By Margarita Nahapetyan
A sugar-coated pill which will reduce wrinkles, fine lines and can bring a dramatic slowdown in ageing of the skin in general, has been created and developed by one of the world's biggest confectionery giants Nestlé in collaboration with one of the world's biggest cosmetics company L'Oréal, was reported this week.
Scientists who stand behind the anti-wrinkle tablet, based it on lycopene, the red carotene pigment that is found in tomatoes. They modified it into a form which is more easily absorbed by human cells, and then combined it with a form of vitamin C and with isoflavones - chemicals extracted from soya beans. All three ingredients are very powerful antioxidants which, scientists believe, promote the regeneration of new skin cells and protect old cells from damage.
Called Innéov Fermeté, the product, when used on a daily basis, supposedly provides the skin with essential nutrients, which, in turn, prevent the appearance of wrinkles. To come up with this conclusion, the experts have tested their wrinkle pill on the two groups of female volunteers: 90 post-menopausal women with the ages between 51 and 69 years and 70 other ladies with an average age of 45 years old. In each experiment, the participants were divided into two groups: those who took the new tablet and those who swallowed a dummy pill, or a placebo. After a period of 6 months, the skin of those women who were taking the real pill showed an 8.7 per cent better rate of elasticity - the rate at which it sprang back into place after being stretched or twisted rather than leaving wrinkles.
Because Innéov Fermeté is supposed to be swallowed on a daily basis as a sugar-coated tablet, its developers hope that it will be viewed as a lifestyle product, like a vitamin supplement, and not as a medicine. But with a price tag of £25 (about $40-45) for a 10- day supply, it is very likely to be beyond the budget of many women, particularly as the manufacturers say that around three months will be needed for any effect to be noticed.
Patricia Manissier, head of research and development at Innéov, the L'Oréal/Nestlé joint venture producing the new drug, said that a lot of research has been done which shows that this new product really works and now the scientists are looking for ways of improving it. "We know that good nutrition can prevent the skin from ageing and that there are clear links between certain nutrients and skin health," Mrs. Manissier added.
The new sweetie magic is already on the market in parts of Europe and South America and a launch is planned in the nearest future in the United Kingdom, although an exact date has not yet been confirmed.