You've heard the claims: "Younger-looking eyes in just 24 hours" (Avon Anew Rejuvenate), a "brighter, vibrant, refreshed" eye area (Clinique Repairwear). Americans must really want these boasts to be true. They spend more than a billion dollars a year on wrinkle removers.
We tested 16 over-the-counter eye creams--10 sold in the U.S. and six European products that you can buy online and have shipped to the U.S.--and found several worth trying. Just don't expect them to turn the clock back to your dewy-skinned youth.
- Results varied. Each product reduced wrinkle length or depth for at least some people and did nothing for others. A moisturizer with no antiwrinkle claims that we used as a control reduced wrinkles about as well as several high-rated creams did.
- Changes were minor. Even among the best-performing products, wrinkle reduction around the eyes was generally pretty subtle. After six weeks of daily use, none came close to eliminating wrinkles.
- Price predicts nothing. The priciest cream tested, Perricone MD, $95, was no better than cheaper drugstore brands.
A wrinkle in time
Our tests, done at an outside lab, included 107 people, 94 of them women. Each person used two creams, one on each side of the face around the eyes, morning and night for six weeks. We masked package labels.
We took a high-resolution digital photograph of each participant's eye area before the test, one hour after the first application, and after six weeks of use. Participants also filled out questionnaires. Trained sensory testers evaluated visible wrinkles in the before-and-after photos without knowing which was which.
What we found
Four products smoothed wrinkles somewhat better than the rest. Most products at least made skin feel soft, participants found. An exception: Logona, which left skin feeling sticky or tacky. Only Perricone MD smelled unpleasant--like a gym bag, testers said.
There are a few sure ways to minimize wrinkles: Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses when outdoors; never climb into a tanning bed; and don't smoke.
Copyright © 2006-2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.