Is a scientist's face proof that a £20 skin cream really gets rid of wrinkles?

It doesn't cost £400 a jar and arrive in a gold-embossed box decorated with pseudo-scientific jargon.

Instead, the £19.75 No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum can be found on the shelves of Boots – and as of today it becomes the first anti-ageing cream scientifically proven to eliminate wrinkles.

The scientist who invented the revolutionary skin cream spoke yesterday of the secret, military-style operation which he hopes will up-end the multi-billion-pound global cosmetics industry.

Stewart Long, chief scientific adviser to Boots, said the 160-year-old Nottingham company had stockpiled "warehouses full" of the cream ahead of today's publication of an independent scientific evaluation of the product.

At £19.75 for 30ml, the cream is a fraction of the price of other beauty serums which have impressive lists of ingredients but less effect. It was tested by 60 volunteers with typical signs of sun-damaged skin and the results of the randomised double blind controlled trial, the first of a skin care product, showed 70 per cent had significantly fewer wrinkles after 12 months of daily use compared to those using a placebo.

The study has been published in the British Journal of Dermatology, and Boots is braced for an onslaught by women demanding the new elixir.

Mr Long, 42, said: "We have been producing the product for months, wrapping it in black plastic packaging and storing it in our high-security warehouses to make sure none gets out or on to eBay."

The cream, which comes in two versions, standard and "intense", triggered near-riots among shoppers when, in March 2007, a BBC Horizon documentary revealed initial laboratory tests showed it worked better then more expensive creams. Boots sold almost 6m tubes in the nine months following the programme, proving the marketing power of hard science. But critics said the laboratory tests did not prove it would reduce wrinkles in humans. That led to the new trial, paid for by Boots and carried out at the University of Manchester.

The patent on Protect and Perfect, launched in 2003, is ascribed to Mr Long, but as a Boots' employee he does not benefit directly. "I don't get a royalty on it – I wish I did. But the better the company does the better I do in terms of a bonus," he explained.

Chris Griffiths, professor of dermatology at Manchester University, who performed the original tests in 2007 as well as the new trial, said yesterday: "Very few over-the-counter cosmetic 'anti-ageing' products have been subjected to a rigorous, scientific trial to prove their effectiveness. Our findings demonstrate that a commercially-available cosmetic can produce significant improvement in the appearance of facial wrinkles following long-term use."

The cream, which contains white lupin, retinyl parmitate, a derivative of retinol (Vitamin A), and peptides and anti-oxidants, is thought to work by stimulating production of fibrillin – essential to the structure of the skin in the same way tent pegs hold a groundsheet smooth. Fibrillin is destroyed by the effects of the sun and ageing.

However, the British Association of Dermatologists said the size of the benefit had been exaggerated. "Approximately one in five people using the cream will get something extra for their money over plain moisturisers," a spokesperson said. "It is an interesting step forward in research although the long-term benefits are unknown."

The UK's £673m skin care market is dominated by Boots, Procter & Gamble and L'Oreal, according to analysts Mintel, and anti-ageing products are the fastest-growing area. After yesterday's results for the Boots product, dermatologists predicted a flood of similar trials as companies compete for domination of the market.

Dr Richard Weller, senior lecturer in dermatology at the University of Edinburgh, said: "This will raise the bar for what we should expect from the cosmetic companies in showing that their products work."

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker