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Anti-aging creams don't work


The claims don't impress Anita Roddick, who became a millionaire as founder of the Body Shop. "Anything which says it can magically take away your wrinkles is a scandalous lie," she says. Her comments are unusual for someone in the business of selling cosmetics, although her stores have never sold anti-aging creams.

Roddick says that all anyone needs for healthy skin is a cleanser, a preparation to exfoliate dead skin and a moisturizer. The anti-aging products simply waste money, often a lot of money, and "just don't work." A previous HealthScout story adds that one popular ingredient in anti-aging creams may actually encourage sun damage.

The British Guardian describes Roddick's comments in a story reprinted in the Australian paper The Age. The article also provides a brief summary of several common cosmetic ingredients and explains what they do.

One of the latest fads in anti-aging treatments consists of little more than an expensive form of vitamin C, which is known to mop up free radicals that damage cells. A feature from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains that dermatologists concede that vitamin C applied to the skin might be protective, but it cannot reverse the major effects of aging, such as thinning of the skin, loss of connective tissue and elasticity.

Bogus anti-aging treatments aren't new, either. Some go back centuries. Last year Germany finally banned the use of injections of fetal calf and sheep cells as a rejuvenating treatment, although a few clinics in Switzerland still offer the injections, The Times of London reports.