Two weeks of rubbing stuff on my skin has nearly doubled its moisture content.
Now, I don't want to sound like an anti-ageing advertisement - you know, the kind that spouts, scientific-style, that a clinical trial showed 85 per cent of women noticed a 78.9 per cent improvement in their skin's elasticity, blah, blah, see tiny footnote that the test was the self-reported findings of 12 people.
My test was, I admit, an unashamed promotion by a product pusher. I'm good with that. It wasn't marketing masquerading as something more meaningful. When the two cross over, it can be a challenge to consumers, who should remind themselves they are being sold cosmetics, not cure alls.
What I, and some other beauty editors, was asked to do was to undergo a skin moisture level reading of our arms, apply a particular body lotion for 14 days, then retake the test.
My first reading revealed I was a wizened prune, with the lowest reading in the room. A couple of the other more mature editors also had initial readings that weren't that well hydrated, while the younger women generally did much better. It's not hard to deduce, then, that the lower levels of moisture may be age-related. Although, in my case, the result could have quite a lot to do with laziness.
I simply can't be bothered applying moisturiser all over, every day, at a time of year when the offending bits are covered with clothes. Further extrapolating, younger women may be more motivated to take care of themselves, possibly because they are more likely to get their gear off.
This supposition proves nothing, of course, but the moisturising test did show me a little effort wouldn't go astray.
I faithfully applied my lotion every day. Sometimes in the morning rush, I skipped the application, but I duly made up the dose in the evenings. After 14 days my test showed a nearly 50 per cent improvement. Another prune plumped up even more.
In the week since, I've avoided moisturising the spot and see I've slipped back to midway between the start and end point of the test.
The moral of the story for a marketer of anti-ageing creams is, head for the dehydrated test subjects. You'll return impressive results. But what does that really mean, given we never hear what their skin was like to start with?
The moral of the story for me is, that simple moisturising undoubtedly works.
Declaration of interest: there was a prize for completing the Aveeno moisture test. I didn't win. I was relieved. It involved a course of exercise that would probably have involved more skin exposure than I'm ready for but, come summer, I know now for sure it's worth making an effort.