Wrinkle cream advice for an ageing old bag ;-)
November 15, 2014 7:17 PM   Subscribe

Ok. So I'm a 40 year old woman and use basic Nivea moisturiser every day but have some serious wrinkles around my eyes and forehead that I'd like to minimise or at least stop them getting worse. I have sensitive skin so I need to be careful with creams. I know nothing at all about wrinkle creams and serums so I could do with some advise please! I am looking for the best available product in the cheap to mid range end of the price spectrum. I'm sure there are some that do a good job without having to remortgage the house! I'm in Australia, so would need to be able to buy any recommended product here. Thanks!
posted by ozem to Health & Fitness (19 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
The best available product is arguably Retin A / retinoids.

Retin A is not generally over the counter but the weaker retinoids are available at the beauty counter. The Retin A is probably more effective and cheaper.
I have sensitive skin and use Retin A. It takes some experimentation and several somewhat painful weeks to get a routine that works.
I also like products with Vitamin C derivatives, manual and chemical exfoliation, and heavy day/night creams with sun protection.
posted by littlewater at 7:28 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

A retinoid is what you want to minimize wrinkles. You want to start small and go up in strength, as retinoids tend to plateau. If Neutrogena or Roc products are available in Australia, those are great over the counter products. Since your skin is sensitive, start using it slowly, not every night, and in the morning be sure to use something with sunscreen, as retinoids increase your skin's sensitivity to sun (since you're in Australia I imagine you're already well versed on sunscreen use).

Eventually you may want to move to prescription strength retinoids, basically Retin-A which has a pretty wide range of potency. I don't know if it's over the counter in Australia or how much it will cost you if it's only available by prescription, but it's a very "a little goes a long way" type of product if you have to pay out of pocket, and it's much more high-powered than any over the counter retinol.
posted by padraigin at 7:29 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Since littlewater mentions Vitamin C, I'll note that vitamin C and retinoids are said to work against each other, and it's suggested to use the retinoid at night and the vitamin C in the morning.
posted by padraigin at 7:31 PM on November 15, 2014

It's not true about Retinol and Vitamin C working against each other, actually; it's fine to use them together. They actually complement each other.
posted by holborne at 7:55 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I had a come to Jesus moment at Sephora this summer about my wrinkles. I am 38 and they were definitely getting more entrenched. The answer? Exfoliation and moisture. I know exfoliate every other day and moisturize in the morning and the evening.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 8:24 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you do use Retin-A make sure you are wearing a huge fuckton of sunblock on your face, more than you are already using, the highest SPF possible. Wear sunhats, stay shady, etc. Presumably as an Australian you already know how to stay cool and unburnt in the summer, but definitely pay more attention to your facial skin than usual, because Retin-A and similar products will make you IMMENSELY susceptible to sunburn.

honestly my real advice for this situation is to just say fuck it and get botox. not in the forehead, because then you won't be able to give anyone the People's Eyebrow, which is the best part of life, but just a little bit around the eyes and your crows' feet will be smooth, and done with a light touch it will absolutely not affect your ability to have an expressive face.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:43 PM on November 15, 2014 [7 favorites]

One of my best friends was about 40 and was spending serious money every month doing peels, microdermabrasion and using very expensive creams to turn back the clock. This was a standard thing for her. She turned up one day looking AMAZING. I asked her what the secret was, and yep, it was Botox. It basically took 10+ years off her face. She didn't look like a Real Housewife, she still had expression on her face, she just looked much younger. I couldn't pick it was botox at all until she told me, they had used a very light touch. Plus she said, you can do all the peels etc under the sun but nothing works as well as the injectables did, which was very clear to me. When I reach that time, I will definitely consider it.
posted by Jubey at 9:46 PM on November 15, 2014 [4 favorites]

I must say MeFi is the last place I expected to see recs for Botox, but I came to confirm the stuff is pretty amazing once you try it. It becomes obvious to you that no cream can match its effectiveness, which is pretty much immediate (well, it takes a day or two to start working). If you just get it for crow's feet the cost is not exorbitant, because they only apply like 4-6 units on each side (at least that's what they did for me), and you'll need that maybe every 3-4 months. What I've done is wait for Groupon-type deals from various providers, so sometimes I go longer without it, but it wears off quite subtly so it's not a big deal, chances are you'll be the only one to notice it's time to go again.
posted by Dragonness at 9:55 PM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

