Anti-aging products may be harmful to skin and dangerous to human health. Some of the ingredients used in anti-aging products promote aging, even though they contain natural elements or vitamins and minerals. Consumers spend billions of dollars a year to fight the signs of aging, holding the fountain of youth in the palm of their hands. Could hope in a bottle reduce the signs of aging, or is it the act of hope that provides the fountain of youth?
Any cosmetic or anti-aging product applied to the skin also enters the bloodstream through the skin's pores. Common ingredients in skin care products can be toxic. For instance, Propylene glycol attacks the nervous system and may cause liver or kidney damage, or dermatitis. Ingredients such as Triethanolamine, Hydantoin Diazolidinyl, urea and Imidazolidinyl urea are carcinogens. Parabens (ethyl-methyl-, butyl- and propylparaben) cause havoc on the endocrine system, responsible for mood and behavior changes, infertility, and delayed child development. Paraben components have been found in breast cancer tumors. The Human Growth Hormone found in anti-aging creams contributes to diabetes and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Dr David Gems from University College London says in a study that anti-oxidant components in anti-aging products have little effect on symptoms of aging. "The fact is that we don't understand much about the fundamental mechanisms of aging. A healthy, balanced diet is very important for reducing the risk of developing many diseases associated with old age, such as cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis, but there is no clear evidence that dietary antioxidants can slow or prevent aging. There is even less evidence to support the claims of most anti-aging products," says Dr. Gems.
The FDA does not regulate cosmetic products, nor recall cosmetic products, believing that the manufacturer should take the initiative to recall dangerous products. However, most ingredients contained in health and skin care products have known ingredients that harm our health. The FDA only acts if there is a violation of the law, but because it does not regulate the cosmetic industry, few laws protect the consumer. Skin care labels do not list warnings or potential side effects, which inhibit sales and affect their profits.
The safest ingredients in anti-aging products contain essential oils, aloe vera, shea butter, emu oil, and antioxidants such as Vitamins E, C, and A. Even though these ingredients are the safest, some users may experience allergic reactions to essential oils, or experience skin inflammation or dry skin from potent vitamins such as Vitamin C. The safest, most effective way to fight the aging process is a diet rich in vitamins and moderate exercise. In addition, studies show that those who believe a skin care product works before trying it will get some positive results. Those results are subjective, but findings show that those holding onto hope or believing in a positive outcome, usually obtain a positive outcome.
Researchers from UCL warn that anti-aging clinics and salons may offer supplements with their anti-aging products that may be harmful to your health. Those with medical conditions or on medications should talk to their doctors before taking any type of herbal medicines, over-the-counter drugs and other forms of alternative treatments. Consider making your own skin care concoctions at home using trusted ingredients such as vinegar, egg yolk, olive oil and essential oils. Do not purchase homemade anti-aging creams, as the ingredients may not be authentic. These products could spoil or contain spoiled ingredients with expired potency.
Cheryl Myers has has a master's degree from Saint Leo University and currently writes for several publications including Fit Pregnancy, Guideposts and Parent's Magazine.