DMAE - An Answer To Wrinkles or Damaging To Cells?

Is DMAE or 2-dimethyl-amino-ethanol an answer to wrinkles? Or does it damage the cell and cause long term problems?

It is commonly used in anti aging creams and cosmetics.

It is found naturally in fish such as sardines and anchovies. There has been some research indicating that it can increase brain function and moods when taken orally.


As a wrinkle cream, there are claims that 2-dimethyl-amino-ethanol reduces wrinkles by preventing cell deterioration and strengthening cell membranes. It is known to quickly tighten and firm the skin. Skin becomes more elastic with continued use. It is anti inflammatory and hydrates the skin. It can be found in products manufactured by CFFormulas skincare, Neutrogena and Dr. Perricone.


Recently, Canada’s Universite Laval conducted tests on skin cells that show a drastic and rapid swelling of fibroblasts, which maintain the connection between cells. Within a few hours after applying 2-dimethyl-amino-ethanol, cell division slowed and at times stopped completely. Twenty-four hours after applying the concentration found in anti-wrinkle cosmetics, the fibroblast mortality rate reached over 25%.

According to Dr. Perricone's book, The Wrinkle Cure, 2-dimethyl-amino-ethanol can prevent cell deterioration when applied topically. Dr. Perricone's Web site,, claims that it is good way to maintain an anti-aging skin care regimen.

Dr. Guillaume Marceau, who co-presented the recent research, suggests that the anti-wrinkle effect of the compound may occur as a direct result of the damage suffered by the skin. When the cell becomes damaged, the skin thickens and appears "plumper."

Dr. Francis Marceau from the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Quebec conducted tests on rabbit ears. The study reported that there was damage to the rabbit skin cells treated with DMAE. However, the formula used in the study was very concentrated and had a high pH level. When used in skin creams, it is less concentrated and has more skin-friendly pH level.


Is 2-dimethyl-amino-ethanol an answer to wrinkles? Or does it damage the cell and cause long term problems? This ingredient has been used in skin care for 20 years with no reported ill effects. Ultimately, only more long term studies will provide the answer.

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