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Facial anti-wrinkle cream: influence of product presentation on effectiveness: a randomized and controlled study

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The great interest in eternal youth has developed a large market for skin care products claiming anti-wrinkle effects. A high-priced luxurious anti-wrinkle cream dispensed in its original packaging and in a neutral jar, were compared with the effects from a regular moisturizing face cream in a luxurious jar. Methods:

Eighty Swedish women aged 35–64 years were randomly divided into three groups; group A treated their facial skin for 6 weeks with the expensive cream in its luxury jar, B used a regular moisturiser filled in the luxury jar, and C used the expensive cream filled in a neutral jar. Evaluation was made by the subjects, clinical evaluation by a trained observer, and measurement of skin surface relief by optical profilometry. Results:

Participants using jars A and B consumed more product than participants using jar C, and the luxury jar thus resulted in better compliance. There were no significant differences between the three groups relating to the effects on wrinkles and smoothness, nor in subject assessment of their skin feeling younger or more beautiful. Facial appearance was the same. Profilometry showed reduced surface microrelief with all products. Conclusions:

The present study conducted as a formal trial could not verify a claim of anti-wrinkle effect of a known prestigious product. Surprisingly, there was no systematic effect on subjective and objective cosmetic parameters of the luxury packaging, except a better compliance. Product appreciation by consumers may, however, be different in spontaneous use not biased by study conditions.
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Keywords: anti-wrinkle; claims; cosmetics directive; placebo; skin replica; surface structure

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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