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.
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.
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".