Moisturizers specifically designed to address the signs of aging are classified as anti-aging products. Simply stated, anti-aging products ARE moisturizers that CLAIM to improve skin tone, texture, and radiance, while reducing wrinkling.
Manufacturers have added active ingredients to moisturizers with the intent of improving the signs of aging; however, there is little evidence that these active ingredients are the direct cause of any improvement in fine lines and wrinkles. As moisturizers, anti-wrinkle creams may increase hydration of the skin temporarily reducing the appearance of very fine lines. Unfortunately, more pronounced facial wrinkles and skin folds cannot be corrected by moisturizer application.
Unlike prescription creams, over-the-counter (OTC) anti-aging creams are not subject to review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Prescription creams are classified as drugs, which requires the manufacturer to prove both the safety and efficacy of the product. Anti-aging creams (OTC) are classified as cosmetics and, therefore, manufacturers do not need to prove the product’s efficacy to back up claims. US law does prohibit, however, the introduction of cosmetics, including "anti-aging" products, that are adulterated or misbranded into the marketplace. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to adhere to good manufacturing practice as defined by law and to assure the safety of their skincare products.