Cropped head side view portrait of unrecognized patient sitting in medicine armchair while physician doing vitamin drip in beauty center
Beauty may only be skin deep. But some people go to great lengths or spend an arm and a leg to achieve their desired look. From skin care creams to cosmetic surgeries and less invasive procedures, there are several ways one can achieve a younger and better appearance.
In 2020, the anti-aging market was valued at USD$58.5 billion U.S. dollars. Two years later, its projected size is expected to rise to USD$67.1 billionand reach its peak of USD$ 88.3 billion in 2026, considering its 7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for 2021 to 2026.
Figures aside, an emerging beauty and wellness-boosting trend have taken some parts of the world by storm. And it involves a rather traditional medical product. Intravenous (IV) therapy, often associated with patients, is used as a health-enhancing supplement. Can it help turn back the hands of time on your skin? Read on to find out.
What is IV vitamin therapy?
In the past, IV use was confined to the four corners of a hospital. Patients are often hooked on a dextrose solution to balance sugar levels. In more serious cases, patients receive IV drugs to ease dehydration, fight infections, and when undergoing chemotherapy. This treatment modality effectively bypasses the digestive tract, enabling fast results.
IV vitamin therapy works in the same way. Using this method, an individual can sit comfortably while getting an infusion in a medical clinic and under the watch of a healthcare practitioner. A session takes anywhere from a few minutes to one hour.
How does it work?
This wellness-inducing method is meant to increase the body’s absorption of nutrients in the shortest possible time. Comparatively, the average absorption rate for oral drug administration is only 50%, while IV drip absorption capacity can reach as high as 90%. Individuals with poor gastrointestinal functions can benefit from this treatment method.
Instead of going through the digestive system, the contents go straight to a patient’s bloodstream. But its effects will depend on an individual’s specific requirements and based on the evaluation performed by a clinical doctor. Thus, a medical professional must assess a patient’s age, gender, medical history, health conditions, and needs before any treatment.
What’s in it?
An IV drip contains different formulations depending on the person’s needs. For instance, some drips only have vitamin C, while others are a mix of other nutrients that boost a client’s overall health. Some fluids strengthen your immune system, increase energy levels, or improve your overall skin condition. Some claim to have anti-aging and skin-brightening effects.
More specifically, IV vitamin drips typically contain vitamins B and C, hyaluronic acid, selenium, calcium, zinc, and magnesium. They’re also packed with antioxidants such as glutathione and N-acetylcysteine (NAC), effective in combating oxidative stress, toxins, and inflammation.
How IV vitamin therapy may boost your anti-aging regimen
Some topical skin care products, especially those containing essential anti-aging ingredients, effectively reduce the signs of aging. Because it may take time to notice visible results, it’s helpful to be proactive and start an anti-aging regimen before seeing the first few faint lines on your forehead, mouth, or eye area.
Cell regulators, including vitamin A and its derivatives retinaldehyde and tretinoin, help boost collagen production, increasing skin elasticity and reducing fine lines by making your skin plumper. Of the anti-aging skincare products, tretinoin is one of the most common ingredients, as it doesn’t easily cause skin irritation.
Meanwhile, antioxidants can also boost collagen by protecting and extending its lifespan. Of the various skin-boosting nutrients, vitamins C, E, and niacin or B3 are among the most effective because they penetrate the skin. Hyaluronic acid, naturally produced in the human body, can promote skin hydration and reduce fine lines, leading to younger skin.
Because the fluids in a nutrient-packed IV drip go directly to your bloodstream, you can enjoy the benefits of renewed skin, increased immunity, and vitality in a shorter period. Simply put, this can complement the benefits of having a steady supply of anti-aging serums in your beauty arsenal.
Are there potential risks and side effects?
IV vitamin therapy may not be for everyone. Individuals with specific health conditions must discuss them with their physicians before embarking on this new wellness modality. Potential side effects may include infection, tissue damage, vein irritation or inflammation, embolism, and overdose.
IV therapy is an emerging market in the beauty and wellness sector, and even celebrities have raved about its efficacy. Besides anecdotal evidence, scientific studies have yet to confirm its various claims, more so as an anti-aging booster.
Despite mixed information, no significant adverse effects were reported with its use. Doctors, however, remind would-be IV therapy enthusiasts to consult with a professional and ensure that licensed medical professionals and clinics administer their drips.