Thursday, August 13, 2009

Product Review:
Freeze 24-7
Instant Targeted Wrinkle Treatment


A few years back, a store I was working at started to carry Freeze 24-7, an anti-wrinkle line that supposedly boasted Botox-like wrinkle freezing properties. Freeze 24-7's miracle ingredient, GABA (short for Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) is naturally occurring in our bodies, and in conjunction with other chemicals, it inhibits the speed at which nerves fire. When applied topically, Freeze 24-7 claims its products can relax the facial muscles that cause lines. The key demo product in the line, the Instant Targeted Wrinkle Treatment (which I hereby dub "ITWT") caught my eye, so I thought I'd look a bit deeper.

At $65 for a 10g jar (that's about $186 per ounce, if anyone is counting) Freeze 24-7 Wrinkle Treatment is not exactly a bargain, but honestly, I'd pay much more than that for a viable alternative to sticking a needle full of botulism in my face. Unfortunately, after a quick review of the training materials provided by Freeze 24-7, I decided to pass on this miracle product. Why?
According to the company, the ITWT's benefits last up to 24 hours, and only while the product is on the skin. Frankly, there was no way I was going to pay that much money for something that washed away at the end of the day, especially when there are proven, effective treatments that cost the same or even less. Prescription Renova, for instance, runs about $100 per ounce and provides actual, measurable reduction of lines.

Still, I was curious about Freeze 24-7's claims, so when I came across a jar of ITWT for a whopping 75% off, I grabbed it and headed home to experiment. I also decided to do a bit more research.

The first thing I learned about GABA is that the topical benefits are completely unsubstantiated; there are NO studies that support the idea that topically applied GABA (or anything else applied to the surface of the skin for that matter) can do anything to affect muscle actions. There's also the fact that in the body, GABA does not act alone. It takes a host of other chemicals to help GABA produce it's inhibiting effects, chemicals that skin care products do not contain.

Then, of course there's the big catch 22- if putting GABA in skincare really relaxed muscles enough to eliminate wrinkles, what would stop it from doing the same thing to other muscles it comes into contact with? The muscles in your hands would be subject, since you likely use your fingers to apply the product. Potentially, even airway passages you use to breathe could be affected if you used the creme around your nose, mouth or throat. Curiously, there are no warnings about this on Freeze 24-7's product packaging.

It would seem GABA's effect in skin care is a bit iffy at best, so I turned to the product's other ingredients. Since the first three to five ingredients comprise the bulk of a product, it's usually there that you will see a product's true nature revealed. Here's a breakdown of ITWT's first five ingredients:

- Aqua (Water)
- Glyceryl Stearate (an emollient and thickening agent)
- Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil (this mimics the skin's own natural moisture barrier)
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (another emollient/thickener)
- PEG-150 Distearate (this basically binds the mixture together and keeps it from separating.)

A few more binders and one antioxidant later, we find a middling amount of the highly touted ingredient, GABA. What didn't I find? Anything that would get rid of wrinkles or help to rebuild collagen. What I did find? Eugenol- a potent irritant that can act as a mild anesthetic on the skin. I'm guessing that this explains the tightening feeling I got when I tried it. Sadly, the product was only tricking my mind into thinking my skin was tighter, while at the same time putting my skin at major risk for contact dermatitis. Luckily, I didn't react, but I also saw absolutely no difference in the appearance of wrinkles on my skin.

When it comes down to it, I'd have to say this product is pretty useless. Though it holds a decent concentration of emollients, the texture is rather filmy, almost waxy, on the skin, and did not work underneath my makeup- it made my foundation look cakey and dry in the areas I had applied it. Considering the fact that it has an ingredient that carries a high risk of irritation, I wouldn't even say this is a viable moisturizer for non-makeup days (granted, it is not marketed as a moisturizer).

I give this product 0 out of 5 stars.

I'm not even going to bother listing the pros and cons as I usually do, because in this case, I honestly can't see any pros- the product's claims are misleading, and there really is no alternative use for it (maybe it would dull the itch of a mosquito bite? I'm really reaching here...) If you want to spend an exorbitant amount of money on something to pamper your skin, there are tons of options out there, but I say skip this one for sure!

3 comments:

Anastasia said...

I love your reviews. They're as long as mine, but more science and less cynicism.

If there's one thing I hate (all right, there are a great many things I hate) then it's bogus science in cosmetics. Like the fucking shampoo adverts! Argrhrghr. I used to write copy for a shampoo company and tried to slip the line "quantum leap in technology" into every bit, considering a quantum leap is pretty much the smallest possible recorded movement.

Gonna hock whatever's left of this on eBay?

Jessica said...

Ana, you crack me up! I will now forever be on the look-out for shampoos that boast a technological quantum leap!

I'm not sure what I'll do with the Freeze 24-7 cream. Though I am very particular about sanitary measures, the idea of selling a used cosmetic item grosses me out a bit- do people actually buy used product? Eww...

I don't like buying any skincare item on E-bay, people are so dishonest I don't even trust that they're really selling what they say is in the jar; for all I know they used it and refilled it with cheap hand lotion!

wrinkle freeze said...

I love the blog you made, keep it up!

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