Unbelievable by Cheryl Tiegs

Unbelievable Cheryl TiegsUnbelievable is a wrinkle cream that is promoted by celebrity spokeswoman, Cheryl Tiegs. If you go to their website, you will see an absolutely knock-out picture of 60 year old Cheryl Tiegs who looks, let’s all face it, incredible for her age. Cheryl was recently featured as an “age-defying” woman on Oprah, and per Cheryl, Unbelievable is one of her best beauty secrets. (Personally, I would guess hormone supplementation is her best secret, but that is another discussion).

The Unbelievable website says the cream has an exclusive Wrinkle Releasing Complex that’s so powerful, that preliminary investigations have shown Unbelievable to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles in just minutes. Plus, the product contains the antioxidant benefits of Ginseng and Portulaca extracts, both of which boost the skin's natural defense against the sun and environmental damage. This product is marketed as only a temporary wrinkle reducer, and not as a long-term solution.

The instructions for use are about the funniest I have seen. To use, cleanse and then recleanse the areas that you want to use the product. Using your ring finger (not any other finger), apply a small amount of the product in a firm, brisk, sweep. Once applied, keep face expressionless for three minutes until the product has dried.

Huh?

If you try to buy Unbelievable, it is very difficult. You can’t get it from the website and I couldn’t find any affiliate sites that sell it. The only way to get it is to sign up for the “free trial”, which only costs $6.95 shipping and handling. When you sign up, they will send up a 60 day supply. If you decide you don’t like it, you have 30 days to call a number and receive an RMA number and return the product. If you like it, you are automatically enrolled in the autoship program, which sends you product every 60 days for $64.95 plus shipping. I can’t tell if it is $64.95 every 60 days, or $64.95 every month.

Product Claims:

  • Starts working in less than 5 minutes
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles by as much as 50%
  • Works around eyes, across face and neck
  • 100% of study participants noticed a visible difference in their appearance

Cross Examination:

I was perplexed by this product. It claims to work in a way similar to Youthology, reducing the appearance of wrinkles in minutes. Yet, I could not determine which ingredient was responsible for this incredible claim. Here is the ingredient list:

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane & Polysilicone-11 & Panax Ginseng Root Extract & Aminobutyric Acid & Portulaca 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, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Triethanolamine

This product does have a couple of decent ingredients: a stable ester of vitamin C, vitamin E (both good anti-oxidants and skin protectants), Hyaluronic acid (an excellent moisturizer), and panthenol (another good moisturizer).

It includes barium sulfate, which I think is fascinating. Barium sulfate is used in x-ray studies: people swallow it and it shows up white on the x-ray. It is a chalky looking, chalky tasting liquid. Here, I am assuming it is used to hide blemishes, like it used in make-up, by covering them up with white material. However, this does nothing to fight wrinkles and as it settles into the grooves of wrinkles and dries, may turn chalky. This may be why the makers of Unbelievable don’t want you to crack a smile until the product has dried.

Unbelievable contains GABA (aminobutyric acid). Cosmetics companies like to include GABA in products and then claim that topical application relaxes muscles, mimicking the effect of a Botox™ injection. However, GABA has not been proven to relax muscles and reduce the appearance of wrinkles or expression lines when applied topically. The makers of Unbelievable are hoping that consumers will associate the topical application of products containing GABA with its internal function of controlling the manner in which nerve impulses fire.

There is no substantiated research proving GABA works in this manner when applied topically. The whole nonsense of using GABA in cosmetic products is refuted by the fact that GABA does not work alone to exert its effect internally on nerves. It requires many other chemical messengers, substances that are not present in the skin-care products containing GABA, for it to prevent nerves from being triggered and causing muscles to relax.

Unbelievable contains a whole host of botanical extracts, few of which have been clinically proven to do anything to treat wrinkles. One extract, portulaca, or portucala (depending on which website you read) extract has been cited in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2001) as possibly having anti-inflammatory properties. But that is it. There are no studies on topical application of ginseng or any of the other extracts.

Lastly, I still cannot determine which ingredient provides the effect of “instant, temporary wrinkle relief." It could be the barium sulfate, which would cover the wrinkles up immediately. But it is a temporary fix, and only works if you like the “chalk” look. I welcome feedback in this area.

The Bottom Line:

Unbelievable is not very expensive, but also not very good. There are no real wrinkle reducing ingredients. What you do get are a couple of anti-oxidants, good moisturizers, botanical extracts, and chalky cover-up. This would not be anywhere on the list of anti-aging products that I would recommend. Sure, Cheryl looks great, but I’m sure if she were to come clean, there would be a lot more to her beauty regimen than Unbelievable.