Saturday 18 November 2017

Miracle Creams: No magic end to an age-old quest

Thinkstock Images.
Thinkstock Images.
Katie applies Avon's ANEW A-F33 cream on the first day of her trial (left) - and presents the underwhelming results on month later (right).
Avon's A-F33 is the latest 'miracle cream'.

It had an impressive waiting list of 60,000, but the new anti-ageing offering from Avon – dubbed a 'miracle cream' by the media – is not all it's cracked up to be, writes Katie Gunn

One month ago, I embarked on a journey for the greater good of womankind. I was asked to try out the latest cream, A-F33, from Avon, who claimed it would set a new world standard for anti-ageing with its ground breaking technology. Full of hopes of erasing my wrinkles I jumped on board.

A new world beckoned.

Such was the demand for this elixir of youth that a 60,000-strong waiting list had built up before it was even released. You could almost feel the excitement of those who were about to try it. And now I was one of them.

Of course, this €39 cream is just the latest in a long line of anti-ageing products. We've always been obsessed with holding on to our youth. Thousands of years ago, the ancient Egyptians noted the effects of specific herbs and olive oil.

Today, we are still searching for that magic potion of youth with billions of dollars being spent on scientific research into the skin's ageing process.

Often the technology behind the products makes little sense to the women buying them, but we like to know it's there all the same.

When I finally got my hands on the little silver bottle, I experienced that usual feeling of resigned hope – the cynic in me saying that it will make as much difference as every other supposedly remarkable cream that I've tried, but the almost 40-year-old women in me thinking maybe, just maybe, this one really will deliver.

Speed reading through the little leaflet that comes with it I'm given information on what the studies showed, how many women were tested, how to use it. . . blah, blah, blah.

And then I see it: "Some individuals may not be comfortable using this product. . . if this occurs use more sparingly until skin accommodates." Excellent. Nothing like a little pain warning to make the belief levels soar.

And so I begin my new routine. I smooth the required amount of what I like to call my 'facelift in a tube' on to my face every morning before moisturising, and I use a high-factor product to protect my skin from the sun.

I know, I know, it's Ireland and it's mid-winter but, in the interests of science, I feel I have to give it the best chance I possibly can.

Day 1

Avon promise: Skin looks more youthful.

Actual: No visible sign of improvement.

Day 3

Avon promise: Gives natural-looking wrinkle reduction.

Actual: My skin looks okay. But I don't know if that is the light, my subconscious, or the decent night's sleep I had.

Day 7

Avon promise: Fine lines and deep wrinkles begin to look reduced.

Actual: see the 'after' picture above.

After two weeks

Avon promise: Helps fill creases to dramatically diminish the appearance of fine lines.

Actual: This is harder than I thought. My skin looks in pretty good condition but that can easily be wiped out by a bad night's sleep or a bottle of wine (or indeed both).

So the one-month trial is now complete. Avon claimed: "Five out of 10 women considering a cosmetic procedure who tried ANEW Clinical Pro Line Corrector Treatment said the serum improved their skin so much they decided to postpone the procedure."

Now, I never had any intention of offering my face up to needles or scalpels but if I had been considering a bit of plumping here and a little de-creasing there, I don't think this cream would have changed that decision.

The claims are big; the results, sadly, are small – a bit like my bank balance will be if I keep on buying these media-hyped products.

Irish Independent

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