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L'Oréal's anti-aging creams in a local supermarket with listed prices per unit
Anti-aging creams are heavily marketed and advertised on television, with the promise of making the consumer look younger and reducing visible wrinkles on the skin. Traditionally, they have been targeted towards women, but products specifically targeting men are now common, often sold as part of collections of men's grooming and skin-care products by major brands like Zirh, Biotherm and many others. This change may be due to the fact that many societies in recent years have seen an increased focus on young looks, including in men, and some men report that they feel it is easier for younger-looking men to get an attractive job than it is for older-looking men. Additionally, it has become more socially acceptable for men to be conscious about their looks.
There are a range of cosmetic 'treatments' for the appearance of wrinkles on the skin such as plastic surgery and botox injections. Advertising presents anti-aging creams as an alternative to these more costly and invasive cosmetic treatments.
Critics take the view that the manufacturers of these products prey on the fears of women, and that the advertisements abuse science by claiming that their products are scientifically proven to work. It is said that the 'scientific data' is based on the perception of women who have tried the product, and are asked whether or not they think they look younger. These are the hallmarks of a placebo.
However, it is possible that some of the products could have a rejuvenating effect to a certain extent.
For instance, many anti-wrinkle creams contain some form of retinol (for instance, in the form of retinyl palmitate) which in various formulations has been shown to give an appreance of Rejuvenation in the skin, in that it stimulates the renewal of skin cells and reduces dark spots. Alpha hydroxy acids have a peeling effect when used as chemical peels. However, the effects of these compounds likely depend on their concentration and mode of application, making the effects of the commercial products less certain.
Categories: Articles with unsourced statements since February 2007 | All articles with unsourced statements | Aging | Cosmetics | Pharmacology stubs