||This article needs more medical references for verification or relies too heavily on primary sources. (November 2012)|
Anti-aging creams are predominantly moisturiser based cosmeceutical skin care products marketed with the promise of making the consumer look younger by reducing visible wrinkles, expression lines, blemishes, pigmentation changes, discolourations and other environmentally (especially from the sun) related conditions of the skin. A comprehensive grading scale for anti-aging of the skin has been validated and categorizes skin aging as: laxity (sagging), rhytids (wrinkles), and the various categories of photoaging, including erythema (redness), dyspigmentation (brown discolorations), solar elastosis (yellowing), keratoses (abnormal growths), and poor texture.
Despite great demand, many such products and treatments have not been proven to give lasting or major positive effects. One study found that the best performing creams reduced wrinkles by less than 10% over 12 weeks which is not noticeable to the human eye. Another study found that cheap moisturisers were as effective as high-priced anti-wrinkle creams. However, recent studies at Manchester University showed that some ingredients have an effect.
Traditionally, anti-aging creams have been marketed towards women, but products specifically targeting men are increasingly common.
As well as more conventional moisturising ingredients, anti-aging creams usually contain anti-aging ingredients such as:
- Retinol (for instance, in the form of retinyl palmitate). In various formulations it has been shown to reduce fine lines and pores.
- Epidermal growth factor, made of 53 amino acids to stimulate cell renewal and Collagen production in the skin and strengthen elasticity and structure. The discovery of Epidermal Growth Factor won Dr. Stanley Cohen and Rita Levi-Montalcini a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1986. In various research Epidermal Growth Factor has been shown to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and sagging. It also has healing (wounds and burns) and anti-inflammatory properties when applied to skin.
- Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids or other chemical peels. These help to dissolve the intracellular "glue" that holds the dead cells together on the skin. The use of this type of product on a daily basis gradually enhances the exfoliation of the epidermis. This exposes newer skin cells and can help improve appearance. AHAs may irritate some skin, causing redness and flaking.
- Peptides, such as Argireline (acetyl hexapeptide-3), Matryxil, and copper peptides.
- Coenzyme Q10
- Anti-oxidants are substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals.
- Sunscreens provide a high level of UVA protection, which is recommended as UVA radiation is associated with aging effects such as wrinkles.
- Vitamin C is supposedly one of the most effective and commonly included ingredient in wrinkle creams. It is also thought to help the healing process.
The effects of these ingredients depends on their concentration and mode of application. Many skin care companies recommend using a treatment programme which may combine these ingredients. For example, AHAs can make the skin more vulnerable to damage from the sun, so the increased use of sunscreens is often recommended.
Alternative approaches 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2012)|
Traditional moisturisers or sunscreens may provide many of the same benefits as some anti-aging creams.
Mechanical exfoliation is an alternative to chemical peels using ingredients such as crushed apricot kernals, salt, sponges or brushes.
A main criticism of anti-aging and wrinkle creams is that they are not only expensive, but also unnatural and have not been clinically proven to work. Many say that the only proven way to look younger is through diet, exercise, and sleep, not the use of a moisturizer or sunscreen.
See also 
- Alexiades-Armenakas MR, et al .J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 May;58(5):719-37; quiz 738-40.
- "Wrinkle creams - Consumer Reports Health". Consumerreports.org. 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "Anti-wrinkle eye creams - Archive - Which? Home & garden". Which.co.uk. 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- Smithers, Rebecca (2009-08-20). "One in the eye for anti-wrinkle creams | Money | guardian.co.uk". Guardian. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "Anti-aging cosmetic reduced wrinkles in clinical trial". Eurekalert.org. 2009-04-28. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "Publications (School of Medicine - University of Manchester)". Medicine.manchester.ac.uk. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "Drawing a line under men's wrinkles". BBC News Magazine. 2005-04-19. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "Archderm.ama-assn.org". Archderm.ama-assn.org. 2007-05-01. doi:10.1001/archderm.143.5.606. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- Journal of Controlled Release, April 2007, pages 169–176; Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, March–April 2002, pages 116–125; and Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology, July 1992, pages 604–606
- Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology, January–April 1999, pages 79–84
- "Sunscreens Explained". SkinCancer.org. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "Do You Need Wrinkle Cream Or More Sleep?". Dieting. Saule Health. Retrieved 20 March 2013.