If there's a holy grail of the beauty industry, its a product that has the ability to banish wrinkles.

London - If there’s a holy grail of the beauty industry, it’s a product that has the ability to banish wrinkles.

Millions are spent developing lotions and potions that help keep skin looking young.

But now scientists believe they have stumbled on an enzyme in the body that could hold the key. During experiments to establish Granzyme-B’s role in heart attacks, they discovered it also had an influence on the skin.

In a 20-week tanning experiment, they found that mice which lacked the enzyme had aged significantly less than those who had it. The researchers found that they also had noticeably smoother skin and their collagen was more intact.

It raises hopes for creams and treatments that could defy aging.

Lead researcher David Granville of the University of British Columbia said: “This is one of those moments that we live for in science. We were interested in the effects of aging on blood vessels; we had no idea the absence of this enzyme would have any effect on their skin.”

He added his team was developing drugs that can block Granzyme B – and hoped to make them commercially available soon.

In the experiment, the mice were exposed to UV light three times a week for three to four minutes each session, which was enough to make them red but not to burn.

By week 20, it was clear the mice who had been engineered to lack Granzyme B had pristine skin – but the control group had wrinkles.

Professor Granville said: “About 80 to 90 percent of visible skin aging is caused by sunlight. We found that by knocking out Granzyme B we could markedly protect against the loss of collagen and it prevented wrinkling in these mice.”

Granzyme B appears to work by interfering with the the integrity of collagen and dismantling the “cellular scaffolding” that binds its cells together. This results in structural weakness which we see on the surface as wrinkles. - Daily Mail