When a small bottle about the height of key with a diameter of a penny shows up on your desk promising to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in four weeks time, using caviar extract, no less, you pay attention. Do good things really come in small packages? I was about to find out.
RG-Cell's Concentrated Restorative Skin serum retails for $99.99 and talks a big game. The packaging, which is very science-y and therefore encouraging, told me I'd experience the "stem cell miracle." The tiny paper insert informed me it's the "latest, breakthrough, anti-aging, skin care cosmaceutical to hit the market" and listed fancy ingredients like algae, caviar, and soy.
The vegan fish market-sounding recipe was going to repair my DNA, it said, rejuvenate my skin cells, boost my collagen production, and repair skin damage. For a month, I dabbed half a pea's size amount on my crow's feet every morning and night.
And? you're probably asking?
Well, I didn't notice any improvement whatsoever. None. Nothing seemed to change. My wrinkles are still here, my fine lines are still here, my collagen seems to have stayed the same, and my freckles, a.k.a. my skin damage, are still as noticeable as raisins in a pile of grapes.
There was, however, a wonderful side effect. No, I didn't get younger and more beautiful, but I'll be damned if I didn't feel super fancy putting this stuff on. I felt like I was treating myself each time I dotted the mysterious concoction onto my fingertip, then around my eyes.
The fact is, I had bought into the little blurbs that accompanied the little bottle and was optimistic that this serum, this, of all the thousands on the market, would finally be the one to make a difference. Each application held the excitement of not only youthful skin but more importantly, of discovering something new. I'd be the one to enlighten the masses, and my girlfriends in their 30s, about this amazing new product.
In fact, having re-read all the marketing materials to write this post, I was sucked in a second time by its lingo and explanations, and went to the mirror one last time to make sure I hadn't seen any results. I was disappointed all over again to discover that no, I hadn't.
If there were a sad, wrinkly emoticon, I'd use it here.
The question remains: is there really a topical cream or serum that's going to make a difference? Personally, I highly doubt it. But it won't keep my from spending my hard-earned money on the prospect that it will. Hope always beats intelligence.
Are you a sucker for anti-aging beauty products?
Image via THOR/Flickr