Do anti-aging products - creams, etc. - work?

This year my grandmother wanted a specific kind of age-related cosmetic for Christmas, which I, a good grandson, dutifully bought.

In the process of doing so, though, I was staggered by the vast array of merchandise available for sale that promise to make people look not as old as they actually are. Skin creams, wipes, eye creams, cleansers, and various and sundry products in scores of brands and hundreds, if not thousands, of separate types were available. Neutrogena alone had perhaps a hundred distinct products for sale, all for prices that, given the amount of product in a package, could be fairly described as princely.

Do any of these work?

I ask for three reasons.

  1. It just sounds like a lot of bullshit.
  2. If anti-aging products work, why are there so many people who look really old?
  3. If they DO work, hey, should I get some? I’m not terribly vain, but if I can look 36 instead of 39 for a few bucks a week, why not? Might as well.

What’s the Straight Dope? Do these things really have an effect or are they just placebos?

My understanding is essentially… No. They don’t work, or at least minimally, not the dramatic effects that people hope/expect and commercials promise.

Your best bet is use sunscreen, don’t get too much sun and use a light moisturizer after washing your face.

Lots of irreversible reactions associated with aging skin:

Being irreversible reactions, not even the priciest cosmetics can reverse them.
When you damage your skin by hanging out in the sun too much, or getting old, it stays damaged, no matter what you do.
You CAN get creams that swell it up, or make it slippery and young feeling but they’re like spackle on a hole in the wall. When you’re done spackling, you still have a hole in the wall, it’s just harder to see.

She should use anti aging products like green tea…Green tea has come to the fore an anti aging product in recent years – either as an extract or when drunk throughout the day. Associated with weight loss green tea also adds a high level of antioxidants vital for fighting the signs of aging…:slight_smile:

What Flutterby said.

Anecdote: My grandmother avoided the sun like the plague and had youthful looking skin almost all of her life. Here sister, on the other hand, who was a few years younger, would lay out in sun every chance she could get, for all of her life, and her skin was severly wrinkled and leathery. My mother took away from that that exposure to the sun was bad and always had youthful looking skin herself.

Given the incidence of skin cancer in most western countries it makes sense to cover up in the summer and use as much sunblock as you can tolerate.

I don’t think most anti-aging products do anything to improve the health of your skin, but they can temporarily make it look better.

It’s all rubbish – mostly. Three things to remember:

  1. These are all cosmetic products, making cosmetic claims. If the manufacturers thought they actually did anything, they’d be spending the money to do clinical trials, file with FDA, and market it as a DRUG product – possibly the first of its kind.

  2. There are a handful of products that actually have substantive effects on aging skin. They’re kind of dangerous and unpleasant, but retinoic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids both actually remove wrinkles – along with a bit of skin. I know one pharmacist who fully expected a wave of skin cancer to follow the rise in “chemical skin peels,” but this hasn’t happened yet, AFAIK.

  3. There’s nothing wrong with cosmetic improvement. If putting goop on your skin results in making your wrinkles harder to see, and does so more invisibly than makeup, and does no harm (the old Oil of Olay was notorious for the minor inflammation that helped it “fill in” wrinkles), or your eye cream makes it harder to tell that you’ve got bags under your eyes, that’s almost as good as removing bags and wrinkles. That said, there is something slimy, if not fundamentally dishonest, about the proliferation of exotic ingredients, exaggerated claims, and sky-high prices in the skin-care industry. Manufacturers KNOW, or ought to know, that smearing anti-oxidants on your skin (or collagen, or hyaluronic acid, or almost anything else) does nothing. The few ingredients that might accomplish something if injected or implanted won’t penetrate the skin, and if they did, they’d cause massive side-effects. (Most of them won’t survive the digestive system either, and won’t be absorbed if they do – the list of effective supplements is a short one)

Most people buy cosmetics and skin-care products to feel better about the way they look. If they do, it’s cheaper than therapy. They don’t call it “hope in a bottle” for nothin’.

She could always invest in Foreverware.

When I stay drunk throughout the day, I find my skin seems more supple.

Add to that regular exercise, staying hydrated, and relaxing tension in the facial muscles. They don’t call them “frown lines” or “worry lines” for nothing: muscular tension in the face will accentuate the appearance of slackness and wrinkling in the facial skin.

For the same reason, facial creams may have a minor benefit due to the application process. Regularly rubbing a moisturizer or what have you onto your face may relax your facial muscles somewhat, easing up on lines and wrinkles.

But for the most part, wrinkling and similar skin flaws are just part of what happens as you get older, and there’s no magic bullet to reverse them. Even cosmetic surgery (facelifts) just rearranges the less-elastic facial tissue to remove the droopy bits: it doesn’t restore the natural elasticity of younger skin.

My dermatologist says that Retin A (tretinoin) will eventually rebuild some collagen. This product is also effective at treating acne, blackheads, and minimizing pores.

