UK report: cosmeceutical advances

UK report: cosmeceutical advances

Earlier this year, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned an ad for a cosmeceutical product, because the image of the actress depicted misleadingly exaggerated the performance of the product.

The ASA weren’t actually challenging the claims that the product makes the skin feel firmer, toned and more supple, but they said they weren’t happy with the image being altered in a way that substantially changed her complexion to make it appear smoother and more even.

The moral to this story is that beauty companies now need to invest much more in robust science rather than relying on airbrushed images in ads to ensure the future success of their products.

This also benefits us, the consumer – more and more good lab results are making their way into better products on our shelves. Beauty products developed like medicines are no longer the future: cosmeceuticals are well and truly here.

L’Oréal invests over 500 million pounds a year in a global workforce of more than 3,000 scientists. One of the results of this investment is the Forever Youth Liberator, from L’Oréal-owned Yves St Laurent Beauty.

The product contains synthetic versions of glycans (sugar molecules) that are naturally present in skin and are involved in sending regeneration messages between cells. The compound was developed with molecular biologists from the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, and studies have been published in scientific journals showing how it improves skin elasticity and thickness.

Nanotechnology has improved drug delivery by more accurately targeting cells. It’s now been discovered that nanoparticles have light-diffusing properties that create the optical illusion of a wrinkle-free complexion. As it’s name suggests, the recently launched Nanoblur from Indeed Labs uses this nanotechnology to blur wrinkles – and claims to make the user look 10 years younger!

Procter & Gamble has published independent research that favourably compared the new Olay Professional Antiwrinkle Kit with retinoic acid, previously the only agent that was really effective against wrinkles but also unfortunately caused skin-thinning. 

Fujifilm may sound like an unlikely player in the cosmetics market but they have put knowledge gained from the outdated 35mm film market – collagen and antioxidants are key elements in photographic film as well as skin ageing – to good use in developing an innovative anti-ageing product.

The Astalift range has recently launched in the UK, following success in Japan. The key ingredient is astaxanthin, an antioxidant derived from algae and seaweed, with benefits backed by more than seven years research. A so-called super ingredient, Fujifilm says astaxanthin is 1000 times more powerful than COQ10.

And powerful is a good word to describe the effect scientific research is having on the cosmeceuticals market and the next big anti-ageing products.

by Kerrie Rhodes