As I dive face first into the world of anti-aging and preventative care (I'm nearing my late 20s and desperately trying to avoid gravity and environmental stressors), wrinkles are always on my mind. The deep folds that appear as I instinctually furrow my brow or raise my eyebrows and the fine lines that scrunch up each time I laugh are—to put it bluntly—not welcome here. Of course, aging is a part of life, and with each crease comes wisdom and experience. I'm just after a type of maturity and know-how that doesn't show up on my face.
The first ingredient that came up in my quest for all things youth-inducing was, of course, retinol. While it's considered one of the most effective options for helping reverse signs of skin aging, there are a few possible downsides. "Retinoids can be damaging if you have a super-sensitive underlying skin condition like eczema or rosacea," notes Rachel Nazarian, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group. She adds, "Over-usage can cause drying and irritation of skin." As my skin can swing on the sensitive side of the pendulum, I dove back into research mode, thinking there had to be something else on the market that would be a better fit. I'm still on the fence about injections, so for now, skincare is my chosen solution.
Just in time for my anti-aging Google search fury, La Prairie invited me on a trip to learn about its newest formula, and guess what? No retinol. I'm already a huge fan of the brand, so I was excited to test its latest pick. La Prairie's Line Interception Power Duo ($350) houses two separate formulas—one for day and another for night. So yes, it's pricey. That's obvious. But to purchase day and night creams that erase wrinkles from a clinically tested, prestige brand—it's a bit of a steal. I read up on each one and noticed it was also marketed as an alternative to professional procedures—check, check. But does it work?
The product works by targeting wrinkles at their inception (rather than trying to "fix" them once they've formed). Director of innovation and science at La Prairie, Jacqueline Hill, identifies the three different types of wrinkles that plague us: expression lines caused by muscle contractions, sun radiation–induced wrinkles due to UV damage, and aging- and gravity-related creases.
"Expression lines are caused by habitual facial expressions controlled by a sequence of signaling events both in the nerve and cell muscles," Hill says. (Think frown lines and crow's feet.) To fight them, the day cream houses three peptides that work to limit muscle contractions. "In the first step," Hill explains, "a peptide contained in the day cream acts on the incoming signal into the nerve cell by limiting the channel opening. Therefore, there is less trigger going into the nerve cell. Second, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-52 acts on the outgoing signal from the nerve. This decreases the release of the neurotransmitter from the nerve. Last, a synthetic tripeptide acts on the incoming signal into the muscle, limiting the opening of the channel and limiting the triggering of the muscle contraction."
Sun Radiation–Induced Wrinkles
As we all know (hello, sunscreen addicts), the exposure to the sun causes wrinkles (all over your face, but especially on the cheeks). With a potent antioxidant shield, this formula protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays as well as damaging infrared radiation. We're about to get very science-y right now, but stay with us. It's so interesting.
Hill explains: "In the day cream, homosalate, octocrylene, and ethylhexyl salicylate help protect and filter UVB and delay erythema. Avobenzone helps to protect the skin against UVA sun radiation, delay premature skin aging due to noxious sun rays, and minimize the harmful, long-term effects of sunlight exposure. Then, carnosine helps boost your skin's defense system with a powerful efficiency against the damages induced by infrared rays. It's an anti-aging peptide that stops oxidative damage and stimulates collagen synthesis." Oh, and it's SPF 30.
Gravity-caused folds and creases (small vertical lines on your nasolabial) are fought by the duo's night cream. "It's formulated with wrinkle-preventing peptides, helps stimulate the production of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid to strengthen your extracellular matrix," Hill says. "Botox," she continues, "acts at refraining muscles by destroying a protein present in the nerve cell ending. This product acts earlier, on more levels, and in a much gentler way to fill in deep lines. During sleep, your body is in repair and replenish mode. The night cream takes advantage of this 'resting status' and replenishes moisture back into your skin and improves your skin's moisture-retaining capacity."
As directed, I began applying each formula to my face and neck and cleansing, toning, and applying my serum. The first thing I noticed? How utterly convenient it was to have my day and night products available in one easy tube. There's even a lock for when you're en route (so no more spills all over your tote bag). By the next morning, I noticed a difference in the tone and texture of my skin—I woke up glowing. Naturally, my fine lines were still in place—I had 13 more days on the regimen, after all. But at the end of the two-week period, lines that have been present since my teenage years were softened (not gone, but noticeably less prominent). It's a feat, too, because I've been contemplating Botox. The results are cumulative, so I'll be using this until it runs out—and then rushing to buy another.
Next up, find out which products dermatologists buy at the pharmacy.
This press trip was paid for by La Prairie. Editors' opinions are their own.