The anti-wrinkle cream market is big business — here, in North America, we spend upward of $1.0 billion every year on these products. But are we getting our money’s worth? Do these products actually deliver on their promises, reducing our wrinkles and giving us a more youthful appearance?
Consumer Reports magazine decided to delve into this topic and came up with some interesting — but disappointing — answers. It seems that forking out more cash for a “high quality” cream doesn’t get you better results. In fact, anti-wrinkle creams in general don’t seem to be all that effective.
To see what the deal was, Consumer Reports tested nine of the best-selling anti-wrinkle creams, covering a range of price points — from $19.00 to $355.00. They had a European laboratory look at 294 women, aged 30 to 70, over a period of 12 weeks. The women were split into groups, each applying a specific product on one side of their face and a “control” moisturizer on the other side of their face. Researchers took photos of each of the subjects’ faces at points before, during and after the study.
At the end of the study, researchers who did not know which photo was which examined them with a high-tech optical device to measure depth and length of the wrinkles. The results varied among the women, with some showing no visible difference in their wrinkles between the outset and the end of the study, and others showing noticeable improvement. However, the best reduction in wrinkle depth amongst the participants was only 10% — really, that hardly seems worth the effort of putting the cream on, to some people, much less the price.
It’s important to note that there did not seem to be a correlation between the price of a product and its effectiveness. “Le Prairie Cellular,” the priciest cream, had the poorest showing; while “Olay Regenerist,” which will cost you around $19.00, was the star of the show (if you can say that about a 10% difference).
However, some experts say that this study is not conclusive, as it needs to be more in-depth. Furthermore, there is the claim that the more expensive products have more research and “better science” behind them. That’s yet to be seen, in my book. I would also suggest that perhaps a longer time period is in order for the testing, so we can see if the creams could work better in a more gradual fashion.
So, it’s still up to you as to whether you choose to buy the claims put out there by the anti-wrinkle cream makers. It is best to take everything with a grain of salt. Unless you have money to burn, why not try the more reasonably priced creams? Plus, you should practice the more obvious wrinkle prevention techniques before turning to cosmetic products as a quick fix. Limit your skin’s exposure to the sun by wearing sunblock every time you go outside (no matter what the season).
You should also wear a hat to shield your face from the sun’s damaging rays. You should drink a ton of water every day, which will help keep your skin moisturized, and eat a large variety of fruits and veggies. These have natural nutrients that could help keep your skin from aging too quickly. Finally, cut out smoking! Regular smokers age a lot faster than those who abstain do.