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Anti-Wrinkle Creams Do They Work?

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

Do anti-wrinkle creams really get rid of wrinkles? I see many different brands in the stores, but they are so expensive. I would hate to waste money on hype.


Ready to Try

Dear Ready to Try,

Anti-wrinkle creams could help reduce the appearance of aging. Generally, these creams are not permanent wrinkle removers, but either help remove the dead outer layer of skin or hydrate the skin and plump it up, giving the appearance of removing wrinkles. Some results can be seen after about 30 days. But, once you stop using the product, the wrinkles return, so ongoing product use can become expensive depending on which cream you buy. In addition, the effectiveness of particular brands have not been scientifically studied and published in medical journals.

Given the limitations as to their success, here are some recommended products that have been reviewed:

1. Products with Vitamins C & E: The American Academy of Dermatology at, published a paper, "Facing the Age Old Question: How to Turn Back the Hands of Time." Dermatologist, Arielle N.B. Kauvar, recommended "over-the-counter topical products with ingredients such as the anti-oxidants vitamins C & E." However, Dr. Kauvar did not specify any particular brand.

2. Products with AHA (alpha hydroxy acid): According to Dr. Kauvar, products with alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) can "help remove the dead outer layers of skin, leaving the face with a fresh, younger appearance. AHAs are particularly beneficial for wrinkles around the mouth and eyes."

Dr. Kauvar did not recommend any particular brand, and pointed out that the most important way to prevent aging skin is to protect it with sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sun exposure is the number 1 cause of aging skin (

3. Vitamins A and B3: Cheryl Burgess, in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, also lists Vitamins C and E, as well as Vitamin A and B3 for the treatment of wrinkles. These ingredients have also been effective in treating other skin problems such as acne, pigmentation disorders, and wound healing. Particular products were not mentioned, only ingredient names. See "Anti-Wrinkle Cream Ingredient List" below.

4. Hylaform: The Oprah Winfrey Show ( featured a segment on anti-aging, where guest dermatologist, Dr. Karyn Grossman, recommended Prescriptives Intensive Rebuilding Moisturizer, a product that she helped develop. Dr. Grossman says, "the progressive build and fill technology of the product works within the skin to strengthen, firm and lift while it also works on the outer layer of the skin to decrease the appearance of surface line and wrinkles" (Grossman cited in, 2009). This product costs $95 for a 2 oz jar. (For more information, see

5. To see the top rated anti-wrinkle day and night creams, see links below.

The best way to prevent aging of the skin is to have a healthy lifestyle and protect the skin from the sun. Below are 12 ways to help prevent wrinkles.