Anti-ageing cream that tricks cells to regenerate itself

London: Scientists claim to be developing a new anti-ageing cream which can "trick" human skin cells into regenerating themselves.

A research team at global cosmetic giant L`Oreal says the new product, which can smooth out wrinkles and repair damaged skin, is likely to hit the markets this year.

In fact, the team has already developed artificial chemicals to mimic the behaviour of natural chemicals which penetrate the surface and stimulate the regeneration of skin cells.

These natural chemicals become less active with age, so it is hoped the cream would cause a manufactured stimulus to the skin to hopefully improve its condition and appearance as if the body was much younger.

The researchers are reported to have found improvements in skin`s elasticity, thickness and smoothness.

Bruno Bernard, research director at L`Oreal, said: "There is still much more to cell signalling and the ageing process, but all the cosmetics we had before were acting on the surface.

"Now we are able to create a rejuvenating effect on the deeper levels of the skin."

Similar technology in glycobiology -- the science of using naturally occurring sugars to improve health -- has led to the medical advances such as a vaccine against fatal infant flu. It can also be a key element in fight against cancer.

Peter Seeberger, a director at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, has been working with L`Oreal on the project, said: "The research has shown clear beneficial biochemical changes (to skin quality), both in the laboratory and in human studies."

He added: "I`m interested in health, not face paint, but I was very surprised to find out how much real scientific experimentation was going on in a cosmetics company."