DMAE – Dimethylaminoethanol & The Effect on Skin

Dimethylaminoethanol, better known as DMAE,  is an antioxidant membrane stabilizer. When taken orally or applied topically, it helps to firm, smoothe, and brighten skin. It also enhances the effects of other antioxidants like alpha lipoic acid and Vitamin C ester. As a result, DMAE works best when used in combination with other nutrients and an antioxidant base.

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DMAE may be best known by its reputation as an oral cognitive supplement, but it also has a great effect on skin. Topical creams that include DMAE aid in tightening the muscles that keep your skin looking healthy to diminish the appearance wrinkles, lines, and sagging. Perricone MD includes DMAE in 16 of his products because of its effect on skin and useful interactions with other ingredients.

This article will discuss:

DMAE performs two different roles in the body. It both produces the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain and acts as an antioxidant cell membrane stabilizer. DMAE’s antioxidant action comes from this ability to strengthen the cell membrane. DMAE can do this because its structure allows it to insert itself between components of the cell plasma membrane and help protect the cell from free radical attack.

When DMAE functions as an antioxidant and helps keep the cell membrane intact, this reduces stress to the cell and inhibits production of arachidonic acid and other chemicals responsible for pain and inflammation.

As skin gets older, it undergoes many changes, including:

  • Wrinkling
  • Discoloration
  • Mottling, or patchy skin
  • Broken blood vessels
  • Decrease in radiance
  • Loss of firmness

The common complaint of “gravity taking its toll” doesn’t fully explain why so many people develop sagging skin as they age. There are cellular and nutritional factors at play when skin’s appearance changes as it gets older.

What are some of these factors?

  • Free radical damage
  • Muscle sagging

Free radical damage

Free radical damage accumulates throughout our body as we age. Free radicals are oxygen molecules that have lost an electron through their interactions with other molecules. This makes the oxygen molecule extremely unstable. Since molecules always seek stability, these unstable oxygen molecules try to bond with extra electrons in order to fill their own electron shells.
Most of the time, these free radicals take the electrons from healthy cells, creating detrimental a chain reaction. In order for one free radical to stabilize itself, it has to destabilize another cell, resulting in a new free radical. Free radicals are also created by natural bodily processes like breathing and digestion, as well as environmental factors like sunlight, cigarette smoke, and pollution.

The body has a natural method of defense against free radicals, and the key to this defense is antioxidants. Antioxidants do their job by providing the extra electrons unstable free radicals need. Once the free radical has this electron, it becomes stable; this prevents the destruction of otherwise healthy cells.

Watch this video for more information on DMAE:

However, antioxidants can’t always keep up with all the free radical damage that occurs in the body, especially if the body is under oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can be caused when prolonged sunlight exposure or ingesting harmful substances make too many free radicals for antioxidants to neutralize. That’s why it’s important to use supplements and eat healthy, antioxidant-rich foods in order to increase the store of antioxidants your body can use in its battle against free radicals.

Muscle sagging

Muscles contract when the brain sends a signal to the targeted muscle. The signal travels along a nerve which ends a short distance before it makes contact with the muscle. At the tip of the nerve is a bulb full of chemicals including acetylcholine. The nerve releases the chemicals, and they trigger the muscle to contract.

Acetylcholine is an important component of this process because it acts as a “wake up call” for the muscles. When acetylcholine makes contact with the muscles, the muscles respond with tone and movement.

However, both the production of this important chemical and its effect on the muscles decrease as the body ages. This is one reason muscles start to lose their tone. When muscles behind the face lose tone, the skin begins to sag.

In addition to DMAE’s antioxidant role in protecting the cell membrane from attack by free radicals, it also fights against sagging muscles. DMAE does this by promoting the production of acetylcholine, a chemical responsible for creating muscle tone. By triggering a response that tones the muscles, the result can be firmer, smoother skin with fewer wrinkles. DMAE is an active ingredient in Perricone Cold Plasma, for example, and provides a lifted and firm appearance to sagging skin.

Unlike many other skincare products, such as Retin A, which only reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, DMAE actually works to address the root of the problem to help reverse muscle sagging. DMAE treats the cause, not the symptom, of loss of firmness in the skin.

DMAE is considered a safe substance with few to no side effects or adverse reactions, and it’s well tolerated by patients. The only reported side effects come from using a DMAE supplement; if more than the recommended dose is ingested, DMAE can cause muscle tension, headaches and insomnia. So always read labels carefully and follow product directions to ensure DMAE is used correctly.

All of the products containing DMAE have a special Perricone discount available as well.

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100 Comments • Please comment below


  1. Can DMAE be used with a hyaluronic acid cream, is so how much dmae to look for. Thank you.

  2. I’m a healthy 50 year old male.
    I’ve always taken good care of my skin and am blessed with nice results.
    I’m a big fan of antioxidants also.

    In the last year I’ve noticed some sagging along the jaw line and under my chin.
    I’d really like to be a tester of your products and help promote them for the males who want to take good care of themselves.

    Harry Peck

  3. Can I buy this in Australia? or can it be shipped to Australia, please let me know. I have researched this and would be keen to try.

  4. Would love to be a tester!

  5. [...] is a start, there’s more you can do especially when concerned with the appearance of wrinkles. Dimethylaminoethanol, or DMAE, functions as an antioxidant membrane stabilizer.  Not only does DMAE stabilize the [...]

  6. Very interested in trying your product. Anything to help turn back time and help firm skin. I originally was looking for your co q 10 when I found this.

  7. I interested in being a product tester

  8. cold plasma is the best product in the world, all my friends now use it too

  9. Exciting even to a senior over ’65 ~
    I try hard to stay younger longer!!

  10. As a makeup artist, and avid Perricone user, I am always on the lookout for new products to introduce to my clients; on set and at home. I would love to be a product tester !

