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At the beginning of 2010, I highlighted some cutting edge antiaging ingredients to look out for. Now at the start of 2011, I have found a new weapon in the war on wrinkles, elk antler velvet. Or at least that’s what Immunocologie would have you believe before forking out $225 on its Treatment Crème.
Immunocologie likes to abbreviate elk antler velvet to EAV, perhaps believing that the acronym seems more scientific. Anyhow, this is what it has to say about it: “EAV is soft, vascular skin that covers and nourishes antlers until they're done growing; it then falls off, which is when this remarkable membrane is collected for use in this equally remarkable moisturizer.”
Naturally, my first reaction was to hoot with laughter. But I thought I should at least look into an ingredient that gives evening application of an anti-wrinkle cream a whole new meaning to “stag night”.
The insatiably curious might be tickled to know that the male elk can produce 10 and 11 kilograms (22 and 24 lb) of antler velvet annually. Fancy that. What’s more there is a whole mini industry around antler velvet. It is dried and made into a powder that is primarily sold in supplement form with wild claims that it will cure everything from impotency to arthritis, as well as being able to extend life expectancy and athletic performance.
Although, supplement peddlers and elk farmers frequently cite “hundreds” of scientific papers supporting the wonders of elk antler velvet, it is hard to trace any of them. I did eventually turn up a 1997 study that established that elk antler velvet contains amino acids. Another study seems - if you think about it for long enough – surreal: policemen in Edmonton were given antler velvet supplements and tested for heightened testosterone levels.
But what really had me laughing out loud is one of the more bizarre celebrity endorsements I have recently come across. Ricky Gervais, star of the British version of The Office, is supposed to be a fan of Immunocology Treatment Creme. This podgy comedian is not exactly known for his fabulous complexion, or even attention to grooming (he's a British male, after all). Surely, Immunocology could do better. How about Ellen Degeneres, who was once rumored to be introducing elk to her horse ranch.
To be fair to Immunocologie, the overall formulation doesn't look that bad:
Treatment Crème Ingredients:
Structured Water, Urucum Oil, Murumuru Butter, Mango Butter, Phosolipids, Emblica, Hyluronic Acid, Tripleuerospermum Marititum Ext, Marine Phytoplankton, Elk Antler Velvet, Mangosteen, Omega 3, Polysorbate, EDTA, Lactic Acid, Morus Bambycis, Root Ext, Licorice Root Ext, Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi Leaf Ext, Resveratrol, Mitracarpe, Mulburry Ext, Scutellaria, Glucosamine, Aragan Oil, Acetyl Hexapeptide, Pullulan, Acacia Seed Oil Ext.