A wrinkle reducer is a product, usually a cream, designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the face, particularly around the eyes and mouth and between the eyebrows. There are a large number of anti-wrinkle creams on the market, and many of them claim to have a "miracle" component that is the key to wrinkle reduction. However, the way the "miracle" component works is seldom described.
Wrinkles appear in the skin because of aging, damage from the sun, environmental toxins, smoking, stress, and other factors. Wrinkle reducers aim to give the skin a more youthful appearance by smoothing and firming the skin. They often tighten the skin, thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles. The cost of wrinkle treatments can be quite high, and many products offer a free sample or free trial period in hopes of proving their effectiveness to potential customers.
The proteins collagen and elastin give skin its elasticity, and many anti-wrinkle creams claim to work by supporting the production of these proteins in the skin. Other common components of anti-wrinkle creams are antioxidants like Vitamin A and Vitamin E. Antioxidants destroy free radicals that speed up the aging process in the body. So while antioxidants will not reduce the appearance of wrinkles, they may help prevent new wrinkles from forming. Sunscreen is also added to some products to help prevent new wrinkles from forming.
Sometimes a wrinkle reducer claims to temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and some products claim that their effectiveness increases over time. No wrinkle reducer provides permanent wrinkle reduction, and any wrinkle reduction provided by a treatment may be lost when a person quits using the product. Some wrinkle reducers claim to have proven effectiveness based on clinical trials, but usually the effectiveness of a wrinkle reducer is shown by testimonials.
In addition to creams, there are wrinkle reducers that are applied through injection into the skin. The most commonly known injected product is botulinum toxin, sometimes marketed as Botox®. When injected into the skin, this product makes it so that facial muscles are unable to contract. For example, lines between the eyebrows formed by muscle contraction may be reduced by Botox® injections.
Other products marketed as wrinkle reducers are skin exfoliators. Exfoliators clear dead skin cells and allow new skin to emerge. Alpha and beta hydroxy acids are examples of chemical exfoliators. Physical removal of dead skin cells, called microdermabrasion, is done using a wand with a roughened surface.