Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Cheap cosmetics best

A FACE cream selling for less than $12 a bottle has been voted the most effective anti-wrinkle cream by the British consumer group Which?. Another cream selling for under $10 in discount supermarket Aldi also came out tops in a separate UK consumer test, proving price is no indicator of effectiveness when it comes to the $5 billion-a-year cosmetics business.

The sister organisation to Australian Choice, Which? put 13 moisturisers and anti-wrinkle eye creams to the test over six weeks on consumers aged 35 to 65. High-definition photos were taken over the trial period and then analysed by an expert panel. The Simple Kind To Skin Rich moisturiser beat big names like Clinique, Avon, Clarins and Garnier. They concluded the budget moisturiser out-performed a Clinique eye cream costing 64 times more per 10ml.

It even outperformed the much-hyped Boots No. 7 Protect and Perfect eye cream, hailed as a miracle wrinkle eraser in media reports earlier this year after research, part-funded by Alliance Boots, was published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Which? also concluded that none of the eye creams came close to their claims to eliminate the appearance of wrinkles, but that the Simple product "worked just as well" as other moisturisers. Here in Australia, the Simple moisturiser sells for just $11.49 for 125ml at Big W and Priceline.

The other consumer-voted, face-saving budget buy is a generic supermarket brand sold by Aldi. When UK paper The Mirror enlisted 2000 volunteers to blind test anti-wrinkle creams, the product that came out on top surprised everyone because it was 95 per cent cheaper than all the others. Aldi's Lacura Q10 anti-wrinkle day cream, selling as Lacura Day Cream here in Australia for just $8.99, was voted the best. When the results were published, British consumers cleared Aldi's shelves of 35,000 jars in one day.

Choice put anti-ageing creams to the test back in 2007 and the cheaper Olay Regenerist performed as well as a Lancome product. It also outperformed the over-the-top expensive La Prairie product. The "supermarket moisturiser" now retails for $49.99 for 50ml.

Dr Stephen Shumack, of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, said: "There is no point in buying the expensive product because, really, it's just a nice jar to put in the bathroom." The only clinically proven product to reverse some photo ageing was Retin A, an acne preparation with high levels of vitamin A.


Canadian oldsters immune to swine flu

Halton’s medical officer of health suspects there has been an outbreak of pandemic H1N1 flu virus among staff at a long-term care home in Burlington. Dr. Bob Nosal said “over 10” staff at the home are confirmed to have Influenza A. However, he said it’s almost guaranteed further sub-typing tests will show the flu strain to be pandemic H1N1.

The reason for Nosal’s assessment is that one of the ill staff has an “epidemiological link” – a personal connection – with one of two adults in Halton with the first confirmed cases of the pandemic H1N1 flu virus in the region this fall.

While flu outbreaks are not uncommon in long term care homes, this one is unique in that it has so far hit only staff – not elderly residents. Nosal said that might be because of the residents’ residual immunity to H1N1, or swine flu. “People born before 1957 are thought to have been exposed to the swine flu virus or a strain of it,” said Nosal.

Staff at the long term care home, which the Region is not identifying, have suffered the usual flu symptoms of fever, cough and sore throats, said Nosal. Some staff had them in early September and have presumably returned to work, he added.

There have been no hospitalizations due to the virus this fall. The Region is also reporting there has not been any increased absenteeism reported in Halton schools.


No comments: