My very first Weekly Ingredient Knowledge Drop (WIKD) is about …((drumroll, please!)):

DMAE (aka dimethyanimoethanol)

What is it? – An antioxidant. Chemical cousin of choline.

What does this ingredient claim to do? – Dr. Perricone made DMAE famous in ‘The Perricone Prescription’. DMAE is said to give your skin a more youthful appearance by increasing elasticity and firmness because it helps to regulate skeletal (smooth) muscle movement. DMAE is said to add definition to facial contours by helping to pick up the slack in aging facial muscles.

DMAE can also help prevent and reduce age spots. Age spots are caused by lipofucsin, a brown pigment in the skin that consists of cellular waste and accumulates with age. DMAE can block the formation of lipofucsin and therefore reduce the occurrence and appearance of age spots.

What kind of results can people expect from this product? – What’s unique about DMAE is that it isn’t just designed to target wrinkles, though it does have smoothing effects. The primary draw of DMAE is its ability to reduce facial sagging. While results are tangible, they are modest at best. This is not a miracle in a jar!

What natural and/or cruelty free products have I tried that contain this ingredient?
Reviva –Elastin & DMAE cream (Note: Elastin cannot be absorbed into the skin because its molecular size is too large, so it does not provide any substantial additional anti-aging benefit.)

Reviva Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin C Ester & DMAE cream (ALA is an antioxidant that promotes healthy cell function, boosts skin’s radiance/glow, and minimizes enlarged pores and surface imperfections.)

Conclusion: Bunk or Buy? – Buy DMAE products you want to improve firmness or prevent sagging, but watch costs. Results are not equal to surgery—it will not dramatically lift a sagging face but can provide some noticeable result with time and consistent use. Buyer beware—DMAE creams can be expensive without much reason other than hype. DMAE is a stable ingredient easily dispersed in a topical cream, unlike vitamin C which is another common antioxidant in skincare, and is no more expensive than aspirin commercially, so anti aging DMAE products definitely warrant some comparative shopping!