I recognized the ingredient keratin from some old creams that hospitals used to recommend, years ago.
They were recommended because they relieved irritation from bandages and other hospital procedures, but I wasn't sure about that word "functional".
Being curious by nature, I did some research.
Keratin is a protein.
Most of the cells of the epidermis, the skin's outer layer are composed of keratin.
It is also present in fingernails, animal hooves, bird feathers and sheep's wool.
It is a rigid protein that most be softened if it is to be included in skincare creams.
The processes that most companies use to soften it destroy the very nature or functionality of the protein.
A company in New Zealand, called KERATEC, has developed patented processes to soften the protein, without destroying its functionality.
That's why they called it Functional Keratin.
They contacted major cosmetic manufacturers around the world, offering them the opportunity to use this new ingredient in their products.
Most declined the offer.
But, the makers of some of the best firming lotion accepted.
In clinical trials, these lotions were shown to improve firmness by over 40% after only 18 days of use.
There is nothing on the market that has proven results like that.
Most of them have never been evaluated for effectiveness or even for safety.
Government regulators do not require that ingredients in skincare creams or other cosmetics be evaluated for safety.
The companies are supposed to include a warning label that states, "The ingredients in this product have not been evaluated for safety".
But, products available for order over the internet do not always carry this warning label.
Companies that claim to provide the best firming lotion often include an ingredient called Argireline.
Argireline is a synthetic compound that resembles a naturally occurring one.
It is supposed to relax tiny facial muscles, as a Botox injection would do.
This is said to smooth out fine lines, which often makes people think that their skin has become firmer.
Argireline has never been evaluated for safety.
Manufacturers in the US have been contacted by the Food and Drug Administration, who regulates cosmetics.
If the compound performs as it is claimed to, then it is a new drug.
If not, the manufacturers have been asked to stop making these claims.
But, that hasn't stop internet marketers from selling it.
The best firming lotion does not contain Argireline.
The theory that habitual facial expressions cause wrinkles has been questioned.
It probably has little to do with it.
Dermatologists recently released a report saying that free radical damage was the primary cause of wrinkles and lost firmness.
Make no mistake about it.
Our only defense against free radical damage is the mighty antioxidant.
Functional Keratin has more antioxidant activity than vitamin C, E or A.
So, now, you know how to find the best firming lotion.
You need only look for Functional Keratin, but be certain that is truly "functional".
Visit my site to learn about more amazing natural skin care substances you have probably never heard of.