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.
At best the products had a small effect, and not on everyone.
After an hour, the Garnier, L'Oréal Paris, and Lancôme Paris products seemed to bring a slight, short-term improvement in the look of wrinkles, based on photos.
After six weeks, all the products had reduced wrinkles a bit on just one-third or less of the people who used them. No product was even slightly better than the rest, including the control.
After 12 weeks, our top-rated wrinkle cream was slightly better than the rest. Sensory panelists judged that it lessened wrinkles somewhat on nine of 16 people. Other products helped only three to six people.
Yet just seven of our 16 test subjects said they'd buy the top-rated wrinkle cream. Sensory panelists said its aroma had a hint of floral and sweet plastic, and some of them needed more than 30 seconds to rub it in. The largest number of test subjects said they'd buy the Neutrogena moisturizer tested as a control.