DMAE, short for dimethylaminoethanol, was originally used to promote vigilance, alertness, and a positive lift in mood(2). However, it has more recently been inducted into the world of wrinkle cures. It has been nicknamed the “facelift in a jar”, and as such, has quickly become one of the most popular ingredients in the industry. It is also one of the few ingredients in the industry with clinical studies to back its claims.
What really sets DMAE apart from its competition is not the fact that it is backed by clinical studies, but the fact that it is currently the only natural product proven to reduce facial sag. Other elements reduce wrinkles by freezing muscle contractions that would cause wrinkles, exfoliating, etc. But none of them actually tighten and firm in the way DMAE does. Though it does not work quite as efficiently as botox or surgical procedures, some users report increased effectiveness with continued use.
Recently, some concerns have been raised as to DMAE’s level of safety. One Dr Francois Marceau suggested DMAE killed cells. However, looking beyond that statement, Marceau was forced to admit that the risk is likely to be small, if there at all, and further studies would be needed to make any conclusive statements. The DMAE used was also a variety not actually used in human skin care products tested on rabbit dermal fibroblast cells, which are far more sensitive than human skin(2). There have been no other studies to confirm of dispute these results.
Though the research for DMAE in the field of wrinkes is not as extensive as that in the field of memory related issues, it is still considerable. In one study, a 3% concentrated DMAE gel was applied to one cheek in conjunction with a placebo gel on the other cheek. Skin firmness was measured 45 minutes after application, and the DMAE showed marked improvement in skin firmness, hydration, and skin tone at that time(3). An additional study showed the same results, and added that DMAE significantly reduced lines and wrinkles while improving fullness(4).
DMAE in its use as an anti wrinkle agent is still in its infancy. But with a repeatable study completed and an ability unique to the non invasive wrinkle care industry, the future is promising.
- W. Dimpfel, W. Wedekind, I. Keplinger, “Efficacy of dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) containing vitamin-mineral drug combination on EEG patterns in the presence of different emotional states“, European Journal Medical Research 8(5):183-191, 2003.
- Isabelle Uhoda et al., “Split Face Study on the Cutaneous Tensile Effect of 2-dimethylaminoethanol (deanol) Gel,” Skin Research and Technology 8 (2002): 164-167.
- R. Grossman, “The Role of Dimethylaminoethanol in Cosmetic Dermatology,” American Journal of Clinical Dermatology 6 (2005): 39-47.