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.

SAVE today! Use Perricone promo codes on some of your favorites.

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.

The Doctor is "in" on Facebook.

100 Comments • Please comment below


  1. looks great anything that can help is always welcome!

  2. I like Muscle sagging article

  3. since having a complete hysterectomy at the age of 38, now 41. My skin has lost all firmness. It’s saggy, blotchy, just horrible. Please help.

  4. Just give me the medicine . thanx

  5. im a 65 r old women and i want to look the best i can be because im worth it. ive heard of dmae and would love to try it.

  6. Since DMAE comes from oily fish, and I feed my cats oily fish daily, why can’t I just eat fish daily along with them? AND–since choline mainly comes from liver or eggs, and I eat cage-free eggs daily, why can’t I just combine eggs and fish daily to get my DMAE? I take MSM for the methyl donor contribution and alpha-lipoic acid with acetyl-L-carnetine for its benefits to heart and brain. So why does my skin still sag? Lack of fish? PS–try pineapple enzyme “bromelain”– read up on it online; you will be surprised. I no longer have ischemia, CAD blockage, angina, high blood pressure, thick blood, nor as much arthritis joint pain. My bp went from 201/104 to 130/80 in 3 weeks! It is even an anti-cancer apoptotic–it dissolves their cell walls and then kills them. Since no alternative health zine I have found to date ever mentions bromelain except as a digestive aid or anti-inflammatory, just thought I would share how it saved my life and, if the online definitions are correct, may have saved even cancer victims. Although for cancer, I’d be going for sheep sorrel (“Essiac”). It works for terminal cancer and even terminal AIDS, per a 5-year study.

  7. Iam a 52 yr old mother of 3 and grandmother of 4 lately i feel more my age although people tell me i dont look my age.. I have started to notice my frown lines are becoming more apparent and my skin is starting to lose its elasticity and firmness,my once glowing skin has lost its brightness i would love to get my youthfulness back and was considering trying your products as i have tried others with no success!I dont want to be 20 something again but 40 something would be nice!

  8. Pick me pick me!You won’t be dissapointed.I am a 46 year old black woman that have been working on my skin since I was 7 years old.I too seen the Dr. Oz show and I was forjunate to find a product at Rite Aide which contained DMAE and I love it.I can’t afford Perricone but you can’t afford to not have me as a tester.Hope to here from you soon.Thanks.

  9. I would love to be a tester!! I am 48 years old and am noticing my sagging jaws starting to occur. HELP!!

  10. I am a 56 year old, and have sagging sking around the jaw line, and some wrinkles around lips. I exercise and eat healthy, 3 to 4 times a week. I took advantage of an early retirement in May 2008, to help my husband with his business, which later suffered as the result of the recession. Luckily, my husband got another job. We are on a very tight budget, so I have had to do without some skin care products. I have many friends, and love people, but lately, I feel like I am becoming a fixture in my home. It would be a wonderful to get an opportunity to try your products. The thought alone is very very exciting and hopeful!

  11. I just turned 67 and now am starting to notice some fine lines and of course the jaw line in saging a little, but if I smile the jaw is ok. Seen this on Dr. Oz and seen the picture of the woman who used it for one month. I know I don’t look my age and never want to. Would love to try this. Thanks

  12. Dear Dr. Perricone, Thankyou for all your research. When I eat sugar or the wrong carbs I get headaches. I would love to try your products because I had breast cancer treated with chemo,radiation, and surgery. I grew up with bronchitis and pneumonia 3 times. I took so many antibiotics,also in 2 wrecks, which I had a neck fusion for. All this took a toll on my skin. I am doing everything I can to stop the pain and the research Ive done your produts will make me look better on the outside. I want to prove to others that life can get better as you get older. I am 53 years old.

  13. I purchased Dr. Perricone’s book a few years ago and have always been intrigued by his findings, although I never put the time into trying his methods. Now I am 36 and my sister is turning 39 and we are both seeing changes in our skin and bodies that we are not exactly thrilled with!! I dusted off the book and I think its time to give his diet and products a try!

