I hate the packaging, $199 for 0.6oz is too expensive, some people find the smell off-putting, the ingredients list is uninformative and the marketing department has got right up my nose (posing as consumers to post comments on websites is pathetic). Despite all of that, I have to say that A&G Skin Solutions Active Serum is extraordinarily effective.

When I say effective, I mean that it diminishes wrinkles. It really does. I've been using it for three weeks and was actually pitting it against Oraia by using one on each side of my face. For about 10 days, there wasn't much to choose between them. The Oraia was having a good effect on fine lines and was marginally ahead of the game. But then two weeks or so in, A&G started to really kick in and there was a noticeable reduction in the crow's feet.

The problem for me is that the packaging that A&G Active comes in doesn't help you understand what's in or why it would work. The key ingredient is something called Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media. Personally, I don't think these made up, faux science appellations are helpful. What on earth does it mean? And 'conditioned media' is plain silly. This is a shame because the underlying ingredients, according to the A&G Skin Solutions website, and the technology behind them are impressive and exciting.

There are four ingredients for promoting cell growth. The first of these cell growth ingredients in A&G Skin Solutions Active Serum is TGF-beta (1-3). This is a 'super' protein that controls cell functions such as growth and proliferation. It also regulates cell death. Studies at Cornell, Vanderbilt and Jefferson show that TGF-beta stimulates collagen and elastin production.

Next there is PDGF (platelet derived growth factor). This is also a protein that regulates cell growth and division. The third protein in AG Skin Solutions Active Serum is granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). This one stimulates stem cells. Finally, there are more cytokines (molecules that send out controlling signals) called interleukins.

In addition, the two doctors behind A&G have included an anti-oxidant concoction of vitamins C and E, evening primrose and Pycnogenol, an anti-oxidant from a maritime pine tree that grows in France. The manufacturer of Pycnogenol claims that 170 studies and trials have been published over that last 35 years backing it up as an anti-oxidant.

The acid test, of course, is whether I would buy A&G Active again when this bottle runs out (fairly soon by the looks of things). The answer is probably. I do think it may reduce wrinkles and promote cell growth. However, it would be a definite yes if there was a proper ingredients list on the packaging and you got a tad more for your money.

By the way, I liked Oraia too. It is still high end but slightly better value at $225 for 1.7oz. It is very different in that it uses a lot of botanicals and antioxidants with good pedigrees. I got very good results with fine lines. Oddly, or perhaps interestingly, A&G Active seems to work better on deeper wrinkles with not much result on fine lines.