by former model Cheryl Tiegs is the latest miracle anti-wrinkle, time-defying cream that you can try in a free trial. Except that much like the scheme for Dermapril
, it isn't really free. A former website called Infomercialscams.com had 32 complaints listed against Unbelievable.
Almost everyone is sounding off about not being able to get a refund when returning the product (under the so-called free trial, you give up your credit card number and if the product is not returned within 30 days, you find yourself on an auto-renewal scheme at $64.95 at time, plus California sales tax). Now of course, why would anyone return the cream in the first place unless it wasn't working.
So what is in Ms Tiegs' (who is an unbelievable 61-years old) wonder cream? Unbelievable's key ingredients according the website (which, of course, doesn't give another shred of detail) are ginseng and portucala oleracea extract.
To be fair, we could all do with a bit more portucala oleracea in our lives. It is purslane and, although dismissed as a weed, it has more omega-3 than any other leafy plant and 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves (about 1 cup) contain 300 to 400 mg of alpha-linolenic acid. There are also two betalain alkaloid pigments, which are antixoidants. I found two studies, a Malaysian and a Turkish, that corroborate this. Ginseng, although now discredited as a miracle cure-all, is able to promote the synthesis of DNA, according to a study conducted on rats in Korea.
The best of the rest aren't too bad. Aminobutyric acid is an ingredient, like Argireline or AH-3, that prevents facial muscles from moving. Incidentally, this is the only ingredient that could, as promised by Ms Tiegs, deliver results in five minutes. Glyceryl behenate provides fatty acids. Moisturizing ingredients such as squalane and sodium hyaluronate are included. There is fucus vesiculosus, also known as bladderwrack and a seaweed that is purported to have antioxidant properties (although clinical evidence remains scant), and chamomile.
The rest of the ingredients are mediocre silicones and best-to-be avoided preservatives such as phenoxtethanol plus an irritant, cetearyl ethylhexanoate. The botanical-sounding-therefore-must-be-good-for-you, chondrus crispus extract, actually serves as nothing more than a thickening agent. There are also some curiosities such as barium sulfate, used in root canal work and for x-ray imaging.
Bottom line: you'd have to be a big believer in purslane, enamoured of Ms Tiegs and, as regards the 'free trial', niaive to buy this product.
Ingredients in Unbelievable by Cheryl Tiegs
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane & Polysilicone-11 & Panax Ginseng
Root Extract & Aminobutyric Acid & Portucala Oleracea Extract
& Centella Asiatica Extract & Barium Sulfate, Butylene Glycol,
Glyceryl Behenate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Sodium Cocamidopropyl
PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Ceteareth-20, Isohexadecane &
Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate & Polysorbate 80, Squalene,
Panthenol, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Fucus Vesiculosus Extract,
Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Yeast Extract,
Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl, Acetate Phenoxyethanol, Capryl Glycol,
Sorbic Acid, Triethanolamine