Wrinkle Fighter Brings Frowns

At 35, Michele Griffin is looking for something to keep wrinkles at bay. She had high hopes for a popular new wrinkle cream that suggests it could be "better than Botox."

"I said, 'You know, that is something I definitely want to try,'" says Griffin.

As CBS News Correspondent Dr. Mallika Marshall reports, it's called StriVectin SD. First marketed as a treatment for stretch marks, its real success came when its makers added a promise to fight wrinkles.

"StriVectin is the Number One skin care product on the market," says Timra Carlson, who tracks retail sales in the beauty industry.

"What I think is absolutely clever of the company was the ad campaign," says Carlson, president of NPD Beauty. "'Better than Botox' was brilliant."

At $135 a tube, department stores alone have rung up more than $43 million in sales. It's an unprecedented success in the beauty industry.

But is it really better than Botox?

"Botox is a drug that actually stops lines of negative facial expression, frown lines," says Dr. Jeffrey Dover, a dermatologic surgeon.

Dover says that not only is the comparison to Botox ridiculous, but women who want a cream to erase wrinkles should go with a sure thing: an FDA approved, vitamin A-based product like Retin-A.

"Retin-A has been shown beyond a shadow of a doubt, to improve fine lines and wrinkles," says Dover.

Dover says patients ask him about StriVectin on a daily basis, but there is no independent scientific data showing that it works better than any other moisturizer.

"The truth is, any cream that you use that moisturizes as well, will temporarily make your skin look better," says Dover.

The company that makes StriVectin is hanging its claim on the question mark in its slogan.

"We really don't compare ourselves to Botox," says Louis Renaldi of Klein-Becker. "We raise the question for the consumer."

After using the cream for six months, Griffin thinks StriVectin has helped her dry skin. But did it do what it promised?

"The small ones I have here. I haven't noticed … a big difference, no," says Griffin.

The lasting success of StriVectin will depend on the repeat customer. If Griffin is any indication, many may already be searching for the next, best thing.