Anti-aging serums put to the test

April 6, 2010 8:56:22 PM PDT
If you're determined to make your wrinkles disappear, there are plenty of potions promising help, including lots of new serums. But do they really work?

Consumer Reports just tested 9 serums, which are thinner than creams and quickly soak into the skin. Included in the tests are ones from Olay, Lancôme, and Neutrogena. They cost anywhere from $20 to $65 and claim to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. One even promises a 5-minute face-lift.

Using an instrument with a high-resolution digital camera, testers photographed 79 participants before the test, shortly after the first application, and again after six weeks longer than any of the tested serums say it takes to see visible results. Then the photos were evaluated for signs of improvement.

The results were underwhelming. None of the products we tested are the fountain of youth. Some did slightly reduce the appearance of wrinkles in some people, but the changes were very subtle.

Burt's Bees Naturally Ageless Intensive Repairing Serum, ounce per ounce one of the most expensive serums tested, was the least effective.

But if you're still interested in trying one, consider either the DermaSilk 5 Minute Face Lift, for $40 an ounce, or the Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle Serum, for $20 an ounce.

If you're after bigger changes, talk to a dermatologist about using a prescription retinoid. Those are the only topical products proven to reverse the loss in collagen that causes wrinkles to form. But Consumer Reports says that your best bet with wrinkles is to minimize skin damage in the first place by protecting your skin with sunscreen and regularly moisturizing.

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