A new survey has found that women spend more than 30 million pounds a year on "beauty pills" - an amount twice as much as they spent just five years ago.
Market researchers Mintel found that women are splurging a fortune on a range of "magic" potions claiming to enhance their appearance and reverse the signs of ageing.
AdvertisementContaining exotic ingredients such as extract of bark and protein taken from sea creatures, the high-priced pills are gradually outdoing the supremacy of other beauty products such as moisturisers and hair conditioners.
The most wanted pills include supermodel Naomi Campbell's favourite brand Imedeen, which is believed to improve skin and sells for 81.50 pounds for 180 tablets.
According to Mintel, total spending in 2007 is expected to touch 37 million pounds, and mount to 63 million pounds a year by 2012.
"An increasingly ageist society has also helped to grow demand for products that tout anti-ageing benefits. The nation's health drive is forging growth across all industries, and beauty supplements are well-placed to absorb this momentum," the Daily Mail quoted a Mintel spokeswoman, as saying.
"Society trends are placing more emphasis on personal appearance and people are increasingly open-minded to less conventional, or more extreme, measures to help maintain their looks," she added.
However, some experts say that these pills are of little use and that women should rather improve their looks and body by eating better, keeping out of the sun and quitting smoking.
"The problem with a lot of these pills is people see them as a magic or quick fix that can substitute a good diet or a healthy lifestyle. If you're going out five nights a week, getting drunk, and you smoke, then taking pills is pretty much as waste of money," Nutritionist Natalie Savona said.
"Really, you need a good diet that is varied. If you start with that, get enough sleep and you are exercising, then that is the foundation for great skin, great hair and ageing gracefully," she added.
Some of the favourite brands include, Boots' No7 Protect and Perfect Serum, La Prairie Skin Caviar, Creme De La Mer, MLab from Harrods and SK-II Ultimate Revival Cream.
Some 'magic potions' are:
Imedeen - 81.50 pounds for 180 tablets. Promises: fish extract and vitamin C smooth away lines and wrinkles.
Perfectil Platinum - 39.49 pounds for 60 tablets. Promises: bark extract, seed oil and marine collagen renew skin cells.
Nourkrin Maintain - 39.95 pounds for 60 tablets. Promises: mineral supplement, protein boosts hair and nails.
Jeune-Coll Skin, Hair and Nails - 20 pounds for 60 tablets. Promises: bilberry and tea extracts keep skin clear and maintain hair.
Laboratoire Physcience SkinSublim - 14.99 pounds for 30 tablets. Promises: antioxidants, vitamins give healthy looking skin.
Christian Bergman Bronze - 27 pounds for 60 capsules. Promises: bio-compounds help prepare the skin for the sun.
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