Hin asks…WrinkleMD eye hyaluronic acid filler patch system is promoted on TV to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet. Do these kinds of gadgets really works like injectable hyaluronic acid or even closer to it?
The Right Brain responds:
This WrinkleMD Eye product, made by University Medical Pharmaceuticals, consists of a patch containing a hyaluronic acid (HA) solution coupled with an “Activator Pod” that generates electric current. The combination results in an “Advanced delivery system works deep in the skins surface – deeper than the leading anti wrinkle creams or serums – for clinically proven superior results.”
If you’re asking “is this product a good moisturizer that will reduce the appearance of wrinkles?” then the answer is most certainly yes. Any good anti-aging cream can temporarily “plump up” fine lines in the skin via moisturization. But, if you’re asking “does this product work as well as injectable HA?” then our answer is quite different.
You should visit WrinkleMD’s website for a full description of what they say about their product (they don’t claim it works as well as injectables.) But here are a few examples of the claims they do make:
Advanced delivery system works deep within the skin’s surface — deeper than the leading anti-wrinkle creams or serums — for clinically proven, superior results.
Helps significantly reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Firms and tightens the skin around the eyes for a more energized, youthful look.
Replenishes Hyaluronic Acid for deep moisturization within the skin’s surface.
Helps keep skin hydrated and more resistant against the signs of aging.
Our superior formulation of Hyaluronic Acid has a molecular size 100x smaller than the Hyaluronic Acid in typical anti-wrinkle creams and serums. Its nano-sized molecules go deep into the stratum corneum — where ordinary wrinkle creams and serums cannot go — to moisturize, condition and fill in the look of dry, cracked lines and wrinkles.
Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring compound found in joints, eyeballs, and rooster combs and can also be grown from Streptococci bacteria. When injected deep inside the skin it can plump it from within to fight the signs of aging, but applied to the surface of skin it has little effect beyond moisturizing. According to WebMD, “there is no evidence to support the claim that taking it by mouth or applying it to the skin can prevent changes associated with aging.”
The secret to HA’s ability to moisturize from without and plump from within is its large size – its high molecular weight helps it bind moisture and provides the cushioning effect that supports the skin structure. Restylane is a popular injectable HA product that uses three different sizes of HA (expressed Gel particles/ml): Restylane Perlane ~10,000 , Restylane ~100,000, Restylane Fine Lines ~200,000.
According to WrinkleMD, their HA is 100x smaller which would make it approximately 100 gel particles/ml. While the smaller particle size will aid in skin penetration, it also reduces the efficacy of HA. It’s simply not possible for a smaller grade of HA to work as well as the larger molecules. In fact, the larger the molecule, the better it works. Based on the clinical study images on their website, the treatment appears to be an effective moisturizer, but there is no evidence presented that would suggest it works better than traditional moisturizing creams that are much less expensive. The ion infusing technology (the “Activator Pod”) is an interesting addition and we have seen some indications that galvanic current can help certain ingredients penetrate into the skin. But once again there’s no proof that this electric current makes this product work better than any other.
At the risk of having the Left Brain accuse me of making an ad hominem attack, I want to point out this surprising connection: The founder and chief officer of the company that makes WrinkleMD, University Medical, is Raymond Francis. His son Joe Francis is famous for creating the “Girls Gone Wild” videos. The girls in those videos don’t seem to have many wrinkles, gee, maybe this product is worth it after all!
We’re not saying that WrinkleMD doesn’t reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as it claims. We’re just questioning whether it does it better than cheaper alternatives. Even though it’s ion infused hyaluronic acid story is appealing we’ve seen no evidence that it works better than other, less expensive produces.