In this report
September 2011 Ratings
What we found

Wrinkle creams: Miracle or mirage?

Last reviewed: September 2011

Garnier promises "repair action to the core of each wrinkle" so that "in 4 weeks wrinkles are reduced." Aveeno claims "in 4 weeks, 100% of women showed improved skin vitality with…reduced appearance of wrinkles or diminished look of age spots." Lancôme claims a "dramatic decrease in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles." At $80 for 1.7 ounces for its cream, you might expect Lancôme to repaint your house, too.

We tested seven anti-wrinkle creams and one control, a moisturizer with no wrinkle-reduction claims: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Sensitive Skin Ultra Gentle Facial Moisturizer. (Two Olay products we also tested have since been reformulated.)

Alas, we were underwhelmed.

How we tested

At an outside lab, we had 79 subjects (67 women and 12 men) use two of the products, one on each side of the face, every morning for 12 weeks according to a statistical plan. All had moderate to marked lines and wrinkles, and they didn't know which products they were using. They filled out questionnaires assessing the products after an hour, six weeks, and 12 weeks. Six trained sensory panelists then assessed wrinkle reduction by comparing "before" photos with "after" photos taken at those same intervals, looking at six specific areas on subjects' faces. Panelists didn't know which product or time period they were looking at. They also assessed the products' scent and how they felt on the skin.