The price for fewer and reduced wrinkles seems to be getting cheaper and cheaper with cut price retailer Aldi now adding an anti-ageing cream to its shelves called Wrinkle Stop at just £4.99 for 10ml.
According to the blurb;
“This oil free, anti-ageing cream called Wrinkle Stop contains a key active ingredient - Syn®-Ake.
Syn-Ake is a synthetic substance which mimics the effect of a protein found in the venom of the Temple Viper Snake. Amino acids found in the venom block nerve signals telling muscles to contract, which helps to stop wrinkles forming as well as smoothing out the skin, producing a wrinkle free appearance.
It has been proven to help reduce forehead wrinkles by 53% and crow's feet by 24% after 28 days.”
Wrinkle Stop from Lacura®, a German based cosmetics range which is exclusive to Aldi, was originally launched back in 2009 to much hype winning it a variety of beauty awards from glossy magazines and beauty organisations.
It is attractively packaged inside a syringe shaped dispenser, mimicking the concept of wrinkle relaxing injections with botulinum toxins, the results of which it is hoping to emulate and promote in terms of its claimed wrinkle stopping properties.
This is not the first time that a high street store has tried to tap into the hype surrounding affordable miracle creams and their active ingredients, with Boots generating a few sensational headlines with their Protect and Perfect No.7 range of products a few years ago which seemed to be backed by impressive clinical studies and caused empty shelves and waiting lists a plenty. It seems ‘Botox in a jar’ concepts are here to stay, it’s now just a case of how cheaply can they be bought for by the public, bucking the trend of recent years where products seemed to favour selling for as big a price tag as they could get away with endorsed by uber-fashion conscious celebrities – think Crème de la Mer where some of the range is £200 - £300 per pot.
But is there any substance in these cheap products which claim such wrinkle reduction or is it just about simple moisturisation of the skin and only a whiff of an active ingredient to make it sell?
Looking at the Wrinkle Stop product, the ingredient Syn®-Ake, or to give it its technical name, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl is by no means exclusive to this Aldi product. In fact it was originally made by Pentapharm and there are various creams which licence it and thus contain it (at undisclosed concentrations), all marketing similar wrinkle freezing claims, quoting the same clinical data and all at very different prices. From Transformulas’ Wrinkle Block Line Restriction Crème previously available for £37.95 in Boots to Roadial’s Glamoxy Snake Serum 25ml selling for £127 in Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges!
The key it seems is perhaps in the mention of the ingredient ‘du jour’ in order to market a particular product with the amount and concentration of it varying significantly, and being kept under wraps, amongst the competing brands. Given the huge variety of cosmeceutical ingredients available to skincare manufacturers, with new ones popping up every few months, it’s easy for the public not to realise just which ingredients do what and at what percentages or levels they actually have an active effect on the skin, especially when credible clinical data is lacking. This is why professional skincare advice is a must but few actually seek it out and instead rely on supermarket and high street chemist shelves for the answers.
With economic austerity in full swing, we are all looking to maintain an anti-ageing regime but not at a detriment to our bank balances so perhaps some of the skincare producers are now buying into the ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ mentality when the latest buzz hits the media, rather than trying to compete with the exclusive, perhaps more potent brands available from the nice ladies in department store beauty counters or the professional strength, evidence based ranges available from medical aesthetic clinics.
There is a school of thought that all you need is a good moisturiser so what’s the harm in a £4.99 tub of cream from Aldi if it does just that and not much more, plus the supermarket gets to run off to the bank when they have sold millions more than the company peddling the £100+ creams. Everyone is happy, the consumer’s expectations were low because it was cheap so they aren’t disappointed and the retailer made a tidy profit by literally selling it by the bucket load!
Of course if you want a bespoke skincare regime for your skin type and age/sun related damage, nothing beats a proper consultation with someone who knows what they’re talking about and can help you buy the right products. You might spend a little more to begin with but you’ll also save on buying more gimmick creams which now line your bathroom shelves and never really lived up to what the glossy magazines all said.