Is All Skin Care Created Equal?

Women are on an endless quest for vibrant, youthful, wrinkle-free skin and on a daily basis we’re bombarded by anti-aging skin care products promising to give us the complexion we dream of.


We know sunscreen’s an everyday must, but how do we choose among the vast selection of anti-aging skin care products? Do we splurge on pricey creams like La Prairie or are we only paying the big bucks for the name? In other words, could my jar of Oil of Olay be equal to that $400 jar by Amorepacific?

According to a source who has spent years in the cosmetics and perfume industry, the pricey products on the market do the same thing as the less expensive ones, since the majority of skin products are derived from the same ingredients. The consumer is basically paying the extra bucks for a product that’s been better marketed and branded.

Northbrook dermatologist Dr. Andrew Scheman, a cosmetic expert who regularly appears on The Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC’s 20/20, Dateline NBC and CNN, says the best anti-aging products are those obtained from a doctor because the majority of over-the-counter products have significantly lower amounts of the active ingredients.

Whether pricey or inexpensive, over-the-counter products all have lower amounts of active ingredients.

So, if you’re not interested in products from your dermatologist, Dr. Scheman says his patients have seen decent results with over-the-counter products like Skinceuticals and Elizabeth Arden Prevage.

Here are some other go-to products that are inexpensive and available in drugstores:

Boots No. 7 skin care line is new to the U.S., but has been causing a commotion in the U.K. for a while now. Boots No.7’s most popular product is Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum . Available at Target and priced at just $19.99, devotees rave that the serum boosts skins elasticity in just 4 weeks. Although the products are hypoallergenic, a few of the testers complained that an ingredient in the serum caused skin irritation.

Olay Professional Pro-X Anti-Aging Starter Protocol customers had a range of reactions. While women liked their skin’s clear and healthy look and praised the product’s light feel and great price, most of the women only noticed slight improvement to their wrinkles.

Of the women who tried Olay Regenerist , some saw modest improvements, but a few complained of breaking out in a rash.

Women who sampled Avon ANEW ULTIMATE Age Repair Elixir noted firmer and smoother skin, but disliked the faulty dispenser and poor smell.

So will any of these give us the wrinkle-free skin of our 20s? Well, maybe not. But if you pick and choose carefully, you can certainly have vibrant, healthy skin for years to come. So slather on the sunscreen, add some anti-aging products and then relax. A big smile and healthy attitude are the best beauty secrets—and they’re free!