Retail fever grips beauty stores as anti-ageing cream launched
The last time a special Boots anti-ageing cream hit the shelves it caused near riots with women stampeding to get their hands on the reputed 'elixir of youth'.
Back in 2007 the pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer had the women of Northern Ireland queueing round the block to get their hands on supplies of the wrinkle-busting No7 serum, with many buying in bulk despite the cost.
Now the new "reformulated" version looks set to do the same.
Boots claim the new No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serums are "clinically proven to be even more effective at reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles".
Available from today, one version is "for improving the first signs of ageing that usually starts to appear between 25 and 35 years old" and the second is an "intense" version for the 35+ market.
Two leading health and beauty experts – Apprentice winner Dr Leah Totton and Sugahfix editor Katrina Doran – are not convinced it should or will be a sell-out success.
Boots have said to demonstrate the effectiveness of the new products No7 scientists conducted a testing programme, involving more than 2,600 volunteers, 22 separate studies, including both consumer and clinical trials.
But it's not cheap. Just 30ml of the No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum costs £24 while the Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum is a pound dearer.
Apprentice winner Dr Totton, who runs a cosmetic procedures clinic in London, told the Belfast Telegraph she thinks anti-ageing products aimed at the 25 to 35-year-old age range is "slightly premature".
"I am 26 and don't use anti-ageing products," she said.
"It should be about maintenance and sun and UV protection, definitely in the 20s, until about 35.
"After that point you can look to try and reverse or tackle some of the signs of ageing."
Leah said women need to have a "holistic approach" incorporating diet, exercise and sleep, adding that her daily skin regime is "pretty basic" and "not expensive". "I cleanse when I wake up and put on vitamin C antioxidant and factor 50 SPF," she said.
"I go about my daily routine and then take it off in the evening.
"If my skin is oily or acneic I put on Sudocrem, and if it is dry I will put on a plain emollient the likes of E45.
"I try to get eight to 10 hours sleep and in the morning if my eyes look tired I will use an eye replenishing cream."
Sugahfix editor and beauty expert Katrina believes sunscreen, water and cutting back on sugar is the answer for good skin.
"I am not a fan of Protect & Perfect," she said.
"The previous serums are great if you have sun damage but if you don't it will do zip.
"I haven't heard anything on this one.
"I hope women have more sense this time around.
"The craze last time was pre-credit crunch so women are much more clued in and don't get carried away with beauty crazes the way they used to.
"Yes, the original serum worked, if you had sun damage, it's not a panacea for halting the ageing process."
Katrina has this advice: "Go crazy for a daily sunblock, cut back on sugar and drink more water, it will have more of an effect in the long term."
"This has been the most rigorous and complex product development phase that we have ever undertaken.
"These are the best anti-ageing results we've ever seen. Our best just got better."
– Skincare scientific adviser at Boots UK Dr Mike Bell