DJs get requests for certain songs. Designers get requests to evoke certain feelings.
Me, I get requests to review skin care products. Recently, I’ve received a lot of requests to review Charlotte Tilbury ‘Charlotte’s Magic Cream’ Treat and Transform Moisturizer.
Like many moisturizers, this moisturizer promises to “lift” and “transform” tired, aging skin. As with nearly all moisturizers on the market, it has a famous name (and celebrity endorsements), patented anti-aging ingredients, and a “catch,” which in this case is the method with which it is applied to the skin.
I’m not too impressed. Here is why:
Ingredients are Not Novel
If I’m spending $100 or more, I want ingredients you can’t find anywhere else.
Charlotte Tilbury ‘Charlotte’s Magic Cream’ Treat and Transform Moisturizer has hyaluronic acid, floral extracts, and two peptides plus other ingredients that somehow are patented to be a “BioNymph Peptide Complex.”
A lot of moisturizers contain hyaluronic acid and floral extracts without a $100 price tag. Furthermore, the two peptides — palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 — are effective but common:
- Palmitoyl oligopeptide significantly stimulates collagen production in human fibroblasts, as shown in a 2007 study in Dermatologic Therapy. When used twice daily for a significant period of time – about six months – this means firmer skin, provided that other factors remain the same (i.e., weight, sun exposure, etc.).
- Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 reduces inflammatory cytokines, known as interleukins (Clinics in Dermatology, 1999). By reducing inflammation, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 may reduce the cumulative amount of damage that occurs following exposure to UV light, pollution, internal stress, and other stressors. Cells exposed to UV radiation and then treated with Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 saw an 86% reduction of interleukin production in the aforementioned study.
By combining the peptides with other extracts, you can technically create a “complex” that is unique and patentable, such as the Charlotte Tilbury “BioNymph Peptide Complex”. You see the creation of a lot of “complexes” nowadays with Peter Thomas Roth products. The results aren’t be all that different from the individual active ingredients applied to the skin.
It’s not that you won’t get effects from Charlotte Tilbury ‘Charlotte’s Magic Cream’ Treat and Transform Moisturizer. You might. It’s just that there are no truly unique or novel ingredients (in my opinion).
Strong Ingredients are Not in High Concentration
My additional argument with this cream is that the effective ingredients are not used in concentrations that have been documented to work. It is well-established that the following concentrations of ingredients work in skin care:
- Vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid at 15% or higher (Dermatologic Surgery, 2001)
- Vitamin E as tocopherol at 1% or higher, when used with vitamin C (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 1998)
Retinyl palmitate typically needs to be in concentrations of at least 3% in order to be effective as well. As a combination of pure retinol and palmitic acid, retinyl palmitate must be broken down in the skin to retinaldehyde and then all-trans retinoic acid within the skin in order to be effective. It needs to be present in the skin in quite high concentrations.
You just don’t get those concentrations from Charlotte Tilbury ‘Charlotte’s Magic Cream’ Treat and Transform Moisturizer. You could argue that you have sensitive skin, or that you use this ‘magic’ moisturizer after a concentrated serum. But for $100, I would’ve hoped for at least one active ingredient that appears to be in concentrations that are well-supported by peer-reviewed scientific research.
Bottom Line: A Better Moisturizer-Primer Duo Than Anything Else
If I’m spending $100 or more, I want ingredients you can’t find anywhere else. I want for my the ingredients to be optimal or high concentrations. Heck, I even want a specialized delivery system to help effective ingredients penetrate the skin. This one only has butylene glycol to help thin the solution so effective ingredients can get through the skin.
Granted, Charlotte Tilbury ‘Charlotte’s Magic Cream’ Treat and Transform Moisturizer has its merits. It feels lovely on the skin, smooth and silky and light. If you’re insistent on using a primer, this is far better for your skin than a lot of the primers out there. So I would recommend it instead of a primer, but definitely not in place of a concentrated moisturizer.
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.
Ingredients are subject to change at the manufacturer’s discretion. For the most complete and up-to-date list of ingredients, refer to the product packaging.