Many of us will experience that day when we wake up after a great (but late) night of celebrating only to look in the mirror and see someone years older than we feel. Maybe that’s happened to you already? What happens next varies from person to person – after all, growing older may be compulsory but so what! A few wrinkles add character. But for those who want to look as fresh as they feel the lure of a “quick fix” can be too compelling to ignore.

However, having the will to reduce wrinkles doesn’t necessarily correlate to a willingness to go under the knife. For some the cash is the killer and for others it’s all about the cutting! Those who haven’t been living under a beauty care rock for the last few years will have heard about the joys of Botox BUT hang on a minute, that involves needles AND a trip to a trained (and expensive) clinic. Again, not possible or even desirable for many. So, what options are available to the needle / knife shy and cash strapped beauty?


Drum roll for the creams please.

There are many different anti-ageing creams offering results that range from an instant face lift to long-term repair and revival. One of the miracle ingredients to be found in some of these high tech cosmaceutical potions is GABA or Gamma Amino Butyric Acid  (which I have been assured in one advertisement is NOT a chemical (WHAT???))

So what is GABA?

Well, for one of course it is a chemical – what else would it be, fairy dust? And for two GABA is not new, it has been present in us since we first walked the earth and scientists have understood its effects since the 1950’s. GABA plays an important part in our nervous system and helps to control muscle activity, the more GABA present, the less the surrounding muscle can contract. We all know that it takes heaps more muscles to frown than it does to smile and many of us (me included) have more than their fair share of frown lines so being able to tone down the response of these muscles should result in less wrinkles. Cool, but can it work?

There is little doubt that GABA works on the nervous system but can it really work when applied to the skin in a cream? I have looked at quite a few different patents and journals and found very little evidence that it does as well when applied topically. Now it is very possible to get ingredients to go through the skin – think dermal patches that help you to stop smoking, topical pain relief and more but GABA has to work on the muscles in order to be effective. That is difficult to achieve in a cream as the skin its self is around 16 layers deep and it is very good at keeping most things out. Furthermore, cosmetics are only supposed to alter the appearance of the skin with anything else being classed as a pharmaceutical. However, GABA is rarely found alone in these wonder creams and that may be the secret to instant results. Things like hylauronic acid, herbal vasodilators (things to increase blood flow) and collagen boosters are also packed into these high tech anti-ageing creams and are usually touted as the “physician’s formula” or something similar. There is a good chance that when all of this is applied to the skin, something will happen and wrinkle reduction may just be one of the effects that you observe!

Is it a load of baloney?

Not really, no. These creams are quite a lot more money than your basic moisturizing cream but the good news is their ability to deliver results has to be verified in order for them to be able to claim anything specific. However, to say that these creams can replace the “need” for Botox OR a surgical intervention is something else entirely and may well lead to disappointment. If you have, the money and the inclination then why not go ahead and try these creams. I would love to hear how you get on!