Anti wrinkle cream is a huge market of products that are said to reduce wrinkles and make the skin seem younger. But the FDA doesn’t regulate over the counter products as carefully as it does drugs for the skin. As a result, over the counter skin products get little testing as to their safety and effectiveness. The FDA is interested when a product contains ingredients that may pose a hazard to their users. When alpha hydroxy hit the market in skin care products, the FDA stepped in and required the manufacturers to include a warning label about an increased risk of sunburn.
Over the counter anti wrinkle cream does not undergo much testing but makes amazing claims. The promises of erasing wrinkles and getting a face lift out of a bottle are irresistible. Non-surgical options for making the face younger and firmer are limited. Take injections and laser treatments out of the mix and all that is left is creams, gels, serums, and other topical applications. Prescription creams are much more effective and undergo extensive testing for safety. The FDAs main concern with over the counter products is in their safety rather than their effectiveness. There is no guarantee as to the claims of the over the counter products effectiveness.
Over the counter products contain some ingredients that can be a slight health hazard. Alpha hydroxy, for instance, can cause the skin to be extra sensitive to the sun. Sunburn will occur easily when using products with alpha hydroxy if precautions are not taken. Retinol is another ingredient that may be in over the counter anti wrinkle cream that may also cause sensitivity of the skin, peeling, and other side effects that the FDA would warn against. Other side effects may include redness, swelling, burning, irritation, or rashes.
Many anti wrinkle creams need to be used daily or even twice daily for many weeks before a difference can be detected. Even then, to retain the change in the skin, the product must be continued. If the product is discontinued, the results will be as well. Long term use is the only way to retain the effects of an over the counter cream. Prescriptions may be better but keep in mind that over the counter creams are just like the prescriptions but with much less of the active ingredient. Prescriptions do work better, but many of the same restrictions to prescriptions as to over the counter.