1. ITV Report

Scientists claim to discover 'anti-wrinkle secret'

A woman receives botox injections. Photo: allOver / TPH/DPA/Press Association Images

The 'miracle ingredient' boasted about in many anti-wrinkle cream adverts may have been found by scientists.

There are a wide range of creams and moisturisers for those who want to slow the ageing process and now researchers at the University of Reading have found that a chemical used in many creams nearly doubles the amount of collagen skin produces.

Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in humans that gives skin its elasticity.

The scientists say that due to the intense competition in the cosmetics industry it is "hard to find" evidence of effectiveness of cosmetics.But the peptide Matrixyl, which is present in many anti-wrinkle creams, can almost double the amount of collagen our body produces, if the concentration is high enough, according to the research.

Studies like this are very important for the consumer as cosmetic companies rarely publish their work so rivals can't copy their products. Our research, supported by a University studentship with some additional funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), shows that products with Matrixyl will have skin-care benefits.

– Professor Ian Hamley, of the University of Reading's chemistry department

Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals and constitutes a significant proportion of our connective tissue. It is thought that peptide-based treatments that stimulate the formation of collagen could be made to treat wounds and enhance stem cell research, as well as be used for cosmetic applications.

Boots' No 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum sold out in 2007 after it was scientifically supported. Credit: Press Association.

The research was supported by a University studentship with some additional funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Beauty expert Lisa Haynes warned consumers to "stand by for the Matrixyl frenzy" now that "the secret's out".

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 Matrixyl's 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 Intense Beauty Serum after a BBC2 Horizon programme scientifically backed the lotion. Stand by for the Matrixyl face cream frenzy.

– Beauty expert Lisa Haynes