A trend in the skin care industry?
It’s not quite that simple.
A new study by dermatologists from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), suggests that, while the skin’s skin may have changed dramatically in the past two decades, skin care products are still pretty much the same as they were a generation ago.
In fact, the research suggests that products like the moisturizer SPF 30, which is a mainstay of many skincare routines, may have been a bit more popular in the last decade.
The findings were published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery, and they suggest that the trend towards more products containing vitamin C has nothing to do with a healthier skin.
Instead, they suggest the popularity of vitamin C-rich products was likely due to the proliferation of new formulations and products.
And while the new studies’ findings are pretty interesting, the study’s authors also cautioned against putting too much stock into the trend.
“While the overall trend in vitamin C consumption has been quite steady over the past 30 years, the current data suggest that it is more of a trend than a true change,” lead author Dr. Laura O’Brien said in a press release.
“Although our findings suggest that vitamin C is not a health-promoting product, we do caution that this trend may not be the only one.”
The study used data from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to measure the health status of the US population between 1998 and 2010.
It found that the number of people aged 65 and older who had used vitamin C products had fallen from 1.2 billion to 0.3 billion over the time period.
And while the number had also dropped among younger adults, it’s the young and the healthy that had the biggest drop.
The researchers also noted that vitamin E had also grown in popularity.
The new findings suggest a more nuanced picture, according to Dr. Daniela Cisneros, a dermatologist at UCSD.
While the study doesn’t directly link a rise in vitamin E use to an increase in skincares, Cisneras says there may be a correlation between the two.
“It could be that the products that are in the market now are the same products that were in the marketplace 30 years ago,” Cisneris said.
“What I do know is that if we look at the ingredients in the products, the ingredients that are actually used now are quite different than the ingredients used in the ’50s.”
There is also a correlation that could be the result of the fact that there are more people in the U.S. than there were in 2000.
The rise in skin care sales has also been linked to an overall increase in the number and prevalence of allergies.
But Dr. Michael Shrout, a professor of dermatology at the University at Buffalo, says the rise in products containing synthetic vitamin C may be partly responsible.
“This is because of the synthetic vitamin A in cosmetics and the use of synthetic vitamin B-12 in skin creams,” ShrOUT said in an email.
“There is no reason for vitamin C to be any more effective than vitamin A and B.”
And while some of these ingredients are not actually toxic, Dr. Cisneres cautions against trying to “take vitamin C pills,” which are often prescribed to treat the symptoms of skin cancer.
“The idea of using vitamin C tablets to treat your skin is a myth, and vitamin C supplements are a great way to prevent or reverse the damage done by UVB rays,” she said.
The U.K. and Germany are the only two countries in the world to have made it a crime to sell or give out vitamin C as an anti-aging treatment.
The U.N. has banned the use in cosmetics in many of its member states, but some countries are moving to keep the practice alive.