London - Jan Shure, 60, is always keen to look her best. She has a busy life, runs a thriving internet business and over the years she has tried dozens of so-called miracle products that promise to turn back the clock. But none has ever delivered.
“I’ve lost count of the different creams I’ve tried,” she says.
“They all get launched with a big fanfare and lots of hype about whatever fantastic ingredient they contain, but none of them have got rid of my wrinkles or my crow’s feet.
“I’ve spent hundreds of pounds over the years but I don’t think anything’s made a big difference.”
She admits that in the past she has had bits of cosmetic work done - the odd touch of Botox and fillers - to hold back the signs of ageing, but it’s not something she can afford to do often.
“The fillers definitely made my face look smoother and fresher,” she says. “But they cost £300 a pop - and I have other priorities.”
Now a new product is being hailed as a saviour for women like Jan. Made by mid-range beauty brand Avon - as in “Avon calling” - Anew Clinical Pro Line Corrector Treatment has wowed industry experts with its performance in clinical trials.
Avon’s research says the cream reduces fine lines and deep wrinkles in just seven days - apparently 100 percent of woman saw a reduction in their wrinkles over 11 weeks.
What’s more, after using it, half of the testers who had been considering a cosmetic procedure decided to postpone it. But Avon would say that, wouldn’t it?
The serum contains something called A-F33 - dubbed the miracle molecule - which works by allowing new collagen to be formed in the skin, something that better known anti-ageing ingredients like retinol (which increases the speed at which the skin cells are replenished) and glycolic acid (which exfoliates and moisturises the skin) cannot do.
Celebrities including Claudia Winkleman, Lisa Snowdon and Tamzin Outhwaite have already sung the praises of this new potion.
Actress Anna Friel says: “As soon as I put on the serum, I noticed an immediate difference to my skin, which appeared smoother with a fabulous glow to it.”
In fact, the excitement surrounding the product saw 62,000 customers pre-ordering the £20 (about R278) treatment before it even went on sale last month - and now it’s selling at a rate of ten bottles a minute.
But can it really work? Or is it just an over-hyped ‘miracle’ product that fails to deliver?
We asked Jan to try the product for four weeks. Before starting using the Anew serum, she had her skin analysed with a high-tech machine at cosmetic doctor Rita Rakus’s London practice, to determine and scientifically calculate the extent of wrinkling, and the texture of Jan’s skin.
Four weeks later, she returned to the clinic to have comparisons done after using the cream twice a day.
Jan was sceptical: “I was intrigued to hear that the product had made some women who had been contemplating cosmetic procedures change their minds -but I didn’t think any cream could tackle marionette lines [the deep lines that can form between the nose and corners of the mouth] and a slightly sagging jawline, which are as much of a concern as wrinkles to women of my age.
“Still, it was a really nice serum to put on. It is very light, unscented, and is easily absorbed by the skin.”
After the first week, Jan hadn’t noticed any dramatic improvements - her skin looked a little smoother than before, but nothing more.
But after four weeks, the differences were discernible: “My skin looks more even-toned, fresher, smoother and felt less dry,” she says.
When we sent Jan back to Dr Rakus’s clinic for her “after” images, the results were startling. The improvements are not necessarily the type of changes you can notice with the naked eye when you see yourself in the mirror every day, but detailed analysis and comparisons by the machine can pick up the signs of rejuvenation - as they did in Jan’s case.
The texture of Jan’s skin (its smoothness and consistency) had markedly improved, and the amount of wrinkles and fine lines on her face had decreased noticeably. Dr Rakus says she was “impressed to see such a visible difference so quickly from a beauty cream”.
Jan’s lines, particularly around her right eye, had improved enormously.
Initially, to Jan’s pleasant surprise, they measured at 12 percent better than other 60-year-old women, but after a week her score was 42 percent better than other women her age.
There was an even bigger improvement in her scores for the texture of her skin.
Jan said she was “completely astonished” by the results. Cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting - herself not easily impressed - has gone on record to declare this “potentially one of the most exciting breakthroughs I’ve seen in recent years”.
The facts of skin renewal are that it takes a month for the skin to regenerate - and it appears that not only has Jan’s skin become softer and smoother as its outer layers have become better moisturised, but the skin has begun replumping itself from within.
The changes that the serum will make to the skin - encouraging it to lay down new collagen and refine the skin’s surface texture - mean Jan’s skin should continue to improve. The women who took part in the clinical trials used the product for 11 weeks.
“I will definitely keep using it,” says Jan. “I was somewhat sceptical that a product of this price could produce the results it claimed, but the scan doesn’t lie.
“I’ve been very fickle about skincare products and, after a while, always move on to the next big thing - but I think I will stick with this one.”
On launch day, the Anew Clinical Pro Line Corrector Treatment sold out in six hours. - Daily Mail