Do Wrinkle Creams Work? Who Cares?
Women in their early 20’s are now buying anti-aging potions. Used to be, the serums were sold to middle-aged women and older. But why start so late when there is money to be made?
Of course, “It’s hard to know if a wrinkle cream is working when there are no lines yet to erase,” Christina Brinkley of the Wall Street Journal points out.
But that’s an advantage to the sellers. No evidence that their products don’t work. Good thing for them, since they probably don’t.
After six weeks of use, the effectiveness of even the best products was limited and varied from subject to subject. When we did see wrinkle reductions they were at best slight.
Even the best performers reduced the average depth of wrinkles by less than 10%, the magnitude of change that was, alas, barely visible to the naked eye.
According to the National Institute on Aging we should be skeptical:
Despite claims about pills or treatments that lead to endless youth, no treatments have been proven to slow or reverse the aging process.
Instead, the Institute offers this advice on aging well: eat healthily, exercise regularly, don’t smoke, and of course, protect your skin from the sun.
We are a world that worships youth. But age was once valued when it was harder to survive and when a long past meant great wisdom and great skill. But now it’s ordinary to live long, higher education can give us more knowledge than our parents, and technology mass-produces high quality work.
Baba Cooper wrote a piece on becoming old women. Old age shouldn’t be feared, she says. It should be a final ripening, a meaningful summation, a last chance for risks and pleasures.
There are different ways of seeing. Does age erase our beauty? Or does it show off the laugh lines of our happiness? And might the wisdom we have gained be more worthy, worthwhile and fulfilling than the outer shell that contains it?