A number of anti-wrinkle creams out there contain GABA. Is that a good thing? Is GABA really an essential ingredient in anti-aging creams? Or is it something that just adds to the cost of the product?
What is GABA?
GABA is short for gamma amino butyric acid, a non-essential amino acid that naturally occurs in the body and serves to inhibit, rather than excite or stimulate, responses. Because of its relaxant properties, GABA is effective in:
- treating anxiety and sleep disorders
- enhancing mood
- the secretion of the human growth hormone (HGH)
- calming the nervous system
Precautions and Side Effects
Side effects of GABA (as a dietary supplement) are rare and usually temporary. Some consumers report tingling sensations, drowsiness, and shortness of breath. However, GABA supplements must be taken with caution by people who have liver or kidney problems. If you are pregnant, your doctor may advise you not to take the supplement at all. To be always on the safe side, consult your doctor before taking GABA supplements, or any alternative medicine, for that matter.
GABA and Skin Aging
However, GABA may not be the solution to skin aging. It having muscle relaxing properties does not make it effective as a topical solution to reduce wrinkles. Manufacturers of wrinkle creams with GABA may try to dispute this, but currently, there are no studies proving that GABA works in roughly the same way as Botox which tames the muscles causing wrinkles. So claims that GABA works to reduce wrinkles (even if they are true) are not backed by sufficient clinical studies.
Wrinkle Creams With GABA
Just so you know, here are a few of the consumer’s top choices of anti-wrinkle creams that contain GABA:
- Dr. Brandt Crease Release. It is said to bring immediate results that may or may not necessarily be due to the GABA content. It contains a blend of other ingredients that include Green Tea and White Tea, Sweet Pea and Hyaluronic Acid, which even without GABA, could still provide some degree of anti-aging protection. Nonetheless, consumers love the fact that almost upon application of the product, the skin becomes smoother with fewer lines and wrinkles.
- Freeze 24-7 Instant Targeted Wrinkle Treatment. This product has GABA and (interestingly) orchid extract. To apply, simply take a small amount and massage it gently over target areas in circular motion until the cream is completely absorbed by the skin. Then you will see the wrinkles starting to diminish.
- DERMAdoctor Immobile Lines Instant Topical Line Relaxer. Aside from GABA, this product contains CoQ10 which stimulates the production of collagen, Japanese Green Tea extract which helps fight aging by protecting the skin against free radical damage, and Hyaluronic Acid that serves as a humectant, attracting moisture so the skin appears plump and not dry. It’s hypoallergenic and non-irritating, making it safe to apply on areas near the eyes where lines tend to be more evident.
GABA may be an effective supplement for epileptic seizures, sleep disorders and anxiety. Perhaps, increasing your supply of GABA naturally may also help delay some signs of aging as it helps you sleep better and deal with stress better. This you can do by taking in foods that contain GABA, just like nuts, seeds, soy, whey, whole grains, and sea foods.
But whether or not you will want to use an anti-wrinkle cream with GABA is entirely up to you. Remember, it has not been clinically established that GABA does work to relax the muscles that are most likely to be affected by wrinkles, so focusing instead on products with ingredients that have been clinically tested and proven to effectively diminish fine lines and wrinkles may be deemed wiser.