Being in “The Biz” comes with extra pressure to always look your most youthful (as if the general pressure all women face these days weren’t enough, right?!) Because of that, a lot of us are trying to find a magic potion to turn back the clock. A genie in a bottle that will plump and firm and tighten our faces back to 18. We’d pay just about anything for that, wouldn’t we?
So, does it exist?
I’m just going to get right to it. The answer to that question is no. But I’ll explain and then you can decide for yourself if you want to spend the money.
The truth of the matter is that once skin is damaged enough to wrinkle, it’s beyond the point of being able to be truly repaired with a topical product.
There is a reason that there are so many wrinkle creams out there, because none of them work – but we all want them to. We’ve been sold on the idea that youth equals beauty and value, and so we keep shelling out money by the fistful in hopes of finding the fountain of youth in a bottle.
I was reminded of this when a friend recently asked me about my thoughts on a certain new pricey skin care cream. It was unique she said, because it utilized this certain plant and everything online said that it was a real winner.
The thing is, it doesn’t really matter what the active ingredient is, because it’s very hard for any product to penetrate deep enough into the skin to be of any good as far as wrinkles are concerned. Most products that “work” have ingredients that stretch and tighten on the surface of your skin, giving the look of fewer lines. Stop using the product, and you’re right back where you started.
The best most products can actually do is to help with superficial fine lines – but that has more to do with hydrating, moisturizing and exfoliating. Any good product that does that well, especially if the person using it had dry or dehydrated skin, will show benefits.
(As a side note, that’s actually the “trick” to a good before and after shot. Wipe a person’s face with alcohol to dry the skin, which enhances fine lines. Throw on a good moisturizer after that and, viola! Noticeably better skin!)
That’s not to say there is no point at all in using topical products to help with aging skin. A good, well formulated product with ingredients like retinoids, vitamin C or alpha hydroxy acids can help to a degree, mostly with the fine lines and perhaps minor wrinkles. But it’s important to keep expectations in check. The bigger results they promise, the more they can (and do) charge, and the less worth the money they become.
So, do you bother or not? Here are some things to consider when deciding if the product is worth the price tag.
What does the product claim? Does the product claim or imply it can rebuild elastin? Thus far evidence shows there is nothing that can do this. Does the product include collagen and claim or imply this will help firm and plump your skin? Most topically applied collagen cannot penetrate skin because the molecular size is too large. Even when they reduce the size of the molecules, it cannot magically fuse to your skin’s own collagen, so it’s no help.
What’s the company’s business model? If it’s multilevel marketing, where they recruit sales people and inspire them to join the cult business, this guarantees that the product will be over priced for what you are getting. It has to be by the very nature of the business model.
Can you find unbiased opinions? I’m a fan of Amazon for this reason. While it’s still possible to skew those reviews, you’re more likely to find honest opinions. For example – with the particular product my friend asked about, a simple Google search returned all kinds of rave reviews. The thing is they were almost all done by people that were “partners” selling the product (multilevel marketing). However, Amazon showed just as many 1 star reviews as it did 5 star reviews. I find that very telling.
What’s your budget? Super expensive products can be nice products. Like I mentioned, if they hydrate, moisturize and/or exfoliate well, you can see nice results. But the extra cost doesn’t make them magic. You’re just paying for their marketing budget. Don’t feel like you’re missing out if you don’t want to fork over your hard earned cash.
If you’re serious about fighting those wrinkles my suggestions are exercise – there’s evidence showing how this helps skin, eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and sleep more. You’ll look and feel younger. No product can do that.
Overall be kind to your skin. Take consistent care of it using products that you like, that leave your skin feeling moisturized. And feel free to skip anything that promises to be a face lift in a jar.
If you’ve got any other questions about wrinkle products, let me hear it in the comments below!