Not my thing personally, as I don’t think there’s need or want for them (on me, anyway). Looks to me like with this skin here, they’d be an unnecessary vanity and would impede my rapid progress towards bed in the evening. Performing a pure public service here.
What’s the stuff supposed to do? Most research on dimethylaminoethanol has been on the brain, cognitive functions, and memory; not the skin. And on older people, not less-old-to-younger ones. But: one of the neurotransmitters affected by DMAE, acetylcholine, also plays a role in facial muscles. So we’re looking at anti-sagging (see further: posts on face yoga). Main thing seems to be antioxidant action, in combination with and enhancing the action of other topical AOX especially vitamins A and C. So we’re also looking at anti-wrinkles and pro-collagen-building.
Reason I’m not using it: from what I’ve read of the research, use seems to be helpful for older people (note, I was looking at ingestion as that’s where most of the research is, seeing as how Helping The Aged is a bit more important than beautification). Not as a preventative. Not a full curative either, this is no miracle elixir restoring youth and keeping it forever. More of a stabilizer.
Some more about it from the ever-splendid Smart Skincare:
[…] may stimulate the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, an important component of cell membranes […] reduce the accumulation of lipofuscin deposits inside cells. Lipofuscin is a cellular pigment consisting of aggregated chunks of molecular waste. It tends to occur in the cells of older people. It is likely that lipofuscin is not simply a byproduct of aging but also contributes to the aging process. Neurons, heart and skin of older people usually contain particularly large amounts of lipofiscin. The DMAE-skin connection is less researched. It has been demonstrated that DMAE causes some degree of skin tightening. However, despite speculation it remains unclear how DMAE firms the skin — whether by stabilizing the membranes, boosting acetylcholine, reducing lipofuscin deposits or none of the above. Whatever the mechanism, the effect of DMAE is often noticeable although seldom dramatic. Besides, even though DMAE can’t fully reverse the existing facial sag, it may reduce its further progression. Some people report a cumulative effect with continued use of DMAE.
Here’s some serums, at the tolerable end of the market. Cheaper (= decent and honest) variety. All are cruelty-free. Note that DMAE is a simple cheap ingredient, easy to work with, disperse evenly, easily stabilized, so if you’re paying more, you’re paying for hype and being ripped off.
There are lots more out there, and there may well be sound reasons for buying them instead: other ingredients, liking the brand, liking its packaging, and other reasons like matchy-matchy disorder. Here, I’m only covering those DMAE serums that are readily available and under $12.00 / 1 oz maximum.
Only the first one is unscented; otherwise, arranged in ascending order of price. YMMV on irritation, but citrus essential oils should probably be avoided during the day re. photosensitizing etc. Things that ring my sensitive bells have been duly highlighted (aloe and chamomile only lightly, I know they’re fine with most people and the concentration may even be low enough for me). Some ingredients may clog / prove comedogenic (ex. corn oil).
Silk Naturals Facelift Vitamin C, DMAE & Peptide serum
$17.95 / 1 oz
Ingredients: Distilled Water, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, DMAE, White Tea Extract, Propanediol, Hydroxypropyl starch phosphate, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate, Panthenol
Derma E DMAE Alpha Lipoic C-Ester Serum
$15.33 / 2 oz
Ingredients: Water (aqua), glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, macadamia ternifolia seed oil, cymbopogon schoenanthus (lemon grass) extract, equisetum arvense (horsetail) extract, aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut) seed extract, organic chamomilla recutita (matricaria/calendula) flower extract, panthenol, dimethyl mea (dmae), thioctic (alpha lipoic) acid, ascorbyl palmitate (C-ester), ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP copolymer (aristoflex), dimethicone, xanthan gum, ceteareth 20, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin and fragrant oils (essential oils).
Source Naturals Skin Eternal DMAE Serum
$9.17 / 1 oz
Ingredients: Deionized Water, Propylene Glycol, DMAE, Polysorbate 80, Glycerin, Vitamin C-Ester (Ascorbyl Palmitate), Polyethylene Glycol, Coconut Fragrance, alpha-Lipoic Acid, Kiwi Fruit Fragrance, Aloe Vera leaf, Biotin, Vitamin A, Vitamin D-3, Coenezyme Q10, Vitamin E, Calcium Pantothenate, and Chamomile Flower Extract (4:1), Simethicone, Phenoxyethanol, and Aragum. Contains peanuts and soy.
[Coconut fragrance: might be fine, check with manufacturer for actual ingredients. This ingredient-list is irritatingly non-INCI-compliant.]
Olympian Labs Skin Support DMAE Moisturizing Serum
$12.62 / 1.3 oz (=$9.70 / 1 oz)
Ingredients: Water, DMAE (2-Dimethylaminoethanol), Thioctic Acid (Alpha Lipoic Acid), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Stabilized Vitamin C), Tocophersolan (Solubilized Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Carnosine (Amino Acid), Glucosamine Sulfate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose (Stabilizer), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Methylparaben (Preservative) and Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer (Emulsifier).
Reviva Labs Firming Eye Serum with Alpha Lipoic Acid Vitamin C Ester and DMAE
$11.38 / 1 oz
Ingredients: Demineralized spring water, olive oil, cyclomethicone, whole wheat protein, DMAE bitartrate, mulberry extract, lime extract, alpha lipoic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, hyaluronic acid, allantoin, xanthan gum, cetearyl alcohol, ceteareth 20, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate and citric acid.