Dr. Rueckl, Lakes Dermatology Warns, Be Careful Using Over The Counter Products Versus Medically Tested and Prescribed Products

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Purchase "Medically Tested" products from a dermatologist to ensure stability and effectiveness. You may be buying product that will produce little or no results.

Dr. F. Victor Rueckl

Medical products have a different stability factor to them. When Vitamin C products from a store like Target or Walgreens or whatnot are exposed to the air, the Vitamin C becomes chemically altered and its effectiveness is essentially no longer existent -

Dr. F. Victor Rueckl, of Lakes Dermatology, Las Vegas, Nevada is making sure that his patients know what their getting when they buy over-the-counter products.

"Products that are medically tested means often times, skin biopsies are done pre and post use. This shows, down to the molecular level, what's happening and what's working or not. This is why I prefer medically tested products - the proof that they work has been done, and on human skin, not lab animals..."

Rueckl went on to say, "Medical products have a different stability factor to them. When Vitamin C products from a store like Target or Walgreens or whatnot are exposed to the air, the Vitamin C becomes chemically altered and its effectiveness is essentially no longer existent - all from air. Products like SkinCeuticals are stabilized so that they maintain their effectiveness from the first drop, to the last, and they have a shelf life of years!"

"To maximize dollars, cosmeceuticals or pharmaceutical-grade cosmetic products will be a patient's best bet, and they will be available from physician's offices, like your dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Everyone wants to purchase products that improve their skin - tone, texture, discoloration, wrinkles, etc. While there is not one magic product that will work for all your skin's needs, there are ingredients to look for that will maximize your purchases."

Here are just a few:

The effectiveness skincare products depends in part on the active ingredient or ingredients. Here are some common ingredients that may result in more improvement in skin tone, texture, discoloration, and wrinkles.

  • Vitamin C. Vitamin C, in order to be stabilized, must also contain L-Ascorbic Acid. While Vitamin C is available in many forms and is relatively cheap as an ingredient, L-Ascobic Acid is more expensive, and therefore products with both, will cost a bit more. However, unstablized Vitamin C loses its potency so quickly that the bottle won't have active ingredients after just a few days of use. Vitamin C antioxidants neutralize free radical damage and protect against oxidative stress - the factors that lead to premature aging, loss of elasticity, and hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C makes sunscreens more effective too. SkinCeuticals makes great Vitamin C products including CE Ferulic, Phloretin CF, and Phloretin CF Gel.

Retinol. Retinol is a vitamin A compound, the first antioxidant to be widely used in nonprescription wrinkle creams. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals — unstable oxygen molecules that break down skin cells and cause wrinkles. Retinol is less potent than the vitamin A derivative tretinoin, a topical treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating wrinkles. Tretinoin is available only by prescription, but Retinol is available in various over-the-counter and medical skincare products. Avoid vitamin A derivatives if you are pregnant or may become pregnant, because they may increase the risk of birth defects. Retinol helps with fine lines and wrinkles, and promotes quicker cell turnover. Make sure that the Retinol purchased is dispensed in very specific airtight pump containers; they should not be exposed to the air or the Retinol loses potency.

  • Hydroxy acids. Alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids and poly hydroxy acids are synthetic versions of acids derived from sugar-containing fruits. These acids are exfoliants — substances that remove the upper layer of old, dead skin and stimulate the growth of smooth, evenly pigmented new skin. Because hydroxy acids increases susceptibility to sun damage, one should always wear sunscreen during use. Hydroxy acids which are time released can be used daily, or one can get a more intensive hydroxy peel at a dermatologist's office. Most hydroxy acids are a clear substance and are in the form of a serum, like SkinCeuticals Blemish & Age or Retexturing Activator.
  • Coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 is a nutrient that helps regulate energy production in cells. Some studies have shown reduction in fine wrinkles around the eyes with no side effects. Other studies show that application before sun exposure protects against sun damage. Sometimes referred to as CoQ10, this ingredient is available in some skincare products, but it can be more effective when taken as an oral supplement.
  • Copper peptides. Copper is a trace element found in every cell. In products applied to the skin, it's combined with small protein fragments called peptides. Copper peptides enhance wound healing. They also stimulate production of collagen and may enhance the action of antioxidants.
  • Kinetin. As a plant growth factor, kinetin may improve the appearance of wrinkles and uneven pigmentation with minimal irritation. It's unclear how it works, but it may help reduce wrinkles by helping skin retain moisture and by stimulating the production of collagen. It may also be a potent antioxidant. There's still more to discover about Kinetin but product lines like Kinerase and ProTherapy are using it in many of their skincare products now.
  • Tea extracts. Green, black and oolong tea contain compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea extracts are the ones most commonly found in wrinkle creams.

Topical pharmaceuticals are drugs that penetrate through the stratum corneum barrier into the epidermis to have a measurable effect on the structure and function of the skin, and to reverse the disease state. FDA approval requires proof of effectiveness by double-blind randomized prospective controlled clinical trials in hundreds of people. The study should be conducted by an independent research group to prevent bias, even though it is paid for by the company sponsoring the drug. Product development costs usually exceed $230 million and take seven to 12 years for approval of a single prescription drug by this New Drug Application (NDA). Safety and stability studies of the products must be completed prior to the final (phase III) clinical trials. Which is probably why most products are not willing to go the distance.

So in the end, take Dr. Rueckl's advice and contact his office if you are in Las Vegas, or contact your local dermatologist for the very best in products that result in good anti aging prevention.

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