Do anti-aging creams work? Our experts explain

Are anti-aging creams too good to be true, or do they really work?

2 minutes
When it comes to anti-ageing we want a beauty cream that truly works. And why not? We all want to look the best version of ourselves. But are anti-ageing creams too good to be true, or do they really work?

We all want to help get rid ourselves of uneven skin tone, frown lines, dry skin on the face, and eye wrinkles, but for noticeable results the effectiveness of anti-wrinkle creams actually depends on the ingredients it contains.

Olay’s largest ever clinical study, known as the Multi-decade and Ethnicity study (MDE) – was commissioned to transform our understanding of ageing – and it discovered that some fortunate women (known as ‘exceptional skin agers’) have younger-looking skin. Olay wanted to understand the reasons why this was. Working with personal genetics company 23&Me, the data of 150,000 women was analysed to find out whether younger-looking skin is down to genetics or how you treat your skin. They revealed that whilst some 8% of us are lucky enough to be ‘exceptional skin agers’ (with a skin age at least ten years or younger than their actual age), this is not primarily down to the genes we are born with and doesn’t mean that with the right care and lifestyle choices, others can’t have ageless skin providing they look after it.

Let’s take a look at the different properties within anti-ageing creams and explain why they work:

Hydration Moisturising creams work to plump up skin, making wrinkles appear smaller. Look for ingredients including glycerine and hyaluronic acid as they attract and bind water into the top layers of skin.

Why it works: Hydration is key to healthy looking skin. When skin is well hydrated it not only works better to protect us from external aggressors, but it also looks plumper and fuller and that makes fine lines and wrinkles appear smaller.

We recommend: Olay Regenerist 3-Point Treatment Cream

Exfoliation Most women associate exfoliation with cleansing scrubs, but there are products containing chemical exfoliants that can have similar effect. These works by dissolving the bonds between the top surface cells on skin (e.g. AHAs and BHAs). Also look for ingredients with Niacinamide which works by speeding up the actual skin renewal process (exfoliation). Niacinamide has been shown to produce beneficial effects to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, uneven texture and hyperpigmentation, minimising the look of pores, spots and blotchiness and brighten skin sallowness.

Why It Works: When you remove dead skin cells, you reveal the skin underneath which is brighter and smoother. Over time and with continued use, skin tone will look more even & luminous.

Luminous Moisturiser For Glowing Skin

Brightens and Evens Skin

We recommend: Olay Regenerist Luminous Skin Tone Perfecting Cream

Antioxidancy Creams with antioxidants help to fight surface free radicals that can cause premature ageing. Look for formulas with known antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, and green tea extract.

Why It Works: Surface free radicals can damage DNA, cells and proteins (including collagen and elastin, which are important building blocks of skin), something that eventually could lead to wrinkles as these building blocks are weakened and/or destroyed. Antioxidants work to fight these highly reactive components from causing this damage, meaning they help combat the formation of wrinkles.

We recommend: Olay Total Effects 7in1 Anti-Ageing Featherweight Moisturiser SPF15

Sun-protection Creams with broad-spectrum protection SPF help protect against UVA /UVB rays from the sun which are a leading cause of premature ageing.

Why it works: Using a moisturiser with broad-spectrum protection including Sun Protection Factor 15 on a daily basis helps protect against sun damage all year round and helps fight against the leading cause of premature ageing – 80% of ageing is due to the sun. Make sure to use other sun protection like wearing sunglasses, long sleeved shirts and avoiding the sun between the hours of 10 and 2pm.

We recommend: Olay Total Effects 7in1 Fragrance Free Anti-Ageing Moisturiser 50ml The truth is, anti-ageing creams can’t magically make you look decades younger overnight, but they can work to help reduce the signs of ageing over time, or help delay them from forming.