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Beauty Without Injections

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Beauty Without Injections

In their search for quick fixes to defy the signs of aging, many people turn to facial injections. The injected substances can include anything from a protein produced by the same bacteria that causes botulism, to fat, collagen, and even silicone to fill in wrinkles.

In their search for quick fixes to defy the signs of aging, many people turn to facial injections. The injected substances can include anything from a protein produced by the same bacteria that causes botulism, to fat, collagen, and even silicone to fill in wrinkles.

These facial injections are very popular because of their immediate results: reduced wrinkles, frown lines, and crows’ feet. While good results may show for most who suffer through the pain and cost of the injections, some individuals may experience side effects, leading to potential damage to their skin and health. People are now looking for other ways to find beauty without visiting their doctors.

The good news is that alternatives are available that don’t involve needles or injections. New cosmetic ingredients–especially peptides–enable consumers to get many of the benefits of facial injections in a safer, more gradual way.

A Peptide for Skin Repair

A peptide known as palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 decreases the visible appearance of wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. This ingredient consists of several naturally derived amino acids (called peptides) and has some of the best, most reliable research and documentation of any cosmetic ingredient.

One six-month, double-blind study on 35 women aged 34 to 72 revealed that a creme containing palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 reduced the appearance of wrinkles by up to 68 percent. The study demonstrated the positive, measurable effects of this peptide for decreasing wrinkle volume, wrinkle density, wrinkle depth, surface area of deep wrinkles, and skin roughness. The researchers also noted that results improved with time–the longer the volunteers used the product, the better their skin looked.

A Peptide for Wrinkles

Another cosmetic peptide ingredient known as acetyl hexapeptide-3 has been shown to reduce wrinkle depth, particularly around the forehead and eyes. A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2002 demonstrated that a creme containing 10 percent acetyl hexapeptide-3 used by healthy women volunteers reduced wrinkle depth up to 30 percent upon 30 days of treatment.

The way in which this peptide worked could be compared to botulism neurotoxin, which led researchers to conclude that this ingredient is a nontoxic, antiwrinkle peptide that represents a safe alternative to botulism neurotoxins in cosmetics.

Hyaluronic Acid

As we age our skin loses its ability to hold water. Hyaluronic acid helps deliver water back to skin cells making it one of the best naturally derived moisturizers available. Its ability to hold water results in decreased wrinkles and softer, smoother skin. Used in many skin care products, hyaluronic acid’s unique properties play an important role in tissue hydration, lubrication, and cellular function.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

The skin’s exposure to the sun reverses and counteracts all the benefits of the best skin-care ingredients. Covering up during the daytime is essential, and always wear a hat—both your head and face need protection.

Topical Antioxidants

While sunscreens with a SPF of 15 block most UV light, some residual light can still penetrate the skin. This remaining light, plus environmental pollutants, can create free radicals, which are reactive molecules that can weaken or destroy living cells. Free radicals can damage skin cells causing wrinkling, pigmentation, and other skin problems.

Topical antioxidants provide some protection against environmental damage to the skin and may be effective in slowing down skin aging. Some of the most popular naturally derived antioxidants found in skin care products are vitamin C, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, alpha-lipoic acid, green tea extract, grapeseed extract, lycopene, and sea buckthorn oil.

A trip to the health food store reveals many skin care products containing these high-performing ingredients. As an alternative to facial injections, these products promise results that are more gradual and at lower cost, while avoiding the risk of potential pain or side effects.

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