The earlier you start protecting your skin, the better in the long run and you wouldn’t need anti-aging products by the time you’re 30+ years old.
Hardly any of those anti aging products work. Many are not approved by the FDA, but it’s trendy right now because people are desperate. You can’t plump a raisin back to grapes, not possible. You can try soaking them with serum, or whale sperm, or water or juice, but it’s never the same as before. Skin is the same thing . . . that’s why people go for the faster route. They travel to Brazil to get a cheap surgery, but they come back to Beverly Hills to get them corrected.
The function of the FDA is to monitor new drugs, such as anti aging products, entering into the marketplace and ensure that they are safe and effective. Unfortunately, many anti aging skin care products as well as other anti aging products use wild and exaggerated claims in their marketing materials.
According to the FDA, a big controversy with some of the advertising are claims that anti aging products will rejuvenate or repair or restructure the skin. These types of claims lead to speculation that the product is causing structural changes to the skin. If this is true, these products should be classified as drugs and should be removed from the market until the FDA has approved them. Conversely, if these claims are not true, the companies should stop claiming these features for their products.
In the past, the FDA has sent regulatory letters to the cosmetic companies making these types of claims informing them that they may be in violation of federal laws.
The High End Anti Aging Market
The anti aging product market is one of the biggest markets in the United States. Each year consumers spend billions of dollars on unproven anti aging products in an attempt to slow down the aging process. The FDA as well as others consider this a danger because taking an unproven and untested product could very easily cause near or long term damage to someone.
While there are dozens of high-end brands, experts say many low-cost brands are just as effective. Moreover, many cosmetic firms are owned by the same parent company, so the exclusive label that makes high-end brands may be affiliated with the maker of more downscale products. For example, L’Oreal owns Maybelline, Lancome and Biotherm; Estee Lauder owns Clinique, Prescriptives and Origins; Almay is owned by Revlon. Experts say there’s little need to spend three or four times more for a department-store moisturizer unless you particularly like its feel or scent.
However, under the current laws, the FDA is limited in its ability to oversee and enforce the claims made for anti aging products by manufacturers. The FDA is also limited by funding and political concerns in its ability to independently conduct the large studies that are sometimes necessary to test the claims made regarding these products. So, more than ever before it’s up to the consumer to do his or her own investigation regarding any anti aging claims made for products that they may be interested in taking.
A perfect example is Botox, or botulinum toxin A. The FDA approved a Botox product that would temporarily improve the appearance of frown lines. Yet, many feel that this was an ill advised move. The fact that it is a toxin is a bright warning sign that it should not be used in a cavalier manner. This is a toxin that in large doses can be fatal and if used excessively may even harm nerves. Many feel that more testing should have been done before granting approval, but funding limitations and political considerations will always win in a contest between them and the public good.
With so many Americans enamored of using products to make them look more beautiful or younger we can expect hundreds more anti aging products to hit the shelves in the coming years. And there is simply no way that the FDA will be able to adequately test them all.
So even though an FDA approved product does not necessarily mean that an anti-aging product is safe or that it works as advertised, the FDA sign of approval is a point in its favor.