Wrinkle Remedies

What really works and what really doesn't

Vitamin A Keeps Wrinkles Away?
A retinoid is a vitamin-A derivative that, when applied to skin, exfoliates and stimulates collagen production, which plumps up your skin. There have been plenty of studies that demonstrate that prescription-strength retinoids such as Retin-A and Renova can decrease the appearance of minor wrinkles when applied directly to the skin. “It’s the only topical product I’ve seen that removes fine lines,” says Dr. Eisen.

So should you spring for the prescription retinoid or first try one of the many vitamin-A products available in the drugstore? Get thee to a dermatologist. “The over-the-counter retinoid products do not seem to be effective at reversing the signs of aging,” the dermatologist observes. (But then, a dermatologists would say that.)

Freeze ‘Em
The granddaddy of skin treatments, Botox has been used to minimize wrinkles for almost 30 years. It works by paralyzing facial muscles, especially on the forehead and around the eyes, which makes the skin appear firmer. Because Botox does not make wrinkles permanently “disappear,” you’ll need a fresh round of treatment (averaging roughly $500 per treatment) once the paralyzing effects of the Botox begin to wear off, usually in about six months. If you’re bold enough to get injections straight into your face, just say no to drive-through Botox. Find a reputable doctor to give it to you. Botox in the wrong place gives you a droopy eyelid or palsied lips. Definitely not hot.

There are several face creams on the market that claim to have Botox-like effects. Products like StriVectin HD ($135) and DDF Wrinkle Relax ($75) contain neuropeptides, which some researchers claim can block communication between nerves and facial muscles, but the jury is still out. Other products, like Freeze 24/7 ($95) and Dr. Brandt Crease Release ($150), contain an amino acid called GABA, which has been used to treat seizures by slowing down nerve activity. There is no clinical evidence, however, that GABA can be effectively absorbed through the skin. “There are no other products on the market that do what Botox does,” says Dr. Eisen.

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