Wrinkle cream potions put to the test

LOS ANGELES Skin damage can be hard to spot, until it's too late. There is now an instrument that can help people actually see the damage better than the naked eye. But is there any way to undo what's already been done?

"Americans spent roughly $1.5 billion on anti-aging face products last year alone," said Consumer Reports Deputy Editor Gayle Williams.

The smorgasbord of options now includes a growing number of anti-wrinkle face serums, which are thinner than creams and soak into the skin quickly.

Consumer Reports tested nine serums, including ones from /*Olay*/, /*Lancome*/, and /*Neutrogena*/. They cost anywhere from $20 to $65 and claim to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. One even promises a five-minute face-lift. Really?

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. This took longer than any of the tested serums said it would take 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," said Williams.

/*Burt's Bees*/ Naturally Ageless Intensive Repairing Serum, 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.

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