Do you use anti-wrinkle creams in the belief that all that collagen is smoothing away the signs of age? If so, it might be time to rethink what goes into your cabinet, because scientists say they just aren’t worth it.
Are you easily blinded by ‘that science bit’ in beauty ads? Considering we spent £32m on eye-care products in 2008, it’s safe to say that we’re falling for the marketing patter.
But scientists have now spoken out en masse to debunk the claims once and for all. They say that cosmetics companies claiming that collagen creams will smooth out wrinkles and cheat the signs of aging can’t possibly work.
Collagen claims are false
These companies commonly claim that skin absorbs their products when, in fact, collagen molecules are far too big for this to happen. Instead, they sit on the face’s surface until they’re rubbed off or washed away.
Not only are scientists saying these claims are codswallop, they’ve also voted them their biggest pet hate, in a survey by charity Sense About Science.
So should we all bin our favourite top-notch beauty products in favour of cheaper basics? If you couple the scientists’ opinions with our research, that might well be a sensible conclusion to draw.
Which? smoothes out the wrinkles on eye cream
Last year we tested 12 anti-wrinkle eye creams ranging in price from £3.21 to almost £49. After comparing 1,807 photos of 139 eye areas we discovered that the cheapest product worked just as well as the more expensive ones.
Dr Tamara Griffiths of the British Skin Foundation was involved in our research. ‘We need to have realistic expectations,’ she said. ‘A pricier eye cream can equal better packaging and more luxurious ingredients, but won’t necessarily work better.’
I’m not sure how I feel about all of this. While I’m happy to spend less on beauty products, there’s something reassuring about turning to a pot of cream for hope when I’m feeling less than my best. But I guess that’s exactly the problem – these claims prey on women’s (and, increasingly, men’s) fears of ageing.
A pot of cream isn’t as expensive as surgery or as time-consuming as changing your lifestyle. It’s quick, easy and relatively affordable, and while there’s even a glimmer of hope that it will work, cosmetics companies will continue to cash in.