peptide Repair Serum ($69 in the shop) has a moisture-binding peptide and  another, rH-Oligopeptide-1 comprised of up to 53 amino acids. It stimulates cell growth to repair wrinkles.

The Truth About Retinol and Soy

Retinol is the name for the vitamin A family and prescription creams. Dr. Oz is right to suggest you use this at night since it makes the skin much more sensitive to sunlight. Retinol can also be irritating and drying for those with sensitive skin. And there is evidence that some forms – retinyl palmitate when subjected to sunlight, or tretinoin – can be toxic.

Nonetheless, the deep exfoliating effect can smooth the complexion of discoloration and wrinkles, and so retinol can seem very tempting. Dr. Oz suggests mitigating the drying effects of retinol with a soy cream. Soy typically appears in cosmetics as glycine soja and is a natural emollient and moisturizer. Some studies show it to act as an inhibitor of the activity of substances in the body that regulate cell division and cell survival. Some people experience soy allergies, but otherwise this ingredient is safe.

Products with retinol include Medik8 Retinol 3 TR ($55) and M.A.D Skincare Youth Transformation Retinol Complex Serum 1% ($79).

Products with soy include Suki Facial Lift Ultimate Firming Cream ($164.95), Snowberry Soothing Facial Massage Oil ($32) and Arcona Instant Magic Reversal Serum ($105).

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  • March 3, 2016

    by Becca

    Hi I am responding to the question from Jen on February 25, 2016. I have been using a face cream recommended by many YouTubers. It's from Walgreens and is their store brand, Studio 35. It is the Alpha Hydroxy cream. It is sold in a 4 plastic tub that looks very generic, and it only costs $10, but it has made my skin brighter and smoother and firmer in less than 1 month of use. I use a very thin layer all over my face and neck every other night, and I don't have any irritation. Try it out.

  • February 25, 2016

    by Jen

    Im29 and need a cheap face cream to keep me young I would love something to be able to get from Walgreens or cvs so I don't have to order and wait ju$t go buy it when needed ty for your help

  • February 5, 2016

    by Marcella L. Arroyo

    Please tell me about creams for the face , there are over tons of them, I will be 70 years old in June of this year/ 2016. PLEASE HELP, I know I am old , but I do not want to look like 170 . We live on SS, so money is short, but there is Monther's Days, xmas and birthdays. Thank you Marcella

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