5 Best Anti-Aging Products

In our 2010 Anti-Aging Awards - a new annual feature - the Good Housekeeping Research Institute tested 90 products on 820 volunteers, conducted more than 3,000 lab tests, and tallied 1,800+ questionnaires to find the 26 best anti-aging beauty products. Find out how we tested anti-aging skin products during 18 months of research and see how the testing equipment works. Also, meet the anti-aging experts behind this massive undertaking. And last, be sure to share your favorite stay-young secrets on Facebook with us.

Best Night Cream: The Winners
It's a tie! When lab and consumer results were tallied, L'Oréal Paris Advanced RevitaLift Deep-Set Wrinkle Repair Night Creme ($20, drugstores) and Vichy LiftActiv Retinol HA Night ($42, CVS) shared the top spot for products that beautify overnight.

Visia analysis showed that Vichy was best at evening out skin tone and addressing fine lines and wrinkles around two other age-sensitive areas - the mouth and nose. Both treatments received impressive moisturizing scores and high praise from consumers for their light textures and unobtrusive scents, and for not causing skin irritation. "A couple of people have commented on how nice my face looked in the past month," said one volunteer who tried the Vichy. "I don't know if it's the product, but this has never happened before."

Tip: While panelists were generally pleased with the softening and smoothing benefits of night creams, the treatments were less successful at minimizing age and UV spots than more targeted treatments, such as the winning age-spot faders. Related: Look Great on Zero Sleep

Best Eye Cream: The Winner
Olay Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex ($42, drugstores) ranked highest in the lab and proved to be a standout hydrator, according to the Corneometer moisture study. Visia analysis also showed Olay to be one of the top performers on undereye crinkles, though the results were modest.

Consumers noted that the cream reduced the major eye issues: undereye bags, crow's-feet, and puffiness. Several liked the nonirritating, soothing properties as well. "It felt nice going on, moisturized my skin, and was very gentle," reported one.

Tip: Where eye creams are applied make the biggest difference: According to Visia analysis, they were most effective at reducing fine lines beneath the eyes. Related: 23 Ways to Reduce Wrinkles

Best Anti-Aging Serum: The Winner

Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum ($23, Target) was a superior performer overall and shared the highest consumer score with the second-place finisher, Mary Kay (details to follow). Consumers gave this vitamin A- and E-enriched formula high marks for its tone-evening and skin-firming properties; the latter victory was echoed in the lab, where Boots received a perfect firming score, according to our Cutometer measurements. "It's easy to apply and nongreasy," said one panelist. "My skin has never looked better."

Tip: Your skin regimen will vary based on the climate and environmental factors in which you live. Take these into account when choosing everything from cleanser to night treatments. Related: Beauty Secrets to Look Younger

Best Body Lotion: The Winner

It may be packaged - and priced - like a royal indulgence, but Fresh Sugar Açai Age-Delay Body Cream ($65, Sephora) is also a real worker bee. This lightly scented formula, laced with antioxidant açai oil (what are the real benefits of the magic acai?), skin-smoothing sugar, and softening citrus fruit acids, was the only body lotion that received top lab scores for both moisturizing and firming.

Fresh also earned one of the highest consumer grades for its skin-tone-evening and radiance-enhancing properties. Panelists raved about the rich-but-not-too-greasy texture as well: "Easily applied and clean," said one tester. "Left a nice glow." The runner-up, Olay Body Quench Plus Age Defying Body Lotion ($7.77, drugstores), imparted a luxury feel plus anti-aging benefits for a fraction of the price.

Tip: Our winners in this category may deliver firmer, better-toned skin, but they do not shield against the biggest ager of all: sunlight. Always apply traditional sunscreen (make sure you pick the right on for your skin) or a daily moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher when your skin is exposed. Related: The Dry Skin Handbook

Best Instant Wrinkle Smoother: The Winners

Boots No7 Intensive Line Filler ($18, Target) and Olay Regenerist Filling + Sealing Wrinkle Treatment ($19, drugstores) showed their might in somewhat different areas when our experts and panelists rated skin changes in three wrinkle-prone hot spots: the forehead and around the eyes and mouth (check out these easy fixes for your other age-giveaway zones).

Olay ranked highest in the lab for reducing forehead lines, and came in first with consumers for minimizing wrinkles all over the face. Boots won for ease of use and performed slightly better than Olay on eye wrinkles. As one tester reported about the Boots: "Very fast results, not irritating, and it gave me a fresh look when I was tired."

Tip: The wrinkle-flattening effects our lab experts noted on the Visia 15 minutes after application were definitely subtle. But if you don't have a cosmetic dermatologist on your speed dial, or months to wait for your skin care to kick in, our winners can provide you with a quick pick-me-up. Related: Look Younger by Monday


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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.