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Anti-ageing products

The University of Manchester is recognised across the globe as a world leader in skin ageing.

Professor Chris Griffiths and Dr Rachel Watson conducted ground-breaking research on photo-aged skin – skin that had been damaged due to prolonged exposure to UV radiation from the sun, which can lead to premature wrinkling.

They developed a test called The Manchester Patch Test Assay  (MPTA), which predicts the potential of anti-ageing products applied to the skin to restore microfibrils (tubular structures composed of fibrillin which is key to skin elasticity) in sun-damaged skin.

 Before the research, many claims made by companies for over-the-counter anti-ageing cosmetic products were not verified by an independent, scientific source.

Boots UK Ltd used the MPTA to demonstrate that their No7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum restored the microfibril network, leading to the rejuvenation of photo-aged skin.

The BBC2 science programme Horizon showcased the team’s research in March 2007. The programme explained the science underpinning the skin rejuvenation claims of the product.

The resulting public interest and confidence in the science led to five months’ worth of stock of Protect & Perfect selling out in one day.

As a result of the impact of the research:

  • consumers now expect that personal care companies can prove that their products have undergone rigorous controlled trials;
  • the product development strategies of other key players in the personal care industry have been heavily influenced;
  • industry continues to invest millions of pounds in further research using the MPTA;
  • the MPTA is now widely used throughout the personal care industry worldwide.

“The Manchester Patch Test Assay predicts the potential of anti-ageing products to restore microfibrils in photo-aged skin. The assay was used to demonstrate the efficacy of a Boots Healthcare anti-ageing product and was showcased on the BBC’s Horizon programme in 2007.”

Chris Griffiths / Professor of Dermatology