Nordihydroguaiaretic acid, also known by the short form NDGA, is a potent antioxidant found in the creosote bush, a flowering plant from the deserts of the western USA and parts of Mexico. A relative newcomer to skin care, NDGA is believed to reduce free radical damage in skin cells, thereby keeping them healthy. In addition, NDGA has been shown to to be 100 times more potent than Vitamin E in preventing lipid peroxidation (the degradation of fats).
Studies in animals (mice and mosquitos) have shown that Nordihydroguaiaretic acid can extend life span when ingested orally. It’s not surprising then to see that NDGA has been touted as a nutritional supplement to treat a range of conditions including infertility, rheumatism, arthritis and diabetes. However, none of these claims are founded. In addition, kidney and liver toxicity have been reported with its use.
Nordihydroguaiaretic acid has been reported to demonstrate anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory effects in human skin suggesting its usefulness as an agent in anti aging skin care. Because it prevents the oxidation of oil, (the reaction of oil with air causing it to darken into a blackhead) it may be beneficial to individuals with oily skin, helping to keep skin clear. Certainly effective and beneficial to skin, NDGA is just one of many effective and beneficial ingredients. Consider its use, but don’t buy into the hype or expect it to deliver miracles.