Q: I recently read that there's some research to suggest DMAE might damage skin cells. Please tell me more.

A: A study from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Quebec, published in the British Journal of Dermatology (April 2007) suggest that applying DMAE topically might damage skin cells, as demonstrated in cultured rabbit and human skin cells. Dr. Francois Marceau, one of the researchers, explained to Reuters Health that the risk is probably small and he's not telling people to avoid DMAE in skincare products. Dr. Marceau added that DMAE is safer than a surgical facelift and Botox. If you're concerned, talk to your dermatologist about DMAE.

Q: What other research has been done on DMAE and skin?

A: Again, though more research is needed to explore DMAE's role in improving skin, studies have suggested it helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin. For instance, in a 2002 study published in Skin Research and Technology, tests demonstrated an increase in firmness among 30 adults between 36 and 49 years old.

Q: If I use DMAE products, can I expect to see a gradual improvement in sagging skin?

A: According to Smart Skincare, although you won't see a complete transformation from saggy to completely taut skin, some people do find that the longer they use DMAE, the more improvement they notice.

by team

What is it? A precursor of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, DMAE, short for dimethylaminoethanol, is an organic compound found to improve fine lines and wrinkles, dull or sallow skin and most impressively, sagging skin. In fact, DMAE may be the only compound to improve facial sagging.

Research shows it might also "improve facial contour and wrinkles," writes Caroline Helwick in a 2003 article for Dermatology Times. Specifically, a Johnson & Johnson study explored DMAE's efficacy among 156 participants with moderate photodamaged skin. The adults applied 3 percent DMAE gel to their faces for 16 weeks. Subtle improvements were noticed on the forehead. Skin around the eyes, lips and cheeks also appeared tighter. In a Cleveland Clinic article, DMAE is even described as showing "remarkable effects when applied topically to skin, resulting in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles."

Naturally found in human nerve tissue and a variety of fish — think salmon and anchovies — DMAE was introduced to the skincare market in the early 90's.The compound's impact on skincare is a relatively new discovery; as such, scientists have yet to discover the specific ways DMAE works to improve skin.

You'll find it in: DMAE can be found in face and eye creams, serums and cleansers. According to dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, M.D., in order to receive optimum benefits of DMAE and improve muscle tone, individuals shouldn't only apply a DMAE product but also eat lots of fish and take DMAE nutritional supplements. However, before you take any supplements, it's very important to consult with your doctor.

Our product picks: N.V. Perricone Advanced Face Firming Activator provides a high concentration of active ingredients, including DMAE, formulated to produce maximum results without shocking or stressing your skin. This serum will tighten and tone, shrink enlarged pores, bind moisture into your skin and smooth skin's texture.

Facial sagging can appear most dominant under and next to the eye area, across the forehead and along the jaw line. To combat wrinkles and sagging in those delicate areas, try Janson Beckett AlphaDerma CE. Ideal for all skin types, this lotion is formulated with a combination of DMAE, elastin, collagen and other effective ingredients to provide instant, visible improvement.

What to expect: You should see an improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, along with firmer, less saggy skin. Though you won't see the dramatic results of a surgical facelift, as mentioned above, research does suggest noticeable improvements.

Who should avoid DMAE: DMAE is suitable for all skin types. But if you're allergic to PABA , or para amino benzoic acid, avoid using DMAE topically (and as an oral supplement as well). That's because DMAE is PABA's chemical relative.

See also:

Natural Options for Healthy Hair Growth

How to Get Straight, Sleek Tresses

SkinCeuticals Review

Develop an Eye for Eye Cream

The Truth about Natural Skin Care


Janson Beckett AlphaDerma CE Unique anti-aging wrinkle cure concentrate."
Dr. Michelle Copeland Rewind Age-Defying Cream Unique blend of anti-wrinkle and antioxidants compounds, including argireline, DMAE and coenzyme Q10, effectively reduces fine lines making skin soft, supple and smooth. "
Juice Beauty Antioxidant Serum Resist gravity with a blend of powerful age-defying DMAE, vitamin antioxidants, alpha lipoic acid, co-enzyme Q10, peptides and essential nutrients to rejuvenate, help smooth fine lines and help firm for radiant, ageless skin."
Perricone MD DMAE Dietary Supplement DMAE supports three nutritional factors that play an important role in promoting healthy skin."
Ole Henriksen Restart Anti Aging Serum Gravity fighting DMAE and reparative Alpha Lipoic Acid are paired with calming and retexturing botanicals to reduce wrinkles, increase firmness and give skin a radiant glow."

"The information provided on is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you have a medical question or concern regarding any news item or article on this news magazine, please consult your physician..."