Do They Help?
Liposomes, small fat capsules said by the beauty industry to transport active ingredients deep into skin to reduce the signs of aging, are ineffective, finds research from the University of Southern Denmark. Researchers, using Raster Imaging Correlation Spectroscopy (RICS) to learn what happens to liposomes once they are topically applied, found that they are destroyed before they enter the skin. "Previous research done with a different technique provide some hints, but not conclusive evidence, that liposomes are capable of penetrating the skin. Therefore some scientists have concluded that liposomes are efficient carriers. Now for the first time we have conclusive evidence that this is not the case," says researcher Professor Luis Bagatolli, who advises buyers to beware of beauty claims.
Chemical Free Technique
Do you have facial wrinkles that you would like to get rid of? A massage therapist in San Francisco is charging $350 to literally slap them off your face. According to the Tata Massage website, “Face slapping is well-known internationally and uses Thai wisdom to bring out your own beauty.” She says that the procedure has been used for thousands of years in Thailand. The 15-minute session is thought to lessen wrinkles, shrink pores and tighten skin by increasing facial circulation, contributing to a youthful glow. Tata says the results are visible immediately and the technique is 100% chemical-free, unlike other creams, fillers, or Botox. Tata is one of only 10 people in the world who are licensed to perform face-slapping and the only one here in the Western hemisphere.
It’s Not Just for Headaches
Botox, first used to relieve muscle spasms, is now commonly used to ease facial wrinkles, stop excessive underarm sweating and to counteract strabismus or abnormal alignment of the eyes. This week, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Botox injections to prevent chronic migraine headaches in adult patients. Chronic headaches are defined as occurring more than 14 days a month. To treat migraine, Botox is injected every 12 weeks around the neck and head and is said to dull headache symptoms. The drug has not been shown to work for patients whose headaches occur fewer than 14 days per month. Chronic migraine “can greatly affect family, work, and social life, so it is important to have a variety of effective treatment options available,” says the FDA’s Russell Katz, M.D.
Law Enforcement Cracks Down
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2.5 million doses of Botox were administered in 2009. The national average cost of a vial of Botox is $397. Wanting some of that dough, scammers have devised ways to secure Botox’s main ingredient and have flooded the market with fake Botox to sources looking to buy cheap product, reports The Today Show. “When it's obtained and diluted by an unscrupulous practitioner and then injected, there is no way of knowing how much active toxin is in the injection. It's often a lot, and enough to cause tetanus - which can be lethal if it gets into the body's circulation," says Dr. Mauro C. Romita, Ajune Clinical Spa, NYC. Authorities have begun to crack down on Botox scams but “buyer beware” remains the best course of action.
High Oxygen, Fewer Wrinkles
Hairless mice that were placed in oxygen after being exposed to UVB rays three times a week for five weeks ended up with fewer wrinkles and less skin damage compared to those not placed in the oxygen chamber for two hours after being exposed, according to a study at the University of Tokyo. Wrinkles and thickened skin were observed in both groups, but to a lesser extent in the group that received oxygen treatment. More studies need to be done to determine if high levels of oxygen would do that same for people. The complete study can be found online in the American Journal of Physiology -- Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.
Callebaut, the world’s largest chocolate manufacturer, has developed a chocolate bar that may help fight wrinkles. Acticoa is loaded with antioxidants called flavanols that, while usually destroyed in the chocolate-making process, help mop up free radicals produced by pollution, smoking and caffeine. Free radicals are blamed for a number of health issues including accelerating the aging process. Callebaut says it’s found a way to preserve flavanols, making its chocolate bars and buttons good for you. Studies carried out by Callebaut show that eating just 20 grams or 0.755 oz a day may help prevent wrinkles, boost skin’s hydration and improve elasticity. Prestat's Choxi Acticoa, Thorntons' Antioxi Dark Berryboost, and Guylian Extra Seashells are now available for age-conscious chocoholics.
Recession Or Zeitgeist To Blame?
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reported an 18 percent decline in the number of cosmetic surgery procedures performed last year in the US. The recession has been cited as a major factor in the downward trend but is something else afoot? After at least a decade of glamorizing cosmetic surgical procedures in television shows such as Nip/Tuck and Extreme Makeover, the tide seems to be turning. Magazines that once celebrated the beauty of artificially-enhanced movie and tv stars, now take them to task. Cosmetic surgeons say that, while the recession has impacted their business, there also seems to be a shift in taste and sensibility of the American public who now seem to prefer less-invasive procedures such as Botox and fillers.