face creams

We’ve all read the claims, listened to the advertising, bought the creams and waited for the magic to work.

‘Wrinkles will appear visibly reduced, pores minimised’; ‘Uneven skin tone will become more even’; ‘Tackles the seven signs of ageing’.

So why does our skin remain stubbornly the same? Don’t ‘Nine out of ten women notice a visible difference in just four weeks’?

Well, the truth is most creams you buy on the high street, even the most expensive, simply don’t – and can’t – work. At least that is they can’t tackle the seven, nine, ten, or indeed any sign of ageing. They can’t even skin tone and they won’t affect pores.

What they can do is temporarily add moisture, or rather create a barrier to stop moisture loss.

This won’t prevent or reverse wrinkles. At best it will temporarily mask tiny lines resulting from dry skin by keeping skin better hydrated.

If you are looking for long-term anti-ageing performance then you are going to be disappointed.

So is there anything that does work?

There are a few ingredients that can make a difference, but these are generally not found in high-street creams, at least not in strengths or formulations that will make any real difference.

One ingredient dermatologists and scientists do agree really can reduce, and even reverse, the signs of ageing is retinol, or Vitamin A.

The effectiveness of retinol as an anti-ageing treatment came to light after dermatologist Dr Albert Kligman began using a Vitamin A derivative on acne patients in the 1960s. Some years later he realised his patients had few wrinkles.

More research followed and today retinol has become popular in ‘anti-ageing’ creams. But to be effective it will need to be pretty strong and have an effective delivery system – which is really only found in prescription-strength products.

There are some other ingredients, too, that can make a difference. Vitamin C can be good in the right form. And hydroquinone is useful for uneven skin tone. But again, these ingredients only work when administered correctly and in strengths that are not generally found on the cosmetic counter.

So the only way to ensure you are spending your money on creams that will actually do something is to consult a dermatologist or doctor specialising in skin care. Then your individual skin requirements can be analysed and the best prescription-strength products supplied to meet your needs.

Depending on what end of the market you currently shop from, it may be a little more expensive than your current product – but remember, no matter what the price, the most expensive creams are the ones that don’t work.

So make sure you only spend your money on treatments that can make a difference. Book a consultation with Medcare’s skincare doctor today.