Glycans: The wonder ingredient you"ve never heard of that could make you look years younger

Glycans: The wonder ingredient you've never heard of that could make you look years younger

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UPDATED:

20:28 GMT, 25 July 2012

L'Oreal claims to have discovered the secret to younger looking skin with their new range of Yves Saint Laurent Forever Youth Liberator creams.

They claim the range, including the best-selling Forever Youth Liberator Serum (40), can make 'skin feel tighter as if lifted and wrinkles appear reduced. The skin looks visibly younger.'

The magic ingredient is glycans which L'Oreal say can combat the visible signs of ageing.

Holding back the years: Yves Saint Laurent's Forever Youth Liberator cosmetics range contains glycans which they say can reverse the signs of ageing

Holding back the years: Yves Saint Laurent's Forever Youth Liberator cosmetics range contains glycans which they say can reverse the signs of ageing

But is it too good to be true Not according to plastic surgeon Dr Rozina Ali, who investigated L'Oreal's research in the BBC Horizon documentary, The Truth About Looking Young, which was broadcast this week.

She found the work being undertaken by cosmetics company L'Oreal into glycobiology was the most ground-breaking in establishing how to reverse the signs of ageing.

She said: 'Understanding the power of sugars is new branch of science – glycobiology. This science more than anything holds out the tantalising possibility of helping us look younger.'

She explained how glycobiology is the study of complex sugars in our tissues which scientists call glycans.

L'Oreal are using experts in the the field of glycobiology to see how adding glycans to their cosmetics can help people look younger.

As they famously state on their adverts, 'here comes the science bit' on how it works…

Glycans are macro molecules or poly saccharides, without them the cells in our bodies can't communicate with each other.

Quest for eternal youth: Plastic surgeon Dr Rozina Ali was impressed with the research into glycobiology which she investigated for 'Horizon: The Truth About Looking Younger'

Quest for eternal youth: Plastic surgeon Dr Rozina Ali was impressed with the research into glycobiology which she investigated for 'Horizon: The Truth About Looking Younger'

In our skin, glycans aid communication between the layers of skin the dermis and the epidermis in the dermal-epidermal junction. A message is sent via the glycans to produce collagen which makes the skin supple and smooth. However this communication can breakdown as we age as the glycans stop working as efficiently.

WHAT ARE GLYCANSGlycans are macromolecules, without them the cells in our bodies can't communicate with each other.
Glycans aid communication between the layers of skin (the dermis and the epidermis) in the dermal-epidermal junction.

As Dr Ali explains: 'Messages to keep making collagen don't
get sent so the collagen starts to deflate and skin wrinkles and sags.

'L'Oreal claim they can switch ageing glycans back on, restoring communication between dermis and epidermis.'

Experts at L'Oreal say that the complex of three glycans in their products will stimulate the glycans in skin when the cream is absorbed.

As a result, the communication to produce collagen will be restored, which will boost the elasticity of skin, pushing out wrinkles.

So if L'Oreal's theory is correct, we can all banish wrinkles using their creams.

A study L'Oreal have carried out has already proved their claims. Pictures of women before and after showed they looked visibly less wrinkled a month after using the products containing glycans.

Dr Ali said the results are exciting but more proof is needed as the study by L'Oreal only featured 60 women and hasn't appeared in a peer review journal.

Results: L'Oreal's study found wrinkles were less visible on women who used their creams

Results: L'Oreal's study found wrinkles were less visible on women who used their creams

She said: 'The woman in me is excited
but the surgeon in me is skeptical. That's because most cosmetic creams
don't penetrate deep enough or contain enough active ingredients. But
maybe glycans can reach the areas other cosmetic creams can't.'

HOW DOES L'OREAL'S CREAM WORKGlycans aid the communication between skin cells sending a message to produce collagen which makes the skin supple and smooth.As we age, glycans stop working as
efficiently so the message to produce collagen isn't sent.
'L'Oreal claim they can stimulate ageing glycans, restoring the communication. As a result more collagen will be made, which
will boost the elasticity of skin, pushing out wrinkles.

L'Oreal intend to prove glycans can indeed reach the areas other cosmetics cream can't by this week commissioning an independent UK-based clinical trial of the Yves Saint Laurent Forever Youth Liberator skincare range.

The company is confident that the trial, that will be published in a peer reviewed
journal, will provide significant evidence of the anti-ageing effectiveness
of their products.

Julie McManus, Scientific Director for L'Oral UK and Ireland said:

'L’Oral has devoted over 20 years’ research into understanding the role
of glycobiology in skin and the changes that occur with age. We have
succeeded in developing highly effective products based on glycobiology,
protecting the important role that glycans play in healthy skin.

'We are
totally committed to proving the scientific results of our skincare
products, which is why we are carrying out a UK-based clinical trial on
the Forever Youth Liberator range.'

Hope: Research of glycans suggests we can all look younger when applying them to our skin via a cream (posed by model)

Hope: Research of glycans suggests we can all look younger when applying them to our skin via a cream (posed by model)

Dr Ali backed the research when she concluded her Horizon documentary.

'I'm really hopeful that the new science of glycobiology will completely change the way we deal with skin ageing. Wrinkles may never become a thing of the past but it's nice to believe they may be pushed further into the future,' she said.

If you want to test the products for yourself, the YSL Forever Youth Liberator skincare range is already on sale at major
department stores, Boots beauty counters and online at www.yslbeauty.co.uk. The range includes serums, day creams and a cleansing foam wash with prices from 35-60.