You probably already know about sunscreen, but sunscreen and sun avoidance is the best thing you can do for wrinkles. Retin-A is the number 2 best thing you can do. Topical vitamin C is the number 3 best.
posted by the jam at 11:20 PM on November 15, 2014 [5 favorites]

46 here, and not many wrinkles to speak of (though starting to have traces of nasolabial folds... sigh). Religious use of sunscreen and "retexturizing" (whatever that means) with glycolic acid pads in the morning (I use Cane & Austin-- not cheap, but I'm happy with the results.) My night cream has Retin A as well.
posted by frumiousb at 11:52 PM on November 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Go to a Kiehls counter, get advice from someone who is looking at your face and knows what to do.
posted by mumimor at 3:17 AM on November 16, 2014

My sister recommended Paula's Choice products to me and I really like them. They are not expensive and for my sensitive skin, I think they do better than many other things I've tried. Also, they explain their products well so to neophyte like me, it made the decision as to what to purchase much easier.
posted by youdontmakefriendswithsalad at 5:04 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Buy a creme that is just for your eyes. Use a humidifier at night and drink plenty of water during the day. Avoid booze and smoke. Talk a long walk every day, with sunscreen on.
posted by myselfasme at 5:45 AM on November 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm blessed with Eastern European skin, we don't really wrinkle. But I always wear sunblock, I don't smoke or drink. That seems to help a lot.

I use Garnier products on my face. If it has Brilliance, or Radiance in the name, that's what I'm using.

My friends swear by Botox, so give that a try.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:30 AM on November 16, 2014

Just a note about exfoliation: I believe physical exfoliation is a no-no (abrasive scrubs scratch the skin) but chemical exfoliations are the best. This basically means a weak acid. The two types are AHA and BHA (alpha and beta hydroxy acid I believe). AHA is for resurfacing, BHA is for zits/pores. Find a good AHA, use it at night and of course sunscreen. I use Olay Regenerist night resurfacing elixir, but for something stronger try Paula's Choice.

Vitamin C helps collagen (firms things up) and there is a fabulous home recipe here which is more effective and cheaper than store bought, since vitamin c serums are $$$ and expire very quickly.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:23 AM on November 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

ASAP is an Australian (if that's important to you) skincare brand that doesn't test on animals (which should be important to you) that we use at home when we can afford it. You may like to consider their Super A+ Serum. One possible place you could purchase it is here.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:16 PM on November 16, 2014

Seconding Paula's Choice. It can take some fiddling around to find the right regimen but they offer sample packets and the customer service is excellent. Best cleansers and serums and non prescription exfoliants I've tried. La Roche Posay's sunscreens and nighttime moisturizers are excellent too.
posted by ifjuly at 9:07 PM on November 16, 2014

I quite like the Neutrogena Ageless Intensives line, which contains retinol. If you only want to buy one fancy cream, I'd recommend the night one. After washing your face at night, wait about twenty minutes before applying it (some people found it caused a bit of redness if applied too soon after washing). Then just use a moisturiser with SPF during the day.

For reviews of products, I recommend makeupalley. You can read some of the reviews without needing to sign up.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 5:08 AM on November 17, 2014

Are you using sunscreen? Time for an all caps, italicised, bolded, shrieking piece of advice: USE SUNSCREEN. You can't undo sun damage, and it's responsible for a lot of what we think of as ageing.

I adore Paula's Choice and have used her products for years. I particularly love her BHA gel, antioxidant serum and retinol moisturisers, so I totally second that recommendation.

Also, it's funny that people are mentioning botox now, because I literally got my first round of botox two weeks ago. It cost about the same as a half head of highlights and has made a huge difference to my face, but I have (had?) some particularly deep-set lines between my eyebrows from habitual squinting. The lines are gone but I definitely don't have 'botox face' - I can still raise my eyebrows and (kind of) frown and scowl so, tl;dr, if you're concerned about expression lines it's worth investigating.
posted by nerdfish at 5:44 AM on November 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

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