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What is Wrinkle Cream?

By S. Gonzales
Updated May 17, 2024
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Wrinkle cream is a spreadable substance sold in stores or prescribed by doctors to remedy, reduce, or prevent wrinkles on the body. Many wrinkle creams are marketed to women who are experiencing aging in the face and are looking for anti-aging solutions. Some common areas that wrinkle treatment products specialize in are on or around the eyes, forehead, neck, lips and jaw. Though manufacturers may claim that wrinkle creams can treat any type of wrinkle, they generally work better on new, superficial or fine lines.

Literature accompanying wrinkle cream packaging may assert that wrinkle manifestations are solely due to controllable or reversible agents like sun and wind exposure and lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking and squinting. While these things can contribute to wrinkling, other less manageable factors like genetics, elastin and collagen loss, as well as skin type, also govern the appearance of wrinkles. No wrinkle cream can counteract the effects of all these wrinkle contributors.

For this reason, many consumers have difficulty finding a wrinkle cream that accomplishes all that it claims to do. Any wrinkle cream may appear to immediately effect wrinkled areas on the skin, but these effects are likely temporary. This is because wrinkle treatments often contain moisturizers that can be easily absorbed into the skin. These liquid ingredients reduce facial dryness, which is known to exacerbate the appearance of wrinkles.

While the medical community may dispute many claims made by over-the-counter wrinkle cream manufacturers, certain active ingredients can effect the appearance of the skin, if solutions containing the ingredients are used regularly and over a lengthy period. In addition, the amount of the active ingredient present also increases the wrinkle creams' effectiveness. Dermatologists often prescribe anti-aging creams with the highest concentrations of active ingredients.

Retinol, hydroxy acids, Coenzyme Q10, copper peptides, kinetin and tea extracts are all active ingredients used in wrinkle creams and each contribute to treating wrinkles. For example, retinol, a Vitamin A compound and antioxidant, counteracts free radicals that have been linked to the emergence of wrinkles. Alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids and poly hydroxy acids contain fruit-derived acids that act as exfoliants which remove dead skin cells and encourage their replacement with new, and better pigmented ones, while Coenzyme Q10 controls energy production of the new skin cells. Kinetin helps stimulate collagen production that helps to fill in lines and keeps moisture within the skin. The extracts from oolong, black and green tea also contain antioxidants, and copper peptides aid antioxidants in their work to improve skin texture.

Recent concerns about artificial ingredients and their links to various illnesses cause many consumers to opt for natural or organic wrinkle treatments. In addition to being more inexpensive than their chemically-based counterparts, organic treatments are less likely to contain irritating artificial ingredients like paraben preservatives, acids and sodium laureth sulfate that can result in allergic reactions. Those who choose organic treatments look for ingredients including essential oils like lavender oil, argireline and nut, vegetable, plant or fruit-derived compounds and acids such as malic acid and tartaric acid to accelerate cellular turnover.

Genuine wrinkle creams expose new skin and increase skin sensitivity, so care should be taken when using a wrinkle cream on any skin type. Anti-aging solutions should be used in conjunction with sunscreen, high-quality moisturizers and simple, mineral-based makeup products to decrease irritation risks and increase effectiveness. Consumers should also exercise common sense when shopping for a wrinkle cream. Cosmetics, especially in the United States, are not usually regulated or tested for effectiveness. Similarly, the efficacy of wrinkle creams doesn't necessarily correlate with manufacturers' claims or the costs of the creams.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By burcinc — On Sep 09, 2014

@Ocelot60-- Have you tried collagen cream? I have just started using it and I'm already seeing a difference. I think it's great. The Korean brand collagen creams seem to be very good quality and effective too. My cream is made from sea collagen, so it's also suitable for vegans.

By ysmina — On Sep 08, 2014

@serenesurface-- I agree with you that most wrinkle creams on the market cannot reverse or get rid of wrinkles. But I'd like to point out that these products don't claim to do that. If you ever paid attention to their labels, you will see that it says something along the lines of "reduces the appearance of wrinkles." So wrinkle cream doesn't get rid of wrinkles, it just makes them more apparent. And for it to do that, it has to be used regularly.

Although wrinkle creams may not get rid of wrinkles that are already present, I believe that they do prevent future wrinkles by keeping the skin hydrated. Dry skin increases the chance of wrinkles developing. So using a wrinkle cream is certainly better than using nothing. I will continue to do so.

By serenesurface — On Sep 07, 2014

I read that all wrinkle creams are a scam because wrinkles occur at a deep layer of skin and no cream can absorb so far deep. Despite the fact that this information has been around for some time, millions of women continue to buy and use wrinkle creams. I'm not a fan of cosmetic procedures or surgeries. But considering how much money women spend every year on these creams, they could probably save money and get a procedure that will actually get rid of their wrinkles.

For those who don't mind looking their age, natural is best. I think that there is beauty in age also. A good diet and good lifestyle are the best ways to avoid wrinkles. Anyone who follows these will age beautifully.

By Heavanet — On Sep 03, 2014

@ocelot60- Depending on where on your face your wrinkles are located, Botox my help. Because it stops the movement of the muscles it is injected into for several months, those areas stay smooth for this time frame.

Botox works great for wrinkles around the mouth, near the corners of the eyes, and on the forehead because these areas often develop wrinkles over time due to facial muscle movement.

By Spotiche5 — On Sep 03, 2014

@ocelot60- Just like the article describes, wrinkle creams that contain alpha hydroxy acids really do help to diminish the appearance of wrinkles because they help to remove old skin cells and also stimulate the growth of new skin cells. If you haven't tried a wrinkle cream that contains at least 10 percent alpha hydroxy acid in it, you should.

By Ocelot60 — On Sep 02, 2014

I have tried many different types of facial wrinkle creams, and I have never had very good results. What else can I do to try to make my facial wrinkles less noticeable?

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