Miracle cream or quackery?

A new miracle wrinkle-busting facelift cream sells out rapidly. But how can you really tell if it's any good?

 

A couple of breathless articles about this stunning new product have just appeared:

But how can you judge the accuracy of this coverage? After all, it's not unknown for anti-wrinkle products to make claims that are... uh... somewhat exaggerated. How do we know that this cream is the real deal?

By tracing the sources to the original research, of course!

Both the articles above mention independent lab tests which showed: it could "reduce saggy skin by up to 78 per cent" if used for 28 days. Unfortunately, neither article felt the need to actually link to the data (sigh). But hey, that's what unsourced.org is for.

A little research indicated the independent tests were conducted by AMA Laboratories. You can download the full report (it's a pdf). So, read the report, and decide for yourself.

It's a little outside my field, so obviously I wouldn't want to offer any opinion one way or the other [1].

 

Shapes of things

 

Footnotes:

[1] Well.... Okay. Since you ask. There are just one or two tiny little things that cause me a little concern:

  • Both articles read very similarly. It's almost as if they were both written from the same press release...
  • From the AMA Labs website:
    AMA delivers a unique blend of scientific research and marketing.  Our staff can take your product from its raw and unfinished bulk form through regulatory compliance and even deliver a fully customized marketing package.
    To me, that doesn't sound massively independent... (perhaps some other laboratoire might have been more appropriate?)
  • The naming of AMA Labs seems to falsely imply some connection with the AMA (American Medical Association).
  • The cream uses "Stem Cells". Great! Stem cells are widely acknowleged to hold great promise for a wide variety of treatments. Oh... hang on... it's "Plant Stem Cells". Does that mean stem cells from plants, or cells from plant stems? Assuming the former, wikipedia seems to suggest that such cells show promise for the production processes to obtain useful compounds, rather than being directly beneficial for human use.
  • The product makes a very bold claim. Such claims require bold proof. That doesn't appear to have been provided.

My verdict? Less harmful than, say, radium suppositories but certainly the general theme is similar.