Antiwrinkle Cream Doesnt Make Significant Difference in the Skin's Appearance

Antiwrinkle Cream Doesnt Make Significant Difference in the Skin's Appearance

If you're looking for a face-lift in a bottle, you won't find it in over-the-counter (nonprescription) wrinkle creams. But they may slightly improve the appearance of your skin, depending on how long you use the product and the amount and type of the active ingredient in the wrinkle cream.


Most wrinkles are associated with aging changes in skin . Aging of the skin and related structures (hair and nails) is a natural process. Nothing can be done to decrease the rate of skin aging, but many environmental factors will increase the rate.

Do they work? Some research suggests that wrinkle creams contain ingredients that may improve wrinkles. But many of these ingredients haven't undergone scientific research to prove this benefit.

You can often get an idea of how old someone is by looking at his or her face - specifically the skin. As people age, it's normal to get wrinkles. And if the person has spent a lot of time in the sun, at tanning salons, or smoking cigarettes, he or she mold New York teacher.

Spend a fortune on anti-wrinkle creams? Don't bother, said a U.S. study released .

Luxury-price products don't work any better than drugstore brands, according to the study by Consumer Reports magazine, which ranked Olay Regenerist, priced at about $19, as the most effective in reducing wrinkles.

But none of these products made a significant difference in the skin's appearance.

Researchers found that after 12 weeks the top-rated products smoothed out some fine lines and wrinkles, but even the best performers reduced the average depth of wrinkles by less than 10 percent, a change barely visible to the naked eye.

"The tests revealed that, on average, these products made little difference in the skin's appearance and there's no correlation between price and effectiveness," a spokeswoman for the magazine said.

Americans spend over $1 billion a year on anti-wrinkle creams.

Consumer Reports, published by nonprofit consumer research group Consumer Union, chose a sample of top-selling mass-market lines for its study. The products were purchased in retail stores for between $19 and $355. Each cream was tested by 17 to 23 women, aged between 30 and 70.

The women were recruited and evaluated by a European laboratory specializing in cosmetic testing.

The women used a test product on one side of their face and the lab's standard moisturizer on the other side for comparison. A high-tech optical device was used to detect changes in wrinkle depth and skin roughness.

Results varied among the women, the study said.

Dr. Tina Alster, a dermatologic laser surgeon from Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and a member of the American Academy of Dermatologists, said it was overly simplistic to conclude from such a limited study that these products did not work.

"People would love to believe that cheap products are the same as the more expensive ones, and I may pooh-pooh someone paying $500 for a cream, but I do see the value of some of the luxury brands which are science-based," she said. "But it is a cautionary tale that people should be looking at the ingredients rather than just at the packaging."

Despite the study's findings, some women said they would continue to use anti-wrinkle cream.

"I've never really believed these creams would stop wrinkles, but they make me feel and smell good," said Amira Thoron, a 36-year-old New York teacher.

The FDA classifies creams and lotions as cosmetics, which are defined as having no medical value. So the FDA regulates them more lightly than it does drugs. This means that products don't need to undergo rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness before going to market.

The FDA does step in, however, when advertisements portray cosmetics as drugs or when cosmetics contain ingredients that may pose a potential health hazard to consumers. For example, in 2002, the FDA ordered manufacturers of products containing alpha hydroxy acids to include a warning label stating that the acids may increase the risk of sunburn.

Because the FDA doesn't evaluate cosmetic products for effectiveness, there's no guarantee that any over-the-counter product will reduce your wrinkles or even contain any of its advertised ingredients.

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