On the Agenda - 'No effect' anti-ageing creams

- In a nutshell.

Antioxidants, the key ingredients in many anti-ageing products, have little or no effect according to a new study. Research undertaken by the University College of London has found that the molecular mechanism proposed to explain how antioxidant supplements such as vitamins C and E work is mistaken.

- What else was found?

The study also found that those who want to stay looking young should exercise and eat sensible amounts.

- Why is this news?

The anti-ageing skincare market is big business. The market for hi-tech anti-wrinkle creams has doubled in the past five years to exceed £100m. Research suggests that it could double again over the next five years. Anti-ageing products are also constantly in the press. Headlines from earlier this year include: 'Face cream firms stop using shark liver oil' in The Guardian in January; 'Sun lotion better than expensive face cream' in The Daily Telegraph in April and 'Face cream can churn out to be a waste' in The Scotsman in September.

- Who are the PR players?

The PR for the latest study was handled by The Wellcome Trust, which funded the research. Media officer Craig Brierley contacted the science and health correspondents on the national and broadcast media.

- Media coverage

The study was picked up by BBC Breakfast and it also appeared as the lead story on the BBC Health website. The story was also covered by some of the national papers including the Daily Mail and The Guardian.

50  Number of years theory for ageing has been around

£100m  Amount market is worth.

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