  11. [...] addition to DMAE and Tocotrienols, Intensive moisture therapy also is formulated with Phospholipids, which nourish [...]

  12. Would love to be a product tester!

  13. [...] Dr. Perricone prevents aging by toning and refining skin texture. Formulated with high levels of DMAE and Phopholipids, Serum Prep will hydrate and repair mild to moderately damaged skin. Serum prep is [...]

  14. I am 40, I have tried every thing that is available on the market…. Have abused the sun when I was teen, in Rio, i Got my face and chest area full of sun spot which i just hate… Would like to try some of Perricone products that will let my skin lighter and uniform/smooth.
    Rosangela Harris

  15. [...] and hanging skin is with Dr. Perricones’ High Potency Evening Repair treatment. With Retinol, DMAE, and Alpha Lipoic Acid, High Potency Evening Repair treatment offers instant and long lasting [...]

  16. [...] DMAE&#8212antioxidant stabilizer that strengthens the cell membrane to diminish lines and wrinkles [...]

  17. [...] Loose Skin and Wrinkles, with DMAE [...]

  18. I’d love to try the DMAE

  19. Glad to see we have it in Western Australia

  20. Hi Im having touble ordering can some one help me….

  21. Watche the doctor OZ show today would love to try…….

  22. hello i just saw dr oz and saw ur product i live in australia is ur product sold here or how do i place an order thank u

  23. Heard about your product would like to trya tester.
    Thank you,

    Miriam Dominguez

  24. I was pleased to find this Blog on line…when I RHWONJ and Dr.Perricon was featured I really wanted to learn more…and now I am able to do so…

  25. [...] tickles your fancy– perhaps the alpha lipoic acid skin or the Amino Complex Face Lift with dimethylaminoethanol or [...]

  26. Great blog you have here. Lots of websites like this cover subjects that just arent covered by magazines. I dont know how we got by 12 years ago with just print media.

  27. i just learnd about this product.and i want so badly to try it.not for skin reason.i heard that it helps brain working.if i could try this product and if it works,ill do everything to buy it.

  28. I have never tried this product but would LOVE to. It sounds wonderful and effective!

  29. Hello,
    I have discoloration on my lips. I see WHITE SPOTS on my lips. They are not dark colored spots. Will your Lip Plumper which also addresses lip discoloration actually address WHITE SPOTS? If not, do you have another product that can address this issue? Many thanks.

  30. Hi, I have a problem with some sagging skin, but have never used anything containing DMAE. But after reading your article I was wondering if it would help me, I do not however have wrinkles. Are these products shipped to South Africa at all
    THx Lynne

  31. I am from Canada and have been using a product labelled DMAE Firming Fluid with remarkable results. We are now unable to purchase the product in Canada and am wondering if your product is comparable and if can be shipped to a Canadian address. Thank you.

  32. I would love to become a Perricone…Dmae tester. I have tried allot of products nothing really works for those wrinkles and crows feet and keeping skin healthy and tight. Would love to try your product. Thank you :)

  33. I am 48 years old and have lost 85 pounds over the past 1 1/2 years. I feel better now, but look older than I did before due to sagging skin from my cheeks and neck area. Please help!

  34. How can I test this product?

  35. i have been purchasing Dr Perricone’s Advanced Face Firming Activator. I have used botox and fillers for some areas of my face but will not consent to any actual surgery. I am especially concerned about the neck and jawline because I dont want to take any chances with botox in those areas. I would love to test some of the other products as well so that I can switch to something more natural and less expensive.

  36. Please consider me in being a TESTER of your products.
    I am 69 years old, & no one thinks I’m that old!
    I Would love for my skin to keep looking healthy & wrinkle free!
    Thanks for your reply!
    Dianne B

  37. I would love to test these products before I buy them

  38. Do you have any FREE samples of a good cleanser and DMAE/MSM Serum and Cream I can try?

  39. Your products are pricey, which is fine if they are used long enough to be effective. I don’t see a sample size on your site, the serum for hair loss or ingredients. Please help me take Dr. Oz’s advice.

  40. Hi, I heard about DMAE on Dr. Oz. and would love to volunteer for the study. I have had bells palsy and suffered with one side of my face drooping for the past 18 years. I would really like to see if this could help. I am now 58 years old and while I inherited “good genes” it still hurts to look in the mirror some days.

  41. I would love to try. Military family in Okinawa Japan. My face is broke out like a teenagers face and i don’t know what else to do.i am 28 almost 29. I would love to find a product that works.

  42. I would be interested in testing DMAE, just heard of it when Dr. Perricone was on the Dr. Oz show.

  43. I just had my 65th birthday and feel great except for my sagging skin and deep wrinkles! I have tried many products but nothing has worked well and I refuse to have an invasive procedure….can you help?

  44. I’d like to try this. My skin is highly reactive. I have rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema. Also, I can get hives but they go away quickly. My skin needs all the help it can get. If this product is ok for reactive skin, I’d like to give it a shot.
    Thanks for considering me.

  45. I saw Dr. Perricone on Dr. Oz’s show yesterday (it was a rerun) but I decided to search out products with DMAE. This is something I truly will try.

  46. I am 47 years old and outside at least one hour daily,usually at the worst hours to be in the sun. I also have Acne Roseacia as well as Granuloma Annulare. I have a family history of skin cancer. I would like to protect myself and look better.

  47. I would love to try your product, looked at the make at home DMAE cream but just not as sure as what you have.

  48. I am 53 and taking migraine medicine which makes me feel sluggish. I would like to improve my life by improving my skin’s look by being a tester in Canada.

  49. Just watched Dr. Oz on DMAE. I would love to test the product.

  50. Well i like this so much until i allmost do not want to share it