DMAE Cream and The Anti Inflammatory Diet: Great For Skin, But Is It Safe?


dmae creamOn yesterday’s episode of Dr. Oz, he spoke with superstar dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone, who recommended DMAE skin cream for topical anti-aging. Perricone also said that the single best thing you can do for your skin eat an anti-inflammatory diet.

Oz showed some before and after pictures of a woman who had applied DMAE cream for a little over a month, and the results were pretty inspiring. The studio audience was definitely impressed, and the home audience seems to be equally intrigued.

But how much do we know about DMAE cream? Is it safe to put this stuff on your face every day?

There’s not much information out there on the safety or side effects of DMAE when applied topically. This might be because it’s a relatively unstudied ingredient.The cosmetic safety database at lists DMAE in its table of “Ingredients Not Assessed for Safety”. Because it’s not known whether DMAE could have any negative effects, it is among the ingredients in skincare products that are not recommended for pregnancy. According to Fit Pregnancy magazine: ” The effects of applying DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol, a naturally occurring substance that is said to firm and tighten skin) during pregnancy haven’t been researched, so it should be avoided.”

But while the topical concentrated DMAE is not recommended during pregnancy, the anti-inflammatory diet is a great model for good eating during pregnancy. The anti-inflammatory diet is not a weight loss diet. It is really just a healthy eating plan, intended to provide the body with the foods with greatest health benefits. With a focus on small, fatty fish, antioxidant vegetables and whole grains, this diet is well aligned with pregnancy nutrition recommendations and foods that help with fetal brain development.

The four main tenets of the anti-inflammatory diet, as seen on Dr. Weil’s website,  could be ripped from the pages of a pregnancy diet chapter:

Aim for variety.
Include as much fresh food as possible.
Minimize your consumption of processed foods and fast food.
Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables.

Perricone extolled the benefits of watercress  (supposedly anti-cancer and anti-aging) as well as cruciferous vegetables. All of which are pretty excellent for health during pregnancy and otherwise.  If you’re interested in changing your diet during pregnancy, you might want to talk to your care provider about it to hear her thoughts. But it seems to me like a modified version of an anti-inflammatory diet could be a great way to improve your overall health and give your baby the nutrition he needs at the same time.

See Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet tips.