4 Anti-Aging Rip-Offs Every Woman Should Avoid, According To A Dermatologist

November 28, 2018 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | beauty

Do wrinkle creams work? It’s the million dollar question. Scratch that, the billion dollar question. The beauty industry puts forth countless new anti-aging products each year, but to what end?

If you’re wary of OTC creams that claim to make you look ten years younger, your instincts would be right. We’ve rounded up warnings from the country’s leading dermatologists to determine which anti-aging rip-offs every woman should avoid:

Drugstore Retinols

Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank tells us: "I don’t recommend buying retinols at the drugstore. Those sold in drug store products are very low concentrations."

Topical Creams For Wrinkles

"In 25 years, I've never seen a real wrinkle or fold repaired with a cream," Fayne Frey, NY-based dermatologist told TONIC. "The skin is an amazing barrier and things don't penetrate it easily, which is why topical creams don't work well." Well gang.


Clarissa Yang, a dermatologist and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, agreed that creams likely can't make you look ten years younger: "A skin cream isn't going to take five or ten years off your face," although she did advice that they are useful in other ways. "They can help with issues like discoloration, fine lines, or texture—some of the hallmark signs of getting old."


"The jury is still out on how beneficial they are," plastic surgeon Dr. Ivona Percec told TODAY. "The concern is that [they] are large molecules, and depending on their formulation and the skin surface, they may not be able to penetrate deeply enough to achieve their effect."


READ MORE: The One Anti-Aging Product You Should Stop Buying From The Drugstore, According To A Dermatologist

Over The Counter Spot Treatments

Shoppers should be wary of drugstore creams that claim to treat dark spots (otherwise known as hyperpigmentation) as experts agree that more aggressive treatments such as the use of laser administered by a dermatologist or board-certified plastic surgeon are superior.


Additionally, Dr. Purvisha Patel, Board-Certified Dermatologist and Founder of Visha Skincare tells us warns of the dangers of Hydroquinone, an ingredient that is 2% over-the-counter used to lighten sun spots or photo aging. "This is considered toxic and should be avoided," she advises.

READ MORE: Amazon Can’t Keep This $12 Anti-Aging Serum In Stock


Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at [email protected]

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