Anti-wrinkle cream put to test, budget razors

August 1, 2011 9:14:46 PM PDT
Americans spent more than $800 million last year on anti-wrinkle creams, according to Mintel, a research company.

But is that money well spent? Consumer Reports ShopSmart just tested to see whether creams can make fine lines and wrinkles disappear.

Consumer Reports tested seven products, from $8 all the way up to $80! The creams included big names such as L'Oréal and Lancôme, as well as Equate from Walmart and the CVS store brand.

Consumer Reports used an outside lab and a total of 79 people. The people applied two different creams in the morning, one on each side of their face. The test took 12 weeks.

The lab took "before" and "after" photos. Then Consumer Reports' sensory panelists examined the results?more than 600 photos in all.

Panelists also evaluated the creams to assess how they feel on your skin and their smell. All of the products smelled pretty good and didn't leave much of a tacky residue behind, but they didn't make that much of a difference at removing fine lines and wrinkles.

After 12 weeks, one cream did a little better than the others?Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift. But it only helped about half of the people in the test. And the results were not very dramatic.

Consumer Reports ShopSmart says that with wrinkles, once you get them they're very hard to get rid of, so the best thing you can do is prevent them in the first place. To do that, stay out of the sun as much as possible. And wear sunscreen, as well as a wide-brimmed, tightly woven hat, when you're in the sun.

Moisturizing your skin day and night is also important to keep wrinkles at bay. But you don't need to use expensive anti-wrinkle creams. And drinking plenty of water also helps keep your skin looking healthy.


When the weather is hot and clothes are skimpier, having a razor that does a great job shaving legs is a priority for women. There are so many choices, and they come with three, four, five, even six blades! Which does the best job? Consumer Reports ShopSmart wanted to find out. It recruited 18 women to test five razors.

There were two from Schick, as well as two Gillette Venus razors plus a store-brand razor from CVS. They cost $5 to $13?not all that much.

But it's important to factor in the cost of the replacement heads. The replacement shaving heads for the Gillette Venus Embrace cost more than $3. The store-brand replacement shaving heads cost only 83 cents each.

To ensure a clean shave with no nicks, a blade should be changed frequently, so that cost can really add up.

To test, the panelists used each razor twice, replacing the shaving head between uses. No one razor stood out. It turns out that it's all about personal preference. So ShopSmart's advice is to do your own test at home, and start with the cheapest razor.

If you find a store-brand razor you like, you can save as much as $100 in the course of the year. That's one way to make your money go further!

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