If you crave instant gratification, want to make amends for the morning after the night before or get an emergency fix before dashing to a date from the office, then you might be tempted by Hydroxatone’s Instant Effect 90 Second Wrinkle Reducer ($49).  I feel lucky if something works than less than 90 days, so I was skeptical that results could be achieved in a minute and half.  Actually, Hydroxatone does kind of work – as long as you are OK with smearing concrete on your face.

I’m not, but was prepared to give it a go in the name of science. Hydroxatone’s Instant Effect 90 Second Wrinkle Reducer is a light gel, described as a “serum,” and I followed the directions to “sweep” it under the eye over “fine lines, wrinkles and bags.” I also dutifully tried to avoid moving or making facial expressions until the product dried. It was uncomfortably tingly at times, but I bravely stuck with it.

Hey, presto! Within 90 seconds, Instant Effect had dried to a film that felt distinctly restrictive. On checking myself in the mirror, the film was indeed obscuring my wrinkles and the skin around my eyes looked a little puffed out. The only problem was that it had also dried in greyish streaks around my eyes. If I had indeed been dashing to a date, copious amounts of carefully applied makeup would be required.

So how does Instant Effect get to do its thing in little more than the blink of an eye? The secret sauce is sodium silicate. Industrially, sodium silicate is used as an ingredient in the manufacture of cements, passive fire protection, refractories, textile and lumber processing, and automobiles. It is classified as expected to be toxic or harmful, as a human irritant and toxicant.

It is not unique to Instant Effect; you’ll find it in is Serious Skincare Firmaface and Athena 7-Minute Lift. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, it was “the designated agent of death for cars surrendered under the federal cash-for-clunkers program,” because of its ability to permanently disable car engines.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Sodium Silicate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Pentylene Glycol, Lecithin, Alcohol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Retinol, Polysorbate 20