Cosmetic Update

Will “wrinkle improvement” cream get rid of wrinkles? The true effects of skin care cosmetics taught by a cosmetic dermatologist

Fine lines, wrinkles around the corners of the eyes, and between the eyebrows are a problem for many women. At first, wrinkles may be small enough to be covered with makeup, but as you get older, they become deeper and become noticeable every time you look in the mirror.

For women who suffer from wrinkles, there are “wrinkle-improving” creams on the market, but can cosmetics really erase wrinkles?

This time, we asked Dr. Mayumi Nomoto, director of Mayumi Nomoto Clinic Ginza, to explain in detail the effects of commercially available wrinkle-improving cosmetics and wrinkle treatment through aesthetic medicine.

What are the beauty ingredients contained in commercially available wrinkle-improving cosmetics?

images of skin care items

–What ingredients are included in commercially available wrinkle-improving cosmetics? Also, what kind of effects does it have?

In Japan, there are three ingredients that have been approved by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for their effectiveness in improving wrinkles. We will introduce each ingredient.


 Retinol is a type of vitamin A that promotes skin turnover and stimulates the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, making the skin plump . Our cells have receptors specific to vitamin A, so when you apply vitamin A, it acts directly on the DNA in the nucleus, leading to healthy skin.

●Neil One

NeilOne is the first ingredient in Japan to be recognized for its wrinkle-improving effect . When the skin is damaged by UV rays, it releases excessive neutrophil elastase, which breaks down dermal components such as collagen. On the other hand, Neil1 promotes the improvement of wrinkles by inhibiting “neutrophil elastase.”


 Niacinamide is a type of water-soluble vitamin B3. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties like vitamin C, but the advantage is that it does not cause skin irritation, so it can be used regardless of skin type. It promotes the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, so it can be expected to improve wrinkles .

Causes and countermeasures vary depending on the type of wrinkle! ? 

Image explaining types of wrinkles

–Can all wrinkles be improved with cosmetics?

Unfortunately, it is difficult to improve all wrinkles with cosmetics alone . There are various types of wrinkles, including fine lines, large lines, expression lines, and sagging lines, and the causes and countermeasures vary depending on the type.

For example, the crepe-like fine lines that are often seen around the eyes are wrinkles that appear due to dryness of the skin surface, and are a relatively early condition. These wrinkles can be made less noticeable with cosmetics.

In addition, ” large wrinkles ” occur due to a decrease in collagen and elastin in the dermis due to aging and strong damage from ultraviolet rays, and ” expression lines ” that appear between the eyebrows, at the corners of the eyes, and on the forehead when you laugh or get angry. There are various types of wrinkles, such as “sagging wrinkles ,” where the skin and supporting ligaments* loosen and sag due to gravity , and countermeasures differ for each.

At outpatient clinics, we often receive consultations about “nasolabial folds becoming more noticeable,” but these are one type of “sagging wrinkles.” These wrinkles are caused by the loss of bone mass in the face, the loosening of the supporting ligaments that support the cheeks, and the lowering of the subcutaneous tissue due to gravity.

*Supporting ligaments: Connect and support the skin and facial muscles of the face and bones.

Wrinkle care may have the opposite effect! Be careful of incorrect wrinkle care

An image of the wrong wrinkle care precautions

–Are there any wrinkle care methods that, from the doctor’s point of view, have the opposite effect on the skin?

You need to be careful as some habits that you think are good for preventing wrinkles may have the opposite effect.

For example, massages that rub the skin are strictly prohibited, as this can lead to wrinkles and sagging . Applying oil or cream can reduce friction to some extent, but it still causes friction to the skin.

When doing skin care, the key is to press your hands against the skin without letting them slide to the sides. Stimulation perpendicular to the skin is less likely to cause friction, so if you want a massage, we recommend pressing pressure points with acupressure.

–Many people try facial muscle training to combat fine lines and facial sagging, but what are its effects?

When it comes to facial muscle training, it is not good to overdo it. Continuous contraction of muscles leads to a phenomenon called contracture, which makes wrinkles more likely to form. However, if you remain expressionless, your muscles will weaken and this will also cause sagging.

It’s important to have that balance, and it’s good to be conscious of smiling at times like this. If it’s facial muscle training that will help you create a beautiful smile that leaves a lasting impression on people, then it might be a good idea.

Isn’t it just an injection? Various ways to improve wrinkles with aesthetic medicine

Image of future cosmetic medical treatment

–Please tell me more about the treatments available at the beauty clinic.

There are various treatments in aesthetic medicine, but I don’t think there is any “occasional treatment” that is better than “daily repetition.”

Therefore, we often suggest topical treatments that can be used on a daily basis. Moreover injection or hyaluronic acid injections are introducing menus such as:

●External therapy

Vitamin A promotes turnover and stimulates the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid; Vitamin C has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and removes active oxygen, which is the cause of aging; increases collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin. We perform topical therapy using effective peptides.

●Botulinum injection

This is a treatment method that reduces the appearance of wrinkles by relaxing the muscles that cause facial wrinkles. It is suitable for treating facial wrinkles such as between the eyebrows and the corners of the eyes, which are caused by muscle contracture. We identify the location of the muscle based on the appearance of the wrinkles, apply numbing cream, and then inject it in several locations.

●Hyaluronic acid injection

A treatment that fills hyaluronic acid under the epidermis, and is suitable for treating deep wrinkles caused by aging. In addition to injecting directly under wrinkles such as nasolabial folds, there is also a method in which a very small amount of hyaluronic acid is dispersed and injected into the cheeks and contours to lift up the entire face.

From “aesthetics of addition” to “aesthetics of subtraction”

–Do you have a message for those who are worried about wrinkles?

When you hear anti-aging care such as anti-wrinkle treatment, some people think of “just moisturizing”, but if the skin has too much water or too much oil, its barrier function will deteriorate and it will become dry.

On social media, there are many things that recommend “just moisturize!” and “beauty-adding techniques,” but I feel like they don’t really consider whether the method is “suitable for your skin type.” If you have tried various treatments and nothing is working, it is important to take the perspective of “trying first”, that is, trying to stop some habits.

Our idea is that beauty clinics are not places where you can purchase products that moisturize your skin, but rather places where you can create your own moisturized skin. If you can’t get rid of your troubles no matter what you do, it may be a good idea to visit a dermatologist.

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