Make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury says she has been mixing up her ‘Magic Cream’ and using it on clients backstage for 20 years! After she decided to share her magic cream with the world, the internet has been flooded with rave reviews about the creams age-defying ability. With so many anti-ageing creams on the shelves already, we take a look to see what sorcery this cream is capable of!

The Claims

The Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream promises to leave your skin glowing, hydrated and youthful. Alongside the magic cream, Charlotte Tilbury has provided instructions for massaging the cream into the skin for 5 minutes to help define facial contours and jawline. Charlotte Tilbury also claims that her formula contains a ‘little bit of top secret magic too’, but we are hoping this is just clever marketing otherwise it would be illegal.

The Science behind the Bottle

BioNymph Peptide Complex

This complex is a unique, patented anti-age ingredient that can supposedly ‘multi-task in the skin, fighting the ageing process on all fronts by stimulating collagen production, increasing cell energy and fighting free radicals’. It contains an extract from the flowering tobacco plant, Nicotiana Sylvestris, that doesn’t appear to have much research behind it and in terms of what else is in the complex, it is a bit of a guessing game! We’ve spotted a couple of peptides in the formula (Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7), which we think could be part of the peptide complex. Palmitoyl Oligopeptide and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 are signal peptides and they act on a growth factors to stimulate a process called fibrillogenesis. Fibrillogenesis is the development of the fibres in collagen and connective tissue, which helps to keep the skin looking plump and youthful. This all sounds great, but there is very little research showing that when these peptides are applied topically to the skin that they are able to have this effect. All in all, the Geeks were left underwhelmed to say the least…

Sodium Hyaluronate

Surely you’ve heard of legendary beauty ingredient hyaluronic acid? Well, sodium hyaluronate is the salt version of that, but they essentially do the same job. Hyaluronic acid can retain around 1000 times its own weight in water, leaving skin plump and youthful. It has also been shown to significantly improve skin elasticity and potentially reduce the depth of wrinkles too so we’re glad it has been included in this cream!

UV Filters

Most of the ingredients at the top of the ingredients list, meaning in the highest concentration, are UV filters. UV rays from the sun are the biggest cause of ageing (other than age itself!) and luckily this cream has a sun protection factor of 15, protecting you from 93% of UVB rays. The sunscreens in this cream include homosalate, ethylhexyl salicylate, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane and octocrylene. Together, these protect your skin from the harmful UVA and UVB rays which damage our skin and let you hold onto your youth!

Glycerin and Shea Butter

Hydrated skin is happy skin. Both glycerin and shea butter hold on to water in the skin so that it doesn’t evaporate and leave our skin dry and lifeless. With hydration, we can plump up the skin and minimise any fine lines to create a youthful appearance.

Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid, more commonly known as Vitamin C has been shown to increase the production of collagen, an important structural protein in our skin. It also works as a powerful antioxidant so protects the skin from damaging free radicals as a result of sun exposure or pollution. Not only that, but this wonder vitamin can also reduce the skin pigmentation we see as ‘sun spots’ as we age. But before we get too excited, Vitamin C needs to be found in concentrations of between 5 and 20% to have these effects on our skin and as there is less that one percent of ascorbic acid in Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream, it’s not looking good.

The Verdict  

Charlotte Tilbury has definitely included some science-savvy ingredients into her ‘Magic Cream’ – but we’ve seen most of these ingredients in cheaper products! Our main concern here is that, other than the UV filters, most ingredients appear very far down in the ingredients list meaning they are in pretty low concentrations. Most of them are even under ‘Phenoxyethanol’ which is only allowed to be included in cosmetics at maximum 1% – meaning a lot of these ingredients, including the BioNymph Peptide Complex, are present at only a fraction of a percent. With hundreds of other anti-ageing products out there, would we part with £70 for a pot of Magic Cream? Probably not.

Click here to get your hands on Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream.

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Water (Aqua), Homosalate , Glyceryl Stearate SE, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Octocrylene, Cetyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Steareth-21, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Carbomer, Dimethiconol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Hydrolyzed Viola Tricolor Extract, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Disodium Edta, Tocopheryl Acetate, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Michelia Alba Leaf Oil, Sodium Lactate, Coco-Glucoside, PEG-8, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Plumeria Rubra Flower Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Nicotiana Sylvestris Leaf Cell Culture, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, plus a little bit of top secret magic…