The product exploded in popularity two years ago when a BBC Horizon programme called attention to its ability to fight against photoageing.
Now a team of researchers led by Professor Chris Griffiths at Manchester University, UK, has investigated the effect of the cream over a 6 and 12 month period compared to a vehicle control.
In total, 60 volunteers between the ages of 45 and 80 were recruited for the trial, 30 were randomly assigned the test product (Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Beauty Serum) and 30 the product without the complex of anti-ageing actives.
Subjects were asked to apply the products daily on the face and hands for 6 months and assessments were performed at 1, 3 and 6 months.
Improvement on base levels
According to the study, after 6 months there was a noticeable clinical improvement compared to base levels in facial wrinkles in 43 percent of those treated with the test product and only 22 per cent of those treated with the vehicle.
Comparisons between the groups at this stage were not significant, but with larger subject numbers 6 months could provide evidence of clinical improvement, the researchers suggested.
However, after 12 months of product use, 70 per cent of subjects using the test product experienced improvements in facial wrinkles, compared to only 33 per cent of the vehicle group; leading the researchers to conclude that the test product decreased facial wrinkles significantly in comparison to the control.
‘Lack’ of long-term studies
The team claim this is the first study of its kind on a commercially available anti-ageing formulation and refer to a ‘relative lack of published long-term studies to demonstrate product performance’.
“Very few over-the-counter cosmetic 'anti-ageing' products have been subjected to a rigorous, scientific trial to prove their effectiveness,” said Griffiths.
“Although prescription retinoids can have a reparative effect on photo-aged skin, there is scant evidence that any of the plethora of cosmetic 'anti-ageing' products can produce similar effects,” he added.
The study published in the British Journal of Dermatology was funded by Alliance Boots, manufacturer of the tested product.
However, the authors confirmed that the trial was properly conducted: subjects had been randomly assigned either the test product or the vehicle; and volunteers, investigators and independent statistician were blind to the assignment until after the completion of the study. In addition, Griffiths maintained the results would have been published in a peer reviewed journal regardless of their findings.
Source: British Journal of DermatologyPublished Online: Apr 28 2009. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09216.xA cosmetic ‘anti-ageing’ product improves photoaged skin: a double blind, randomized controlled trialR.E.B. Watson, S. Ogden, L.F. Cotterell, J.J. Bowden, J.Y. Bastrilles, S.P. Long, C.E.M. Griffiths