Protect Your Age-Prone Zones

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Can You Reclaim a Baby-Soft Complexion?

Why is a newborn's skin so irresistibly soft? Because it contains an abundance of compounds called natural growth factors as well as antioxidants, proteins, and collagen, needed to produce fresh, healthy cells. Some companies now use different sources of natural growth factors in their latest anti-wrinkle treatments. For example, NouriCel, a solution extracted from skin substitutes made to treat burns and wounds, is enriched with natural growth factors. It is the main ingredient in SkinMedica's TNS Recovery Complex ($125; Other products with natural growth factors include: DDF Cellular Revitalization Age Renewal ($125; to order, call 800-723-2889) with amino acid proteins; and Bio Jouvance Bio Lift ($159;, which takes live cells from animal and plant sources.

Do they work? "Our bodies make very little of our own natural growth factor after the age of 35," says New York City-based dermatologist Howard Sobel, M.D. "Reintroducing these compounds into the skin increases cell energy. By making skin cells act younger they can repair themselves faster."

Plastic surgeon Cap Lesesne, M.D., in New York City, has seen the studies on these creams but says there needs to be more investigation. Dr. Lesesne also questions whether the growth factors are really absorbed. To date, there have been no significant side effects.


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