Cosmetic Tests

Reporter: Jackie Quist

Its the latest beauty buzz word -- co-enzyme Q10, hailed the new number 1 Agent Provocateur in wrinkle eradication -- Nivea's Q10 range is a winner, including day cream and eye cream.

Budget priced Derma the same -- its products are instant best sellers and was so popular, the launch saw queues out supermarket doors here and in the UK.

Consumers are desperate to snap up the cream containing the powerful invisible enzyme capable of rejuvenating damaged skin cells. "Coenzyme Q10 is basically an anti oxidant -- its arguably quite effective but its not proven", said Dermatologist, Greg Goodman.

According to Greg there's a catch. "Certainly you've got to have the right concentration -- it can't be a very low concentration preparation", he said.

With no mention on the products as to how much Q10 you're actually buying, we commissioned Nxgen Pharmaceuticals to reveal how much of the magic enzyme is in both Nivea Visage Q10 Plus and Derma Intensive Plus.

The lab follows International Standards Organisation guidelines and has National Australian Testing Authority accreditation. "I think it's very important that when its listed on the label, it contains an effective amount", said Nxgen Scientific Director, James Rowe.

James found, "They lacked any significant amount of co-enzyme Q10".

Tiny percentages: 06% in the Nivea creams and 008% and .005% in the Derma lotions. Derma manufacturers disputed those findings arguing there's .05% Q10 in the eye cream and .01% in the day cream. "Generally around about .5% co-enzyme Q10 is necessary to have any significant effect", James said.

"As women age they become vulnerable and they'll do anything to turn back the hands of time", said online beauty guru Gaynor Alder of the Modern Woman's Survival Guide.

Gaynor tries, tests and blogs all the latest beauty developments. "If that's the key ingredient then I would want to see a lot higher percentage of that key ingredient in the product", she added.

The Derma manufacturers argue their product is produced according to high international standards and in accordance with stringent European guidelines. The levels of Q10 are set low because the powerful ingredient only requires low levels to be effective. Derma's product contains many different ingredients to achieve the desired performance.

"I think there's a fair amount of women who think that the claims on skin care creams aren't true, as they've tried so many of them and found they haven't worked", said make-up artist Georgia Marshall.

"There are a lot of creams on the market directed at anti ageing. It's very hard for customers to find a product that suits their needs", she added.

The makers of Nivea Visage insisting they're not at liberty to reveal the percentage of Q10 in their products, but reassuring us the products have been specifically developed after years of research and their studies show Nivea Q10 formulations do deliver the beneficial effects of Q10 through the skin.

"You should be using in the morning, I think certainly a sunscreen, and at night-time a fruit acid or a vitamin A preparation. They are the only things in my mind that actually make scientific sense", said Greg.

"You just want to make sure you're not buying into the hype, but like I said, there are some fabulous products out there that can make a real difference", Gaynor said.

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Georgia Marshall: