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Wrinkle Cream Weigh-In: Which Products Work Best?

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With millions of anti-wrinkle creams on the market, it’s tough to know which ones really help keep that youthful glow. And is it even possible to reverse the signs of aging without spending too much?

While staying “young at heart” is unarguably the most important, the millions of skin products in this saturated market suggest many want to sing to the tune of younger looking skin, as well.

“We want it fixed yesterday,” said Dr. Charles Crutchfield, a dermatologist.

But with so many creams, oils, ointments and gels, how do you know what to use where? And do you have to break the bank to see results?

WCCO-TV asked three people to participate in our story — Dave Ryan from KDWB, WCCO Radio’s Michele Tafoya and our very own Amelia Santaniello.

Each of them picked out a “trouble area” they wanted to target.

The popular KDWB morning radio host freely admits to using products.

“Anything that has a fake French name, you know is good stuff,” Ryan said.

Ryan even admits he’s had cosmetic procedures.

“I have had Botox, I’ve had restilin,” he said.

But the problem that still nags him?

“Probably like puffiness around the eyes, ’cause we get up awfully early in the morning, which a lot of times means lack of sleep,” Ryan said.

Our other radio star, Tafoya, has her own issues.

“From like a distance, you might not see ‘em, but I see ‘em in the mirror, and it tells me that, ya know, I’m no spring chicken,” she said.

Fine lines account for her skin woes.

“What I get most upset, I think, is about, they call ‘em crow’s feet. I like to call ‘em laugh lines and smile lines, ’cause I laugh a lot,” Tafoya said.

As for Santaniello?

“The age spots, or we call them sun spots, perhaps might be a prettier name,” she said. “I mean we know so much more now than when I was younger. You know, I’d go out there and slab on the baby oil,” she said.

Before having each try out one more expensive, multi-product treatment and one over the counter product, we had them guess which would work better.

All three vote for the most expensive solution, though Tafoya admits she’s not sure if anything will.

Dr. Crutchfield of Crutchfield Dermatology in Eagan picked out three over-the-counter products that he thought would put up a good fight.

“I tell patients, you really can do significant improvement on your skin with over-the-counter products,” he said.

For a $17.99 bottle of Neutrogena, Instant Eye Reviver — that would be given to Ryan for under eye puffiness — Crutchfield looked for the ingredient “Tetrol E.”

In a $32 bottle of Oil of Olay, Regenerist — that would be given to Tafoya for crow’s feet — he looked for something called “Bio Peptide B-3.”

And in a $17 bottle of L’oreal, Age Perfect Night Cream — that would be given to Santaniello for sun spots — he looked for “Soy Bean Peptides.”

He put all three of these up against an $80 multi-product treatment called NeoStrata.

“Everybody’s looking for a magic bullet,” Crutchfield said. “They want one thing that does it all. What we’ve come to find out is when you use lots of different things, lots of little things, they tend to work together better synergistically.”

The active ingredient in NeoStrata is retinol that would target both the sun spots and crow’s feet. And Swiss apple stem cell that would target Ryan’s under eyes.

We took before pictures of our candidates, (see gallery) and asked them to apply one cream to each side of their face for the next 30 days, religiously.

Then we came back to snap new pictures.

“A friend of mine says one eye looks better and wider, like not as, I don’t know, saggy, droopy — that’s horrible — but not as saggy, droopy, and they said it’s my left eye,” Ryan said.

Ryan used the Neutrogena Instant Eye Reviver on his left eye. Results that made for a pleasant surprise.

“I’m very happy it’s the cheaper way that worked,” he said.

And while when we first talked to Tafoya, she was doubtful anything would work …

“I don’t know that there’s any product out there that can take care of these fine lines,” she said.

… Thirty days later, her attitude toward skin care took a 180-degree turn.

“Maybe there’s hope,” she said. “I just noticed kind of a decrease in the lines, almost as though a couple of them have either disappeared or plumped up or something.”

The decrease of lines came on the side where she used the $80 NeoStrata.

“This is going to motivate me to be more consistent and actually use the stuff the way you’re told to use it. ‘Cause I’d never done something like this before, and I see a difference,” Tafoya said.

And as for those stubborn sun spots?

“It looks like the right side has gotten a little lighter, and the L’oreal side has gotten a little lighter, too, but I think for me, it was more noticeable on the right,” Santaniello said.

Tafoya and Santaniello both saw more results using the NeoStrata treatment.

“I could tell a difference — like all my skin — in a couple days. I could already tell,” Santaniello said.

Bottom line: There’s no need for nips, tucks and lifts — really, a good cream and a little diligence can do the trick.

“For me, it’s worth it,” Santaniello said. “Plus, I’m afraid of needles.”


Gallery: Wrinkle Cream Weigh-In, Before & After

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