There are many very good anti-ageing formulas around. But there are also many that are little more than scams. This criticism might seem harsh, but the following examples show it to be accurate.
This is a page to help people choose what is genuine and what is is not, so that money is not wasted puchasing something that is not genuine in its advertising.
1. "Better than Botox" Creams. The fastest growing "anti-ageing" formulas are the cosmetic "botox" creams. These have impressive names and prices, such as 'Resolution D-Contraxol Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Treatment Dermo-Crease Reducer" or "Anew Clinical Deep Crease Concentrate with Bo-Hylurox'. Sounds technical. There must be lots of people in lab coats researching these? Unfortuntately not. Instead, there are lots of marketing types out for long lunches and presentations discussing target demographics. A topical cream cannot affect muscle movement. (Dr. Alistaire Carruthers, Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of British Columbia and an expert on Botox.) Not to mention if the cream could do that, it would have disastrous side effects like relaxing muscles around the mouth that would make facial expressions very strange.
The "Better than Botox" creams show just how convincing a technical name and diagrams can be in convincing the very wealthy to part with their money. Lucky for everyone else, its not really helping. To quote our secret celebrity in regards to botox, "Go natural or go the jab".
2. Baffle with... Studies (You thought we were going to say "Bull" then right? We are far too classy for that!)
This diagram is part of a typical "study" presented to us along with a new ingredient apparently showing the mechanism of action of Undaria Pinnatifida. Looks impressive? Digging a little deeper it turns out that Undaria Pinnatifida is from the seaweed that makes Miso Soup. The product sold is mixed with water and then was to be sold to us at $300/kg. Is Miso soup worth $300kg just because it has an unintelligible diagram? The technique of making something look scientific with diagrams that cannot be understood is a marketing tool.
The Blurb: 'The active formula in [insert any scientific sounding name] has recently been shown in clinical trials to significantly reduce that category of fine lines and facial wrinkles that can take off 10-15 years to your appearance". Or perhaps "Studies show an 70% reduction in fine lines".
Reality: These "trials" and "studies" are not independent. They are performed by the company or its ingredient supplier. The trials are generally not published, are often not supplied when requested, and not able to be reviewed by scientific peers as all studies should be. This makes them meaningless.
To find out if the ingredient has any peer reviewed evidence, try using Google Scholar which searches scientific articles (www.scholar.google.com)
3. Use "In Vitro" Studies. ie Using Dead Skin in a Test Tube.
When an ingredient is applied to a chunk of dead skin that has been removed and put in a test tube, the results are far better than applying the ingredient to the surface of living skin. For those of us that are alive, the ingredient first has to penetrate the outer layers of skin, and secondly it must remain stable through the water and amino acids etc of a living organism.
Many of the latest superstar ingredients such as Peptides (Matrixyl - palmitoyl pentapeptides) use in vitro studies. In the study, the ingredient will be applied directly to the whole skin section, with good results because the ingredient did not need to penetrate the skin barrier. In reality, the ingredients do not penetrate and also become unstable.
4. The Higher the Price, The Better the Product.
If we pay more, we can usually see better quality. Most people recognize a quality difference between a Mercedes and a Hyundi (not there is anything wrong with that either). However with a cosmetic cream it is more difficult to tell. Therefore, if a cream is priced at $250 for 30ml, we would assume it has better ingredients. Unfortunately this is not the case at all. The price is dependant on the target market, not the formula. There are many creams with very cheap and inferior formulations, with a scientific name, priced incredibly high. Those wishing to buy the best will purchase the most expensive cream in the hope they are getting the best. When the price is increased, sales go up.
If there really were miracle creams, celebrities who can afford them would not need to wear makeup and have their photos airbrushed.
We hope this helps people avoid feeling that they need to mortagage their house to have young looking skin. Taking good care of your skin with regular moisturising for skin elasticity and supplied with anti-oxidants will help to keep your skin looking healthy and young. However, this must be combined with a healthy diet, not too much direct sun, and no smoking. There are no miracles. There are many good brands available at sensible prices.