The cosmetics industry is coming up with anti-ageing products on a regular basis, aiming to fulfill our desire to look younger. If you are one of those optimists, who jump on the bandwagon every time a cosmetic company comes up with a great selling line, you have probably realised by now that most creams don’t really do much.

In fact, many cosmetics manufacturers will claim that their product reduces wrinkles, improves skin tone, etc, but when you look for hard evidence it turns out that only 50-60% of the people saw moderate results in clinical trials if they done trials at all.

For most of us, the improvement is so little it’s barely noticeable or simply plain nothing. Even if you do get lucky and see some improvement, it disappears in a few days. “Maybe something is wrong with my skin”, you wonder. Well, probably not, but the industry is counting on the fact you might think so and keep trying yet another product in the hope one of them will work for you.

But how do you know which one really works? It seems they are all claiming instant and/or long lasting results, but when you buy it you hardly notice any change. Well, the secret lies in the active ingredients.

Most well-known brands will use little, if any, of the new scientifically proven anti-ageing ingredients. Why, because the active ingredients that really work, can cost a couple of thousands per kg. Most big cosmetics brands can get away with selling their existing products so why change? And even if they do put those modern scientifically proven actives on their ingredients list, the concentration is well below the recommended dosage so the product won’t work, but the brand name sells it anyway.

So how do we know which products are really good?

Well, there are two things to look for: active ingredients and their position in the whole ingredients list. Now don’t get me wrong; not all actives work on “the more, the better” principle. The manufacturers of active ingredients usually conduct clinical trials to determine the minimum or optimal concentration necessary to achieve the desired results.

Obviously, very few cosmetic manufacturers will tell you the concentration of active ingredients in their products, so all you can do is take a good guess: if the ingredient is towards the beginning of the list, there’s a lot of it in the product. If you find this active towards the end of the list, its concentration will be minimal.

We’ve all heard about Hyaluronic Acid, Argireline, Copper Peptides and so on, but let’s have a look at the new kids on the actives’ block:

PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica

This active ingredient won the prize in European Innovation “Best Active Ingredient” in 2008. It is a revolutionary technology designed to protect human skin stem cells with the help of stem cells from a rare Swiss apple. The clinical trials conducted by the company who discovered this ingredient showed that 100% of the participants saw a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles after using a solution containing 2% PhytoCellTech Malus Domestica.

Epidermal growth factor (EGF)

This is a growth factor that plays an important role in the regulation of cell growth. EGF is the natural protein that signals skin (epidermal) cells to grow. Because it is only the signal, very small amounts of EGF are needed to stimulate cells to grow. Discovering the EGF had won Stanley Cohen a Nobel Prize in 1986, but it was Greg Brown who patented it for cosmetic use in 1989.


Is a new ingredient to watch out for. It is a combination of active peptides and proteins that can fight the processes that affect the quantity and quality of collagen as we age. It can selectively boosts the synthesis of Collagen I, III and IV, protects collagen from degradation. It also helps to maintain our collagen quantity and quality which has a significant anti-wrinkle effect.

In the coming months you will see a myriad of cosmetic products containing one or two of the above ingredients, but one that already contains three of them is a serum called MirApple. The combination of ingredients found in this serum gives the discerning buyer an effective skin rejuvenating treatment at a reasonable price. See more at skincare or go to the manufacturer’s site Swiss Apple Stem Cell.

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