Anti-wrinkle creams that really work… but only with a magic ingredient
A chemical called Matrixyl used in some anti-wrinkle creams may double the amount of collagen in skin
Collagen is needed to keep skin elastic and give it a plump, youthful feel – but production declines with ageScientists say Matrixyl can help the skin produce more
Fiona Macrae and Ryan Kisiel
11:48 GMT, 6 March 2013
02:24 GMT, 7 March 2013
It is news that will put a smile on the face of plenty of women of a certain age – and stop them worrying about the lines it may leave.
Anti-ageing creams really do work, scientists claim.
Experiments have found that an ingredient in anti-wrinkle creams does have the power to turn back the hands of time.
Researchers say chemical called Matrixyl used in some anti-wrinkle creams really can work – by doubling the amount of skin-plumping collagen it produces
The secret weapon, Matrixyl, almost doubles the production of collagen, the anti-wrinkle protein that keeps skin looking plump and youthful.
Even better, the ingredient is found in face creams made by high street brands such as Olay, with prices starting at just over 8 for a large tub.
Chemist Ian Hamley, who is researching the use of collagen in wound healing, looked at the effect of Matrixyl on sheets of skin cells in a dish.
His research, published in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, found that when concentrations were high enough, the chemical hugely boosted the amount of collagen made.
Collagen (pictured) is a protein that gives skin its strength and elasticity
The Reading University professor said: ‘Our research shows that products with Matrixyl will have skincare benefits. Studies like this are very important for the consumer, as cosmetic companies rarely publish their work so that rivals don’t copy their products.’
Matrixyl is found in Olay’s Regenerist range, as well as in creams made by less well-known brands such as St Ives and Skin Doctors.
Word is already out and some products have sold out online.
Previous research has questioned the benefits of creams that contain collagen, claiming it cannot penetrate the skin to get to work. However, Matrixyl – which is a peptide, or protein fragment – stimulates the collagen factories from within the skin.
Lisa Haynes, beauty editor at the Press Association, said: ‘Anti-ageing creams frequently boast about being packed full of peptides, but aren’t specific as to which one.
‘Now the secret’s out and there’s some scientific evidence for its collagen-boosting properties, women will be rushing to find out if it’s in their anti-ageing potion.
‘It’s likely that brands with products that do contain Matrixyl will start shouting about it too if the “miracle” peptide becomes the new buzz word in beauty.
‘There was a stampede at Boots in 2007 for No 7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum after a BBC2 Horizon programme scientifically backed the lotion. Stand by for the Matrixyl face cream frenzy.’
Around 20 weeks’ supply of Boots Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum sold out in just a day after the Horizon documentary featured a study which revealed it could make the skin look younger.
Chief scientist at Olay, Dr Sian Morris, said the company’s ‘studies have shown consistently the abilities [of Matrixyl] to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, improve visible firmness and provide younger-looking skin’.