A fish extract may provide help for sagging facial skin. It is known as 2-dimethyl-aminoethanol (DMAE), a substance found in fish and used in over-the-counter skin products. In the body, DMAE helps form a neurotransmitter that makes muscles contract. Some people think that DMAE creams increase facial muscle tone. There is no convincing evidence from placebo-controlled, double-blind studies to support this theory-though "open label" studies (in which researchers and participants are aware of the treatment being given) concluded that DMAE improved skin appearance.
Another theory is that DMAE reduces wrinkles by plumping up skin. In lab experiments, DMAE made skin cells swell—yet a three month clinical trial found no difference in the effects of DMAE versus a placebo.
Bottom line: DMAE products are safe—but you may get equally good results from a good moisturizer with sunscreen.
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