Last week I was at the L’Oreal UK offices in London carrying out mole checks and giving skincare advice on behalf of the British Association of Dermatologists. As I was chatting to my third client of the morning, she pinned me down on anti-ageing skincare. At the end of our discussion, she said, “you need to write a blog about this.” So I have taken her advice and that’s exactly what this post is about.
The anti-ageing market is booming and there are certainly no signs of it slowing down in the foreseeable future. It is impossible, especially as a female working in the industry, to not be taken in by the miracle creams, lotions and potions that promise to reverse the signs of ageing. Shiny packaging and brazen marketing claims can be hard to ignore walking down the aisles of Boots or any major department store.
Then there is the clever and sometimes difficult blurring of lines between whether a cream is technically a cosmetic or drug product (or both). Technically, a cosmetic exists purely to beautify or alter the appearance of skin but a drug has the ability to alter its structure and function. Legal teams carefully word claims so that products “fight” lines and “alleviate” wrinkles rather than “remove” them.
So why is this relevant in picking your skincare? Well, let’s look at the world of topical retinoids. The retinoid family consists of a group of compounds that are derived from vitamin A. These have been knocking around in skincare since the 1970s.
They are the only topical or cream based agents in scientific studies that repeatedly demonstrate having anti-ageing effects. Retinoids are able to minimize the appearance of wrinkles, slow the breakdown of collagen, and fade pigmentation or age spots. They work by improving skin cell renewal and stimulating collagen production.