Prevention Magazine has just held its annual Defy-Your-Age Beauty Awards. The winning list was picked from 35 products that had each been tested by five women aged over 40 for up to 8 weeks. A derm then analysed their skin with a Visia Complexion Analysis machine. The final picks were made by a team of judges made up of dermatologists. Read on for our take on Prevention’s Defy-Your-Age winners.

Hydropeptide SPF30 Anti-Wrinkle Skin enhancing UV Proection ($40). This is by far the most interesting and least predictable of Prevention’s winners – along with PCA Lip Therapy (see below). It is also the only one that I use myself. This is not your mother’s sunscreen. This a smart idea – a multitasking sunscreen and instant complexion enhancer with some long term benefits. It does a good job of protection, over several weeks will smooth the texture of the skin and reduce redness. There are some good botanicals here that soothe (calendula) and provide antioxidants (green tea and acai). Kaempferia Galanga is a member of the ginger family and is mostly used as an antimicrobial, although Hydropeptide says that it also has sun protection powers. There are a couple of ingredients that I’m not all that keen on, including methylisothiazolinone, which is an irritant and is only approved for use in rinse-off formulas and at low concentrations, and phenoxyethanol. Full review here.

Avon Anew Reversalist Illuminating Eye System ($30). Laura reviewed this along with Avon day cream for Truth In Aging a few weeks ago. Her verdict: “I liked the moisturizing effects of the eye cream. The option to top the cream with the light-diffusing and slightly concealing sheer veil was nice, and I found myself using that from time to time to cover up my dark circles. My dark circles were a little better after using the entire product, but not much difference in my crow’s feet.”

RoC Multi Correxion Skin Perfecting System ($50). This is the most baffling choice of all. It is supposed to treat brown spots. I spent ages checking and rechecking that I had the right ingredients lists because these products (there are three of the them – cleanser, day cream and night cream) are a huge heap of nothing. There’s some shea butter in the night cream – and right at the end of an endless list of fillers there’s some retinol and vitamin C. And don’t even get me started on the day cream. Apart from chemical sunscreens, there is nothing that is remotely useful apart from soy extract and a smidge of vitamin B.

Vichy Liftactiv Retinol HA night ($42) - Best night cream. This won, according the dermatologist quoted by Prevention, because of the retinol and balance of humectants. The emollients are mostly non-irritating ones and there’s even a couple that weren’t created in a lab (shea and palm oil). And there is hydrating sodium hyaluronate. As with all the Prevention selections, you’ll be getting a fair number of silicones and acrylates for your money. With retinol way down the list, I’d be surprised if results with this were much more than mediocre.

Olay Definity Neck and Chest Restoration Treatment ($29.99). According to Prevention, it’s loaded with drenching ingredients. Where? Are we looking at the same product? This is loaded with silicones. One thing that I will give Olay is that it always puts the signature niacinamide (a form of vitamin B) up near the top of the ingredients list. Unfortunately, they have been almost as generous with triethanolamine, a toxin and the irritant DMDM hydantoin.  For another ten bucks, I would go for Olay’s Pro X, which has a more potent formula that also includes carnosine, an ingredient that may extend cell regeneration.

Skin Effects by Dr Jeffry Dover Glycolic Peel Kit ($24.99). Prevention’s judges may have had all sorts of interesting comments from its dermatologist judges on this. But we’ll never know because the only one quoted is “makeup goes on much smoother” with this kit. Well then, thank goodness for years of med school. These pads pre-drenched with glycolic acid look a lot like Somme Institute’s Transport Pads (more expensive at $50 but enhanced with green tea and vitamins). Apart from aloe and chamomile, this solution is an unprepossessing amalgam of chemicals. For an inexpensive glycolic, I’d rather go with Reviva Lab’s 5% Glycolic ($25), laden with fruit extracts and not much else.

PCA Peptide Lip Therapy ($17.88). Congratulations PCA! Like Hydropeptide, this relatively small brand deserves recognition (I like their Purifying Mask) and this is a good lip balm to get in front of the millions of Prevention readers. It has lots of moisturizing palm oils, aloe and squalane. For longer term effects, there is the power peptide Matrixyl and antoxidants from tomato and barley extracts.

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Ingredients in Hydropeptide

Active ingredients: Titanium dioxide 2.5%, zinc oxide 6%

Water, Ethylhexy Palmitate, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Polysorbate 80, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium PCA, Alumina, Caprylyl Methicone, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Triethoxysilylethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Calendula Officinalis (Marigold) Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Japanese Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Iron Oxide, Phenoxyethanol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ammonim Methacrylate Copolymer, Boron Nitride, Titanium Dioxide, Triethyl Citrate, Allantoin, Kaempferia Galanga Root Extract (Galanga), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Panthenol, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract (Acai Berry), Disodium EDTA, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein, Niacinamide, Pyridoxine HCL, Biotin, Methylisothiazolinone

Ingredients in Vichy

Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter (Shea Butter), Elaeis Guineensis Oil (Palm Oil), Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Sucrose Stearate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Poly C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate, Stearic Acid, Sorbic Acid, Triethanolamine, Dimethiconol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinol, Phenoxyethanol, Adenosine, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates (C10 30 Alkyl Acrylate), Crosspolymer, Fragrance.

Ingredients in Olay Definity

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Panthenol, DMDM Hydantoin, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Titanium Dioxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Isohexadecane, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylene Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol.

Ingredients in Skin Effects Glycolic Kit

Treatment Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycolic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Linoleamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol. Soothing Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Methyl Gluceth-20, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Bisabolol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Lecithin, PEG-6, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Fragrance, Betaglucan, Sodium Carboxymethyl Betaglucan, Azulene, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol.

Ingredients in PCA Peptide Lip Therapy

Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Squalane, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadenis Leaf Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Hordeum Distichon (Barley) Extract, Solanum Lycopersium (Tomato) Extract, Bisabolol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Methicone, Sucralose, Flavor, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Tribehenin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Phenoxyethanol.

Ingredients in  Avon

Water/eau, dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, ethylhexyl isononanoate ethylhexyl salicylate, glycolic acid, dimethicone crosspolymer, hydrogenated polyisobutene, peg/ppg-19/19 dimethicone, polymethyl methacrylate, phytol, thiodipropionic acid, thiazolylalanine, sesbania grandiflora flower extract amorphophallus campanulatus rhizome/root extract, punica granatum fruit juice, palmitoyl lysyl aminovaleroyl lysine, agarose, dimethiconol, butylene glycol, carbomer, ammonium hydroxide, sodium chloride, parfum/fragrance phenoxyethanol, disodium edta, methylparaben

Ingredients in ROC Daily Perfecting Creme SPF 30:

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (12%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (1.7%), Oxybenzone (3%). Inactive Ingredients: Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Arachidyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Behenyl Alcohol, Benzalkonium Chloride, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Diethylhexyl 2,6-Naphthalate, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Ethylparaben, Fragrance, Glycerin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Methylparaben, Mica, Panthenol, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Phenoxyethanol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Polysorbate 20, Propylparaben, Silica, Sodium Hydroxide, Steareth-2, Steareth-21, Titanium Dioxide, Water.

Ingredients in ROC Night Concentrate

Water, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Glycerin, PEG-8, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Nylon-12, Butylene Glycol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Ceteareth-20, Isohexadecane, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Polyacrylamide, Phenoxyethanol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Laureth-7, Disodium EDTA, Allantoin, Dihydroxy Methylchromone, BHT, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Retinol, Polysorbate 20. May Also Contain: Sodium Hydroxide.