If you've been searching for the ultimate anti-aging concoction and aren't yet ready for plastic surgery or injectables like Botox and fillers, you may wonder whether a cream containing hormones can help you turn back the clock. Some creams containing a synthetic version of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), the adrenal hormone that helps your body produce testosterone and estrogen, have shown some promise. But is DHEA cream right for everyone?
What Does DHEA Hormone Cream Do?
DHEA cream is designed to replenish the hormones that help younger people's skin appear soft and supple. These hormones generally peak during the late teen years and then steadily decline with age, declining even more quickly after menopause (for women). By re-introducing these hormones into your system through a topical cream, anti-aging researchers hope to trigger new collagen growth and help the skin appear fresher and softer, with fewer visible fine lines and wrinkles.
When applying this hormone cream, remember that a little goes a long way — instead of slathering your entire face with it, you only need enough to penetrate the skin and allow these hormones to work from the inside out.
Does DHEA Hormone Cream Work?
DHEA creams and supplements have been researched for their anti-aging properties, while DHEA capsules have been studied as a way to treat depression, osteoporosis, and vaginal dryness and atrophy in women who have gone through menopause. Most studies haven't turned up a clear connection between the use of DHEA on cognitive function or muscle strength. However, DHEA has shown promising results in the treatment of depression, and researchers are hopeful that it may be able to treat certain immune- and hormone-related conditions like pituitary tumors and adrenal insufficiency.
What Should You Know Before You Start Using DHEA Cream?
DHEA hormone cream is a topical cream applied to the face, neck, and other areas where an anti-aging effect is desired. Because this cream contains synthetic hormones, it's important to use it only as directed and to consult with your physician before beginning a DHEA regimen.
This androgenic hormone can mimic certain steroids and may, therefore, have side effects like increased hunger and thirst, weight gain, male-pattern baldness, and mood swings. If you have or are at higher-than-average risk of any type of cancer that's sex-based or impacted by hormones (like prostate, ovarian, cervical, or breast cancer), it's not a good idea to use DHEA hormone cream; instead, ask your oncologist about non-hormonal anti-aging options.