No7 Protect and Perfect: The Secret to Skin Perfection?


Recent clinical studies of No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Beauty Serum, a newly launched over-the-counter cosmetic product, revealed some impressive data about its ability to treat wrinkles and sun damaged skin.

Today, most people feel their only hope of noticeably improving wrinkles and sun damage is through prescription skin care products like Retin-A and Tazorac, or with cosmetic enhancement treatments. Trial and error has taught many skin care consumers that there is much to be desired in the current pool of drugstore skin care products. Does No7 Protect and Perfect succeed where most cosmetic products have failed? Can it produce results that rival today's most popular professional skin care treatments?

What is No7 Protect and Perfect?

No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Beauty Serum is the newest anti-aging product to be launched in the UK by Boots, one of the most well-known European cosmetics manufacturers. No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Beauty Serum is a revamped version of Boots' 2007 international bestseller, the original No7 Protect and Perfect Beauty Serum (labeled as Refine & Rewind in the U.S.).

The new "Intense" serum has the same active ingredients as the original, including retinol palmitate and white lupin extract, and it's bolstered by newly added extras like antioxidants and peptides. No7 Intense Beauty Serum is a topical anti-aging solution that can be applied once or twice a day to clean skin, and then followed up with patients' standard moisturizer and makeup (optional). Product reviews further comment that the serum is very smooth, is quickly absorbed by skin, and that it won't leave a sticky, tacky finish.

Before launching No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Beauty Serum, Boots wanted to test its range of effectiveness. Dermatologists at Manchester University conducted a year-long study and series of clinical trials of the product, revealing that No7 Protect and Perfect significantly reduced wrinkles for 70% of test patients who used the product daily. The study also was testing whether the Intense Beauty Serum definitely promoted the production of fibrillin-1, a naturally occurring protein that boosts skin elasticity. In the study, test patients were given either the serum or a placebo product in identical packages, and then the results were compared at the end of the trial period. The difference made with the No7 serum was hard to ignore.

No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Beauty Serum is one of the first commercial cosmetic products to have scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness against wrinkles and photo-aging damage. The Manchester University clinical trials and results were even published in the British Journal of Dermatology, as a further testament to the product's efficacy and scientific backing.

While it might be a while before No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Beauty Serum makes it to larger U.S. retailers, the original No7 Beauty Serum (under the name Refine & Rewind) is widely sold by the likes of Target and CVS, as is a slew of other popular No7 skin care products.

Other Anti-Aging Skin Care Options?

No7 Protect and Perfect has achieved a rare accomplishment—it's an over-the-counter cosmetic product with proven results, and it's giving competition to prescription retinoids and/or professional skin treatments. Earlier in the article, we mentioned a couple of the prescription skin care products that are currently leading the pack. However, when it comes to professional cosmetic enhancement procedures, the options are quite varied, and sometimes even more effective than prescription and drugstore products combined.

In recent years, technological advancements and breakthroughs in the cosmetic industry have created many highly effective remedies to correct the signs of aging, such as wrinkles, rosacea, age spots, acne scars, sun damage and loose, sagging skin. Some of the more popular anti-aging cosmetic treatments include:

Which Treatment Do I Choose?

If you're working on a very tight budget, it's hard to argue against giving store-bought products like No7 Protect and Perfect a chance. Products like No7 should be especially helpful for younger patients who are seeing signs of premature wrinkles and photo damage, and want to protect their skin from aging too quickly. For older patients with more severe wrinkles and looser skin, No7 may help, but it likely won't be able to reverse the appearance of these advanced skin problems. That's when professional cosmetic enhancement may be the best bet.

Laser treatments like IPL Photofacial and laser resurfacing techniques penetrate below the surface layer of skin and treat the deeper tissue layers, where weakened connective tissues and diminished collagen levels are at the root of the problem. These light-based treatments are also recommended for removing superficial spots and scars on the skin's surface.

There is also a plethora of dermal fillers that can rejuvenate the look of aging skin, by removing fine lines and wrinkles, tightening loose skin around the forehead, cheeks and jawline, and by adding volume to thinning lips and skin. Dermal fillers can provide relief from wrinkles and thinning skin for 6-12 months at a time, depending on the type of filler you choose.

No7 says it creates an "immediate difference" in patients' skin, but don't count on it taking years off your complexion overnight. If you want truly "immediate" results, you're better off going with a cosmetic skin rejuvenation procedure, be it Microdermabrasion, laser skin treatments, or dermal injectables like BOTOX® Cosmetic. They are more costly per treatment than a bottle of No7 Intense Beauty Serum, but they also work more quickly and last a long time. With No7, patients are recommended to use the product daily, sometimes for as long as a year, before they start really noticing the results they want. IPL Photofacial and Botox patients often say they notice a difference within hours of receiving treatment.

By speaking with your dermatologist and meeting with a professional skin care provider in your area, you can get a better idea about your skin's anti-aging needs, and what treatment will work best for you. Not only can a skin care professional tell you more about a certain procedure's pros and cons, they can help you determine whether or not it will work best with your skin type and condition.

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