There are some Retin-A/tretinoin products available over the counter and they are of lesser strength than the Rx versions. It is my understanding that the weaker concentrations will also work but the results will take longer.

Some of the better OTC products containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as MD Forte, Obagi Nu-derm, etc., act like a chemical peel over a long period of time and brighten the skin by exfoliating older skin cells and exposing the newer cells underneath. The “better” products – meaning they have enough AHA to be effective – are usually not available in most drug stores or department stores.

AHA concentrations need to be at least 8%; anything less is virtually useless in achieving the desired results. Most of the OTC AHA preparations found in drug stores contain less than 8% because the makers don’t want to face any liability issues. AHAs can be irritating to the skin (usually temporary), should not be applied to the eye area, and can make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure. Low end skincare producers don’t want to face lawsuits so they use a level of AHA that is unlikely to have obvious side effects. This results in a product that does not contain enough AHA to be effective, but it DOES contain some AHA so purchasers think they’re getting a good deal.

Topical vitamins can have a positive effect on skin and rebuild come collagen. However, some vitamins, like C, are not stable when exposed to air and sunlight. Even the so-called stabilized Cs will deteriorate, albeit more slowly. As with other products, concentration is important. Chances are you are not getting useful concentrations in the general commercial products that can be purchased at most drug stores and department stores. Again, most low end producers don’t tell you what the concentration is, so you have to find out for yourself.

And, heck, moisturizers, especially those containing light refractors (usually mica), will make you look better for at least a few hours.

As with all skincare products, it takes at least 3 months of continued use to see a substantial benefit, although some minor improvements might be noted after 30 days of use. None of these products provide permanent results; once discontinued you’ll gradually go back to square one.

Sorry if this is too much of a tangent but how about those facial exercises you see promoted for firming your saggy skin? I can’t imagine they would work – wouldn’t my face become MORE sprung out? Squinting, smiling, and opening my mouth are how my skin got the lines in the first place.

The facial wrinkles don’t bother me but the chicken skin that’s developing on the back of my hands is unnerving.

Basically there are only two beauty products that will do your skin any good at all: high SPF sunscreen and AHA. Even a high concentration of AHA, however, will only make the minutest of improvements in wrinkles. A good sunscreen and AHA will do more to prevent new wrinkles from forming.

So, basically, if you already look old, you’re out of luck in the beauty product department.

haha…very funny :D…this means that you have already found the solution…good job!:wink:

Products which have actual active ingredents do work, yes. Problem is most products don’t have active ingredents or, as **RingOfPylon’s ** very thorough post points out, dnt have them in sufficent concentrations to be effective.

As I know you’re in Canada RickJay I’ll mention that Neostrata products, which are readily available at Shoppers Drugmart/Pharmaprix, London Drugs, Rexal, etc. DO contain active ingredents in adequate concentrations to be effective and their active ingredients as well as their actual product lines are tested in peer reviewed studies as mention

FWIW Neostrata products at the Canadian concentrations and Ph are only available n physician’s offices or by perscription in the US or were the last time I took Neostrata training which, admittedly, was a few years ago.

Your hips kind of break loose a bit too.

They do work and different brands work for different kinds of skin. You need to try them for yourself. Estee Lauder works but is more expensive. Olay products work, are cheaper, and more utilitarian, but don’t have that luxury feel.

Staying out of the sun and not smoking will do wonders for anyone and it’s free, as will drinking moderately.

So folks, if you really love your tanning bed, you will be looking prune-like worser and younger than you ever thought.

YES, a skin care regimen really works. I’ve used and then stopped using products and experienced a dramatic difference.

I like DHC for a mid-priced line (available on-line) and Neutrogena products are effective and available at your drugstore. There are plenty of effective products and it’s likely that the $200 cream will be more effective than the $25 cream but not always.

At the very least: cleanse and moisturize twice a day with products targeted for your skin type. AHA has proved very effective for me also.

There is a new product that came out for the CES 2016 Consumer Electronics Show that helps people with thin hair or people that are bald.

It makes you grow think hair!!:eek::eek::eek::):slight_smile:
It is new and just came out in 2016 and being tested. Not sure if it will work or not.

I have thin hair and would get this but it is so new and being tested it may or may not work.

If it works it will help billions of people that have thin hair or are bald or getting bald.

The makers of the device say it works.

I was reading some of the newer anti aging creams can make you look 10 to 15 years younger. But again it could be many companies making many claims to get rich on their product.
Collagen helps keep the skin firm, tight, smooth hydrated and elasticity and people look young looking.

When people get older collagen begins to run out, the skin becomes thinner and your skin sag and you get wrinkles.

As we age the collagen is degraded. As we age are cartilage begins to loosen up and sag.

The anti aging creams will have to work on collagen.

I’m not sure but there may be some new anti- aging creams that are better than the older creams that come out in 2014 and 2015 that still being tested to see if it will work or not.