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article imageUK Pharmacy braced for huge demand for anti-wrinkle product

By Julian Worker     May 3, 2009 in Lifestyle
A relatively cheap beauty product produced by Boots, the UK pharmacy chain, has been scientifically proven to reduce the number of wrinkles. Boots has stockpiled vast amounts of the cream in anticipation of the demand.
Boots is a 160-year-old Nottingham based chain of chemists in the UK. Currently, they are best known for their pharmacy services, prescriptions, baby foods and hair products.
However, this could soon change because of a beauty product that costs less than £20. Boots’ No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum has recently become the first anti-ageing cream that has been scientifically proven to eliminate wrinkles.
The Protect and Perfect product was launched in 2003 and the patent is ascribed to Stewart Long, the chief scientific adviser to Boots. As a Boots' employee Mr Long does not get a royalty on sales of the product.
The serum has two versions “standard” and "intense" and first hit the headlines in March 2007 when a BBC Horizon documentary revealed that lab tests had shown the serum worked better than more expensive creams. Boots sold almost 6m tubes in the nine months following the programme. However, criticism that the lab tests didn’t prove the serum would reduce wrinkles in humans led to a new trial, paid for by Boots, at the University of Manchester.
60 volunteers with typical sun-damaged skin tested the cream and the results of the randomised double blind controlled trial showed that 70 per cent of those using the cream had significantly fewer wrinkles after 12 months of daily use compared to those using a placebo. These results were published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
At £19.75 for 30ml, the cream is a fraction of the price of other products and its list of ingredients a lot smaller. The cream contains white lupin, retinyl parmitate, a derivative of retinol (Vitamin A), and peptides and anti-oxidants.
It’s thought that the cream works by stimulating production of Fibrillin – essential to the structure of the skin – which is destroyed by the effects of the sun and ageing.
However, the British Association of Dermatologists has said that the effects of the product have been exaggerated and that perhaps only one in five people using the cream will get some benefit. It will be interesting to see which of the two diverse scientific opinions will be listened to by the consumer.
Anti-ageing products are the fastest growing area of the UK's £673m skin care market. Boots are just one of the big players in the market and it’s expected that other major players such as Procter & Gamble and L'Oreal will soon be conducting their own scientific trials to prove that their products work just as well as Boots’ No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum.
More about Boots, Anti-ageing, Beauty products, Scientific tests, Wrinkle creams
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