Whether it’s the ability to virtually try on a lipstick before buying it or a digital camera with a built-in airbrush feature, there’s little question that the 24-7 “click culture” we live in has made its mark on the beauty industry. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the latest skin-care products promise to
smooth away signs of aging fast—within days or, in some cases, even hours.

“Online culture is one of abundance,” says Henry Mason, head of research and analysis at trendwatching.com. “We’re used to having it all, and that mindset has transferred to our offline expectations. That’s why customers—who identify time as the most important currency—want
beauty products that promise instant results.”

Catering to the I-need-it-now mindset, RoC released its Sublime Energy
anti-aging line, which uses bioelectricity and ionic conductors made from minerals to supercharge the skin’s renewal process. In three hours, skin tone and elasticity get a boost. “We know from market research that our consumer is skin-care savvy and looking for immediate results,” says Jason Betik, senior brand manager for RoC.

Dr. Rolanda Johnson, Olay skin scientist for P&G Beauty, says their research finds that women want to see some evidence of the product benefiting their skin sooner rather than later. In Olay’s case, the brand offers a five-day solution for fine lines with the new Olay Professional Pro-X Intensive Firming Treatment. By applying a hydrating mask infused with vitamin B3, peptides and plumping hyaluronic acid to your face daily, you will see expression lines fade and feel skin tighten. “We’re using the smallest cosmetic-grade molecular weight of hyaluronic acid available, so it can go deeper into the upper layers of the skin than ever before,” explains Johnson. Shiseido enters the beauty fast lane with its Bio-Performance Super Corrective Serum, which aims to help aging cells mimic the behaviour of younger ones in 24 hours using epidermal growth factors and a yeast-and-safflower complex.

More fast fixes for wrinkles on the next page …
fast-track-quick-wrinkle-fixes-2.jpgBut other than providing a temporary cosmetic boost, can these high-speed beauty products really set back the clock? “Most studies looking at skin changes use four weeks as their first assessment period,” says Dr. David Zloty, a dermatologist at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver. “Skin renews itself continuously over a 28-day time frame, so results take time. For ingredients like retinoids, it can take three months to a year to see results.”

Dr. Sheetal Sapra, a dermatologist in Oakville, Ont., says that the magic speedy potions that women seek out don’t exist. “If you like a cream and you feel good using it, that’s fine,” he says. “But the long-term answer is always going to be the same: You simply can’t stop time.”

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