Photo: Creme de la mer Archives
Photo: Creme de la mer Archives

I was recently asked by a friend for a skincare cream recommendation that would prolong the youthful appearance of the skin. I had a few upper brands of creams I used, however I could’t say what the difference between the products was. That raised a natural question: was I buying products that work or was I buying a result of hard work of marketing teams? I decided to roll up the sleeves and conduct a research about what actually makes our skin look younger in the long run. Here is what I found:

Photo from trendhunter.com
Photo from trendhunter.com

1. In 2012 Consumer Reports tested several well known anti-ageing creams with great slogans such as “in 4 weeks, 100% of women showed improved skin vitality” and “in 4 weeks wrinkles are reduced“. As the author puts it “At $80 for 1.7 ounces for its cream, you might expect [BRAND NAME] to repaint your house, too.” However, the results of the experiment was that despite the high price and great marketing campaign, many anti-aging products did not live up to it’s advertisements.  A “Which?” study further claims that there is no difference between the effectiveness of expensive and cheap brands. That means that buying a cream that costs £80 will give you the same effect as buying a cream that is worth £4. Moreover, it is suggested that the effect of anti-ageing cream (if there is any effect at all) is so small that it is hardly visible to human eye, in cases of majority of skincare products.

Model Juan Betancourt for Tom Ford Skincare Grooming campaign
Model Juan Betancourt for Tom Ford Skincare Grooming campaign

So, what to do? Is there no way to prolong our youthful appearance of the skin? The Guardian (Rebecca Smithers) state: “Meanwhile, experts at the British Skin Foundation say the best advice for those worried about wrinkles around their eyes is to use sunscreen, wear UV-absorbing sunglasses and to not smoke. But a consultant I know says the best-kept secret in the beauty industry is good old Vaseline, which he recommends to anyone whose skin has been affected by surgery.”

Being a person who likes the sun and occasional cigars I decided to research the subject further. A 2012 study in Manchester University found that certain ingredients do have a good anti-ageing effect and can be found in beauty products or a healthy diet.

Picture credit: Indigital
Picture credit: Indigital

What to look for in anti-ageing creams:

Vitamins E and C: apart from being amazing anti-ageing agents, according to NHS  vitamin C also helps wound healing, protect cells and keeps them healthy and is necessary for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue; and vitamin E helps to maintain healthy skin, eyes and strengthens the immune system.

Collagen: This point is a little complicated. We know that some of the wrinkles might be due to the breakage of collagen and therefore collagen boost might help to reduce the wrinkles. However, scientists have not yet found an ultimate treatment that would boost our collagen production. Therefore, it is a good idea to take collagen food supplements and use cosmetic products that contain collagen (e.g., collagen face masks). Please note that collagen production is there are currently 28 types of collagen identified, however the type you need for your skin is type I and III.

To sum up, there is currently no wonder cream to make your skin look young forever. However, there is glimpse of hope given to us by Harvard University. Scientists from Harvard and the University of New South Wales say they have discovered how to reverse the ageing process: they made 2 year old mice look like 6 months old mice. They are currently conducting the studies on human and so far is “shows promising results”.

Iris Apfel, photo from: ursulinemagazine.com
Iris Apfel, photo from: ursulinemagazine.com

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