  14. I am a breast cancer patient and I am finding my skin is taking a toll with all the effects of the disease-emotionally, physically and all the medications/drugs. I am not at a point where I can financially start with perricone products but I am excited about the products available when time comes when I can begin!
    I appreciate Dr. Perricone helping us making a difference in ourselves,inside and outside!

  15. I would love to be on board with Dr. Perricone as a tester. I saw the program on Dr. Oz yesterday, and was so impressed. ‘Put me in coach, I’m ready to play’.
    Thanks for your consideration.

  16. I saw Dr. Perricone on Dr. Oz yesterday and am very interested in the benefits of DMAE. I am 57 years old and need help with my skin (and health). I am now beginning to realize the difference diet makes in how we look and age. I have not been kind to my body in that I love sugar, soft drinks, and bread. I am also rather sedentary, sitting at a desk all day then going home to be a couch potatoe at night. It would take a lot of change in my lifestyle to do what Dr. Perricone is recommending, but I am willing to do what it takes.

  17. I saw Dr. Perricone on the Dr. Oz show yesterday (2/8/2011) and was blown away by the information about DMAE. I would love
    to try some of the products containing this ingredient. I will be turning 59 in less than a month and have really noticed that the firmness and elasticity of my skin has changed since Menopause.
    I would amazing if these products could renew my skin.
    Thank you for considering me.

  18. Hi. I am baby boomer at age 63. People tell me I look young for my age except for the sags around my lips. I would love to try your product.

  19. I would love to become a Perricone tester. I enjoy projects and like to challenge myself every day to try something new and contribute back to the world. I am 45 and very healthy. I have never fussed with makeup and always went for natural beauty. In my 30’s I was under a lot of stress and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. The Dr’s put me on prescription drugs all of which made me feel worse. I took my self off of everything and realized if I could sleep better and eat healthier many of my symptoms went away. It was then I saw Dr. Perricone on PBS (approx 10-11 years ago) years ago and purchased his book and followed his diet non – inflammatory diet and noticed I felt great and looked better. I use to travel extensively for work in California and every where I went I ate salmon….my skin looked great, my body felt wonderful. I have followed his diet for years. I am now 45 and as a child I was in the sun a lot and even with eating healthy I have some age spots, some small fine lines and unevenness in my skin. I don’t have the finances to purchase many of the creams or supplements so I just eat as healthy as I can. I would love to have the privilege to test Dr. Perricone’s products and report back the changes. Thanks for all your hard work; you have helped so many of us be the best we can be!

  20. I weighed 196 pounds, was on high blood pressure medicine and couldn’t get up a flight of stairs without pulling myself up using the bannister. When I turned 62 I decided, if I was going to live another 20 years, it was going to be in good health. I lost over 60 pounds on a crash diet and, as a result, lost more than half my hair and did a lot of damage to my skin. Now I’m trying to build my self esteem by taking care of my appearance. I’ve stopped the hair loss and my face is my next priority. I’m 64 and need to plump up many areas that make me look older, especially my “laugh” lines that aren’t very funny. I watched the Dr. Oz show today and learned about your products but can’t afford them on my Social Security income. I’ll keep watching for sales.

  21. I just watched Dr Perricone’s visit with Dr Oz today and am greatly interested in trying DMAE. I’m tired of looking older than I feel.

  22. I’ll keep it simple. I am unemployed, just divorced a abusive spouse, lost my home, have no savings, have no retirement, and the worse part is I’m 50 and my age is against me when it comes to competing for work. I just want a little something for Me…

    Thank You


  23. In my seventies, working toward 80′ – self employed (sales) work 6 days a week meeting the public. Have sagging jowls and wrinkles plus some acme. Especially wrinkles around the lips – eyelids sagging from past problems with eyes-had surgery on both eyes and will not agree to surgery for the dropping eyelids.If your products work for someone who worshipped the sun in earlier years and now has sagging, etc. at my age, it should work for anyone.

  24. Hi Dr. Perricone: I’m a 62 year old lady who would love to be one of your testers. I’ve been looking for something that would assist me in looking the best I can, without resorting to surgery. People already tell me I look very young for my age and I would like to enhance and continue this trend.

