Extensible fibrillin-rich microfibrils are the template for elastic fibres that endow dynamic tissues with elastic recoil. Researchers at the University of Manchester (UoM) showed that microfibrils are degraded in photoaged skin. We developed a rapid in vivo assay, ‘The Manchester Patch Test Assay’, which predicts the potential of anti-ageing products to restore microfibrils in photoaged skin. The assay was used to demonstrate the efficacy of a Boots Healthcare anti-ageing product and was showcased on the BBC’s Horizon in 2007. Impacts include: dramatically increased sales for Boots, investment and changes to the product development strategies of more than 10 international personal care companies, which have used our assay to support product claims.