The majority of studies evaluating the benefits of these OTC retinoids are poorly designed and the effectiveness of these studies is regarded as marginal, at best, by most skin experts. When marketed as cosmetics, the manufacturers of these “anti-wrinkle” creams are not required to obtain pre-market FDA approval, nor are they required to prove the product’s efficacy to back up claims. OTC “anti-wrinkle” creams, in essence, are merely moisturizers that claim to improve skin tone, texture, and radiance while reducing wrinkling. As a skin care expert, the true ability of an OTC “anti-wrinkle” cream to improve the appearance of the skin has more do to with the products ability to moisturize, to increase the water content of the skin.
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