Skin cream 'can lead to ageing'

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Skincare specialists are warning of the dangers of anti-wrinkle creams that could, they say, make skin more prone to ageing.

Skincare specialists are warning of the dangers of anti-wrinkle creams that could, they say, make skin more prone to ageing.

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), an ingredient in many of the creams, get rid of wrinkles by removing the outer layer of the skin but experts are worried that people who use them could put themselves at risk of damage from the sun. The European Commission is looking into concerns about AHAs and is consulting experts on the safety of the ingredient.

In 1997 guidelines from the Cosmetic Ingredient Review said a concentration of 10 per cent of certain AHAs in cosmetic products should be safe. But a recent report by the US Food and Drug Administration said people who use AHAs had greater sensitivity to the sun. The commission could decide to limit the amount of AHAs used to very low percentages and force manufacturers to put warnings on packaging.

Professor Nick Lowe, a consultant dermatologist in London and clinical professor at the University of California and Los Angeles, said yesterday people should be aware of the problem. "Some people who use AHA creams can be at risk of greater damage from the sun if they do not protect their skin. This is because AHAs work by removing the outer skin layer - which is how they make the skin look better. This can mean the skin is unprotected and more sensitive to the sun."

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