DHEA [structural formula shown here] doesn’t just work when you take it orally. You can also put the pro-hormone in a gel, oil or cream and then rub it onto your skin. According to a human study published by L’Oreal researchers in Maturitas, this stops your skin from aging, and actually reverses some aspects of skin aging.
Cosmetic products containing DHEA are already on the market, but you can also make them yourself. If you want to know how to do so, read the patent literature, like this one [Patent US5989568 A] filed by Olivier de Lacharriere of L’Oreal in 1996. De Lacharriere was also the leader of the team that did the study we’re referring to here. The study was published in 2008.
The researchers did trials with two groups of 20 women aged between 55 and 70. One group used a cream containing no active ingredients for four months; the other group used a cream containing 1 percent DHEA.
After four months the number of active sebaceous glands in the DHEA group had increased significantly. The total length of the wrinkles around the eyes had increased by 15 percent in the control group, while the length of these wrinkles in the DHEA group had not increased at all. The total area of wrinkled skin around the eyes increased by 25 percent in the total group, while it remained the same in the DHEA group.
The skin on the hands of the subjects in the experimental group had become less papery, according to the first figure below. The second figure shows that the DHEA cream slightly increased the thickness of the face skin.
One of the women in the DHEA group developed acne, but this disappeared when she used less cream.
“As skin aging is a multifactorial process in which steroids could be involved, more specifically in women, DHEA could be of interest in the treatment or the prevention of skin aging”, the researchers conclude. “The present study confirmed the potential of topical DHEA as a treatment for skin aging, as it has been previously observed with oral route treatment. Additional studies are needed to confirm these preliminary findings.”