An "unprecedented" clinical trial on a high street anti-ageing cream may change the face of the skin care market in this country, dermatologists say.
At present there is a lack of clinical data to prove which creams really do slow down the skin's ageing process.
Industry is thought to have shied away from major trials in part for fear products, if effective, could then be deemed medicines and tightly regulated.
But the trial on a Boots moisturiser may prove if these fears are founded.
There was a run on the chain's No. 7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum after the BBC's Horizon programme last year suggested it might be one of the more effective creams on the market.
Chris Griffiths, professor of dermatology at the University of Manchester, has just concluded a clinical trial on the lotion, involving 60 volunteers over a period of six months.
The data is now being analysed before being submitted to a scientific journal for peer review - in what is thought to be an unprecedented process for a high street skin care product.
"If it is proven to work - and there is certainly no guarantee that's what we'll find - then the debate will start on whether there is a point at which a cream is so effective it becomes a medicine," he says.
The active ingredients in the cream include white lupin - a flower extract - and retinyl palmitate, on top of a plain moisturising base. The trial will not establish which, if any, is effective, but how the combination works together.
Writer : BBC