Dermatologists at The University of Manchester carried out a clinical trial on 60 volunteers with typical signs of sun-damaged skin and found that the cosmetic, No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum, could improve some of these clinical features.
The study, published online in the British Journal of Dermatology
today (Tuesday, April 28), showed that 70% of individuals using the beauty product had significantly fewer wrinkles after 12 months of daily use compared to volunteers using a placebo.
The research team, headed by Professor of Dermatology Chris Griffiths, reported last year that the original No7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum stimulated the production of fibrillin-1, a protein that promotes elasticity in the skin.
For this latest, year-long study, the researchers first wanted to discover whether the new No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum also promoted fibrillin-1 production but also wished to test whether this would result in a reduction in wrinkles, as has been demonstrated with prescription retinoids.
"Very few over-the-counter cosmetic 'anti-ageing' products have been subjected to a rigorous, scientific trial to prove their effectiveness," said Professor Griffiths, who is based in the University's School of Translational Medicine at Salford Royal Foundation Hospital.
"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."
The clinical trial - funded by Boots, the makers of the No7 product range - was carried out using standard scientific protocols. Having established that the No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum did increase fibrillin-1 production, 60 volunteers - 11 men and 49 women aged 45 to 80 years - were recruited to test its efficacy.
The No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum and a control formulation containing no anti-ageing ingredients were supplied in identical, coded packages, so neither investigators nor volunteers were aware as to the treatment of each individual. Thirty volunteers were assigned the No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum and 30 used the placebo formulation.
"Our findings demonstrate that a commercially-available cosmetic can produce significant improvement in the appearance of facial wrinkles following long-term use," said Professor Griffiths.
"It is rare for such benefits to be reported for an over-the-counter anti-ageing product and this study paves the way for larger studies with more statistical power."