How to avoid facial wrinkles, and creams that work

Can wrinkle creams do what they promise?

The crew over at Good Morning America recently discussed claims by beauty product producers, and to no one's surprise, some of the claims in wrinkle creams might have be a bit exaggerated.

Curious to know what to believe and what to ignore, I checked in with two trusted resources to figure out what marketing claims are legitimate in this crazy cosmetics industry, and where best to invest our dollars if we're seeking a wrinkle cream.

Dr. Mark Solomon, a board-certified plastic surgeon with offices in Philly and Manhattan has been helping beautify clients for over 20 years. In his words:

It is my understanding that most, if not all "wrinkle" creams act to plump the skin because of the fact that they add moisture to the skin for a brief period of time.  So, in general, wrinkle creams have no long-lasting benefit.  Topical creams purchased over the counter are not permitted to have any active ingredients, regardless of the price. 

{We're looking at you, Le Mer.}

 I tell patients that if they want to see results, they will need to have a program of skin care including products that are "physician strength" which can only be purchased from a physician. Any cream that promises to be as good as a medical or surgical treatment is a red flag since no topical cream can do what we can do for skin.  Most claims are misleading, but some are more obvious than others. 

The best advice I can offer is that avoidance of sun and tobacco will do as much or more than any wrinkle cream. 

But if one has already created the signs of photoaging, which includes wrinkles and pigment change, then a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is your best option.  We can provide treatments that work and are tailored to your needs.  And given the cost of some wrinkle creams, over time, the value from seeing a plastic surgeon is often greater. 


I also spoke with Manny Paquiao's plastic surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Roth--also board-certified--and you'll notice some recurring themes. Take note, ladies. These tips are cheaper than a pot of your favorite cream, and more effective:

Dr. Roth: I think that many claims seen in advertising are misleading.  Cosmetic companies are usually very cautious as to what they say, but they push the envelope.  They sometimes cite clinical studies that have few patients and often have very subjective results. I think the FDA finally got involved after L’oreal claimed that their product can modify DNA.

 {Really, L'oreal? Shame.}

Mary: What are the best ingredients consumers should seek out if they are trying to manage wrinkles with a topical cream?

My wife hates it when they come up to us in a department store trying to sell what is hot that week.  Sometimes they will say that there is collagen in the cream, and since most people equate collagen with skin, it sounds legitimate.  But spit has collagen in it too…   

Remember, the person at the counter in the department is trying to sell you something.  Plastic surgeons have a vested interest in having the skin be healthy, and subsequently look good.  We study the basic science and deal with the skin each and every day.  We stock good products in our offices that are based in science. I treat these (almost like) like prescriptions for that individual patient. 

 In addition to avoiding the pushy sales person at the mall and buying smarter from a curated selection of facial products at a plastic surgeon's office, what else can we be doing?

Focus more on lifestyle issues. The skin cream is just part of an overall plan.   

The prevention of wrinkles includes: UV avoidance, hydration, avoidance of smoking and alcohol.   

Now if you want to do something for your skin, I would go for a sunscreen, preferably with a physical blocker like Zinc or Titanium.  Some mineral make-ups will help in this regard.  Something to keep the skin moist is OK as well.  I also like vitamin A for the skin.  There are some good products out there if you do the research.  As far as a miracle in a bottle,  that is less likely to be based in reality.

Thank you, gentlemen!

So to recap, now we know:

  1. What not to believe in cosmetics marketing: almost everything.

  2. Where to shop for new cosmetic creams: the office of a reputable, board-certified plastic surgeon. And

  3. How to REALLY prevent wrinkles: lay off the sun, smokes and drinks.

I don't know about you, but I'll save on the wrinkle creams, spend on some microdermabrasion, and splurge on a great new sunhat for summer.


About the experts:

Dr. Mark Solomon is an established Philadelphia and New York plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He is the author of the groundbreaking textbook on male aesthetic surgery and has published numerous medical articles in prominent surgery publications. He has been featured in several national magazine articles for women and men, along with television and radio shows. For more, visit

Not only is Dr. Jeffrey Roth Manny Paquiao's plastic surgeon, he has received numerous awards and distinctions. At his practice, Las Vegas Plastic Surgery, Inc., he has assembled a handpicked team of experts dedicated to Superior Patient Care. To learn more, visit

This post is presented to the Girl Around Town audience in partnership with
Smart Beauty Guide and The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.


Posted on September 25, 2015 and filed under Beauty.