Miracle skin cream suffers loss of face
Tuesday 28 January 1997
The cream Servital, which costs pounds 75 for 50ml, was launched earlier this month with much publicity and, it was claimed, the apparent endorsement of Guy's Hospital in south-east London.
But the doctor at Guy's who carried out research on the cream has now distanced himself from the claims and accused the manufacturers, Syence, of misleading use of his data as a marketing tool.
Dr Stephen Young, a research scientist from the tissue viability unit at Guy's Hospital Medical School, said: "I feel embarrassed about the whole thing and this sort of publicity is not what the hospital and in particular the medical school would welcome. We would not endorse this or any other product."
The apparent support of Guy's for Syence's claims led to reports of "miracle breakthroughs" in some newspapers which would normally be wary of them. The Independent did not run the story after checking it out with dermatologists not involved in the research or the launch.
Dr Young told the BBC television consumer programme Watchdog: Face Value, that he had been conducting a trial on an new ultrasound machine which was able to measure minute changes in skin thickness. Sixty women took part in the trial, 40 used Servital and 20 just massaged their faces. The women using Servital showed an increase in skin thickness.
However, the trial did not compare the cream with any others. Face Value asked Dr Young to test three other creams which cost less than pounds 5; Glycerine and Rose Water, Oil of Ulay, and a Boots No7 Moisturiser. All thickened the skin measurably.
Guy's said yesterday that its involvement with Syence came when the hospital was seeking funding for its research programme, and that they had hoped to draw attention to the machine by carrying out the tests for a cosmetic company.
Dr Young said: "We were just a research team and we were totally focused on getting funds to carry on the research and to be able to get this prototype technology to the patientwhere it is needed."
Sean Campbell, managing director of Syence, told the BBC: "We wanted to have our product tested at an institution that was of repute to be able to do the right sort of tests.
"The machine that they have at Guy's is the only machine that is able to test without a biopsy, which is the cutting away of the skin. That's why we engaged the test. I don't feel we've tried to damage Guy's."
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
- 5 Westboro Baptist Church couldn't picket Leonard Nimoy's funeral because they didn't know where it was
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO's one simple test for who to hire
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Saudi Arabia executions now at 'unprecedented rate' after kingdom kills four more in two days
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...
£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...