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Don't Fall for the Hype: Why Anti-Wrinkle Creams Don't Work

“Man,” you might think to yourself, “the people on those commercials have such good skin!” Despite the skin cream commercials’ affirmations of a wrinkle-less future, don’t start reaching for your credit card just yet. In fact, there have been plenty of studies done about anti-wrinkle creams, and they’ve found the same thing—they just don’t work. Even the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates American products, has warned consumers of boosted claims made by cosmetics companies. Here’s why these creams can give the appearance of younger skin and why they probably won’t get rid of your wrinkles.

They Don’t Contain Enough of the “Good Stuff”
The big ingredient in these anti-aging creams is called retinol. It causes your skin cells to break down more quickly and new ones to take their places, and this causes a nasty side effect of temporarily red and irritated skin. While retinol does, in fact, help get rid of wrinkles, many of the anti-aging creams you can buy off the shelf contain only a fraction of this ingredient because retinol is regulated as a drug. This means that over-the-counter creams aren’t allowed to contain an effective amount of retinol without a prescription.

Non-Prescription Creams Might Mostly Moisturize
Some of your friends may boast that they can without a doubt see the changes in their skin. You may even see a difference yourself. The creams must be working, right? Well, kind of. Many of these anti-wrinkle creams do indeed contain vitamins and other goodness, but they also contain moisturizing agents, which will make the skin smoother and give an overall more impressive appearance. So, don’t confuse healthier-looking, moisturized skin for skin that’s been cured forever of wrinkles.

They Use Clever Marketing
Who can resist the urge of boosted oxygen circulation? And who can say no to firmer skin, either? Wait.. what? The sad reality of the situation is that these creams often make claims that are pumped up with exciting words that don’t match the image you might have in your mind. Plus, the actors on TV and in magazines are oftentimes wearing makeup, or worse, have had their image digitally altered. Don’t forget that people in a room are paid a lot of money to get you to buy their products.

Preventing Wrinkles Is Easier Than Getting Rid of Them
These so-called “anti-wrinkle creams” can be great for preventing wrinkles. They contain vitamins, which if applied regularly, can do wonders for your skin. But, it’s a different story for wrinkles that have already appeared. The only true way to get rid of wrinkles for good usually involves a trip to the dermatologist and over-the-counter prescriptions. So, if you’re concerned about wrinkles, here’s what you can do. Wear sunscreen, treat your skin right, drink water, and get your vitamins.

Do your best not to fall for the tricks beauty product marketers are banking on. Instead, reframe your mindset; many people call wrinkles “wisdom lines” for a reason. Also, practice healthy skin hygiene and have a nice chat with your doctor or dermatologist to find out, definitively, what’s the best path for you.

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