Two months ago, I was in my office and a woman asked a logical question. Keep in mind, that she had lost 30 pounds, had used BOTOX and Juvederm to take 10 years off of her face, and she felt so much better after we had tuned up her body (with diet, exercise, and hormone replacement) that her marriage and work-life were both dramatically improved. This was the question: "Now that I'm feeling so good and looking so great, what's the best cream to protect my face from aging?"
Before I tell you the answer that I gave her, let me address a sneaky discomfort . Some will say, "I just want to age gracefully." But, you do not leave your car un-waxed or your house un-painted and say, "I'm just letting my house age gracefully."
Anything can be overdone, but if it is alright to improve your car's value by waxing it, if it's alright to keep your house maintained by painting it, then it should be alright to prevent the aging of the face. That is what I call aging gracefully. Aging ungracefully would be like not painting your house and letting things deteriorate faster than needed.
Aging is not just about appearance either. The same free radicals that cause wrinkles also cause skin cancer.
So, this woman asked me a very reasonable, logical question. She was working to make her body and mind healthy from the inside out. But the skin is a very important organ as well. A source of health (makes vitamins and hormones) and disease (cancer) and using an anti-aging cream is a useful, smart thing to do.
Prevage cream [made by Allergan, the same people who make BOTOX] contains a high concentration of idebenone (pronounced eedy b known). Idebebone is an antioxidant that has been found to effectively combat the signs of aging brought on by factors such as age, sun damage, and smoking. Idebenone has been used in some neurological diseases because of its powerful anti-oxidant effects. It can even reverse signs of aging. As an introduction to why I think Prevage is the first choice, start by reading this article: University Dermatologist talks about the PrevageMD (Idebenone)
Antioxidants protect cells from environmental damage, improve the appearance of fine lines, reduce dryness, and smooth skin texture. Studies show that Idebenone is more powerful in preventing cell damage than 5 other popular antioxidants- Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10, Kinetin, and alpha lipoic acid.
IIdebenone comes as a capsule that seems to work fine on a systemic basis but cannot deliver as high a concentration to the skin as can a 1% cream. The analogy is Wal-mart at 1 a.m. If you are in the middle of the store in the very early morning, you well see few people. But, if you stand near the door, you will see plenty of people. If you take a Idebenone as a capsule, there is some benefit, but the medication is diluted throughout the body; so, the skin is like the middle of the store and see's a very small amount of Idebenone. But, if you apply a concentrated cream to the face, then the face becomes the door and you see a very high concentration at the skin level but still get some benefits to the heart and brain by the small amounts that are absorbed into the blood stream.
With thousands of products being sold but with only limited resources (you only have so-much time to be putting on creams before bed)--the question is what's works the best? Answering this question (and comparing Prevage (Idebenone) with other products) can be sort of like debating what's the best movie in the past year. To actually measure the ability to mop up free radicals and protect skin, a definitive test was done where the ability was measured [the scientists measured UV-induced radical trapping/scavenging capacity by photochemiluminescence, pro-oxidative systems, microsome-NADPH/ADP/Fe3+ with measurement of primary and secondary oxidative products].
The short explanation is that scientists proved that Idebenone is the strongest anti-oxidant, anti-aging cream on the market (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology Volume 4, No.1, Jan 2005). No one has proven them wrong and now two years of use has proven them right. Idebenone (because it is such a strong anti-oxidant) has actually been used to treat other diseases of the heart and nervous system.
Yes, you can buy Prevage (not PrevageMD) at some stores without talking with a physician but you are buying 1/2 strength when you buy at the department store. Prevage is 1/2%. PrevageMD is 1% (twice as strong). Why would you want to go to the trouble to buy the most powerful anti-oxidant, anti-aging cream known and then water it down to 1/2 strength? The only reason I know is for price or convenience; I'm taking those two reasons away.
Here are before and after photos.
Peace & Health,
Age Management Specialist, Internist, and Research Physician