During a recent episode of the Dr Oz television program, Nicholas Perricone, MD, showed up with a skin treatment that uses dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE). Oz showed a before-and-after shot of a woman who had been using one of Perricone’s DMAE-based product for around one month — Oz says that the results look better than plastic surgery. That is the line the media picked up on.

You can read more about that episode [removed]here [/removed]and here.

Now, at least one media outlet took a closer look at Oz and Perricone’s claims. From CBS: [removed]DMAE Products: Instant Wrinkle Relief or Hype?[/removed] by David Freeman:

Perricone, the author of books on skin care and other health topics, says wrinkles don’t stand a chance against lotions that contain DMAE, a compound that occurs naturally in salmon and other foods.

“When you put it on, there is an almost instant change,” he told Dr. Oz. “You will see an increase in radiance and an increase in skin tone. It’s not a gimmick.”

Gimmick or not, Perricone may not be the most objective source of information on DMAE. His website sells a variety of DMAE-containing products.

What do other dermatologists say about DMAE?

“The bottom line is that it is a marginally valuable compound,” Dr. Zoe Draelos, consulting professor of dermatology at Duke University, tells CBS News. “The effect wears off very quickly.”

A few days earlier, ThirdAge published a story on how the FDA is preparing to target DMAE products and the science behind them.

DMAE, or dimethylaminoethanol, was originally developed for its memory improving abilities. If lab animal results can be replicated in humans, it may also be associated with small increases in longevity.

DMAE has been sold since the 1990s without any problems, but the mechanism by which it tightens skin and reduces facial sag is not fully understood.

In a 2007 study in the British Journal of Dermatology, researchers observed vacuolization and epidemal thickening and swelling, potential indicators of cell damage, raising concern that DMAE might cause low-level skin damage.

While consumers have long sworn by their anti-aging products, the FDA isn’t as easily impressed. News reports suggest that the FDA recently sent warning letters to some beauty industry players who market “anti-aging” products, reminding them not to make drug claims in connection with the sale of their products.

Read more.