I always thought patience developed with age, but the older I get, the less time I’m willing to spend on anything that sounds remotely hokey. My flim-flam tolerance just plummeted after so many candles on my birthday cake. I share this tidbit of personality only because I recently tested two new beauty products that promise almost instant results, and quite frankly, they both sounded too good to be true to these jaded New Yorker’s ears.
The Ageless Secret Gold Formula ($159.99) claims to revitalize skin by amping up the structured water content of skin with a spray of purified water, minerals, aloe, and cayenne pepper, all organic, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic, of course. According to the formula’s marketing material, this spray, when administered at least fifteen times a day to the face and body, will restore a youthful appearance. The company offers this test of skin elasticity:
- Place one hand palm down on a flat surface.
- Gently pinch and pull up on the skin on the back of the hand and hold it for about 5 seconds.
- Let it go and watch how the skin snaps back.
- Spray the back of the hand three to four times with the Ageless Secret Gold Formula and rub it in.
- After it dries, repeat the pinch test and note the difference in the time it takes the skin to snap back.
I conducted this test to the letter, and despite my initial skepticism, not only did my skin snap back into place slightly faster, it had also improved in texture. That said, is a slight improvement worth nearly two hundred dollars a bottle? No judgments to those who disagree, of course, but right now, I’d have to say no. Maybe I’ll feel differently when I’m sixty and fabulously wealthy.
Next I went to work on my newly formed eye wrinkles. These laugh lines all grown up have troubled me for a few months now, so when Hydroxatone debuted InstantEffect 90-Second Wrinkle Reducer ($60 at ulta.com). I got my stopwatch and my camera ready for action. The makers claim that the serum, packed with moisturizer, vitamins, and skin-tightening crystals, will smooth wrinkles and bags in the under-eye area in 90 seconds. After snapping a ‘before’ shot I applied the serum as directed and hit the timer, my inner cynic silently duking it out with my inner sunshiny-optimist. Alas, cynicism won the day. As my photos show, the product made no difference, and I remained marked by age.
To keep from ending on a low note, I’d like to leave you with a much-used by nevertheless worthwhile thought from Lauren Bacall. “I think your whole life shows in your face, and you should be proud of that.” Maybe I don’t need to instantly erase every great party, summer at the beach, and crying jag I’ve ever had. What’s good enough for Ms. Bacall is good enough for me, and it doesn’t cost a dime.
– Katharine McKenzie
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