    Annette Young

  25. Hi I was just watching DR. OZ. I have wrinkles under eyes on forehead. I have tried everything and nothing seems to work, not even a little. I would be honored to be a part of the dmae testing

  26. I saw Dr. Perricone today on the Dr. Oz show and became quite interested in the benefits of topical DMAE cream. I have recently turned 65, the official ‘retirement age’, and don’t wish to see my skin ‘retire’ as well. Having lived in Florida most of my life, there is considerable sun damage to my fair Irish skin. I do moisturize and use sun block, but the years of tropical sunshine are beginning to show. I would love to try this product as it sounds very promising.

  27. At 50 years of age my neck and under eye’s are sagging. Even my pores have become larger and elongated. But what I really would like to see is if your product can help with my consent flaking on my nose and chin. I do well taking care of the inner me and am very healthy. I would just like my face to reflect that inner radiance!

  28. if you send me a free sample and I like it, I will be a loyal customer.

  29. I am a 65 year old woman who has tried everything short of plastic surgery! I am amazed at how the beauty industry ignores the woman who is over 60 ….. it seems that once you hit 60 it is over with and there is no help for you! Well, I do not believe that…I take care of myself and I feel wonderful and I want to maintain and improve youthful look and attitude throughout my lifetime….please don’t ignore us, we baby boomers are looking for help! I would love to be a sucessful example of how well your products work on the mature woman who just happens to be over 60!

  30. I just turned 37 and lost about 35lbs, I started noticing a sag in my lower cheeks. I also have gotten some volume loss to my cheek area under my eyes. I would like to see if your product would help me with these issues. Thank you

  31. I am very interested in becoming a tester, and would like the details about how to do it.
    Thank you. Elizabeth Garrett

  32. [...] for one of our lucky readers. This time the Amine Complex Face Lift is up for grabs. It contains DMAE, which is an antioxidant membrane stabilizer that is said to have positive face firming effects on [...]

  33. Where does your DMAE comes from? Is it a natural source or not?

  34. I will be turning 54 in a couple of weeks and have been noticing the skin around my chin/jaw starting to sag. I would be most interested in trying this product to demonstrate the benefits!

  35. I am very interested in trying this product. I’ve tried other products which contain DMAE, but they did not impress me.

  36. [...] conformers containing DMAE deliver similar benefits to a face lift without the risk of side [...]

  37. [...] DMAE [...]

  38. Why does Dr Oz say that DMAE actually causes inflamation and shouldn’t be used on the skin? Though I trust Dr Perricone over ‘know it all’ this has posed some questions?

  39. [...] reactions are important because they can create substances like serotonin, caffeine, and DMAE. DMAE is short for dimethylaminoethanol, which performs much like an antioxidant, making it an excellent ingredient for skin care products [...]

  40. [...] understand what DMAE is, watch this [...]

  41. I would love to try this out. This is the first time that I have heard about dmae. I have used high quality products in the past and would love to try this. I am 46 and getting age spots. I eat great and exercise daily. I would stick to a regime to get the best results…Thanks

  42. [...] The main ingredient of this supplement is Wild Sockeye Salmon. It is the best source of omega-3 and DMAE, a substance which works to tighten [...]

  43. [...] DMAE Capsule [...]

  44. [...] Facial Wash with Vitamin C Ester and DMAE provides the skin with a fresh and protective layer of antioxidants and firming agents, while [...]

  45. Hello: I would like to be a tester. I’m stationed overseas in Japan with the military. I’d love some advice on which products to use to reduce my large pores and wrinkles. I’m 48 yrs old. Thanks!

  46. [...] deep lines and wrinkles and restores skin to a radiant and healthy appearance with high levels of DMAE and topical Vitamin C Ester. [...]

  47. I’m very interested in trying a topical skin care product containing DMAE. I am keenly interested in nutrition and eat very well. Also I exercise.

  48. I have been interested in Dr. Perricone’s products and have also read all of his books and publicatiions. I would like to see for myself why this product is superior to others in the anti-aging arena.

  49. I have been a customer for the Perricone product since day one. I would consider it an honor to be able to be a part of Dr. Perricon’s team, and being able to show others how much his products are a necessity in life. None of us like to age, but Dr. Perricone has compiled a battery of skincare as well as supplements and eating right.

  50. [...] key to DMAE’s effects is that it combines its own effects with those of other [...]