Beauty Innovation
Charlotte Tilbury exec: After peptides, we’ll see the rise of neurocosmetics
Jonathan Reynolds: ”There is a lot of research into the mind-skin connection, and we will see this being expanded into beauty.”
23 May 2024

Charlotte Tilbury is certainly leading the development in the recent beauty tech wave flooding over the industry. One of the launches, Pro Skin Analysis Tool, aims to answer the customer’s question of, ’What products are right for my skin?’.

— We needed to find an accessible way to decode skincare at that personal level to easily recommend to each customer the best products for them and their skin goals, says Corinne Suchy, Chief Growth and Technology Officer. We developed a fast, accurate and easy-to-use tool that is accessible from wherever you are, on your own device, to deliver a personalised skincare routine, in under 60 seconds. It leverages patented AI technology, trained on 70,000+ professionally graded images, that is 21x faster than a standard clinical machine. And it’s free for everyone.

— We then took our experience a step further to answer the next customer question of, ’How do I use the products?’ So you’ll also see the reasons why Charlotte is recommending each product for you, what each ingredient is proven to do, and how to optimise the application to enhance the efficacy of your skincare routine.

— Ultimately, the proof is in the science, and along with our partners — Perfect Corp and leading dermatology professor Dr Feldman — we can deliver an experience for our customers with results that have been verified by clinical research into the efficacy of this tool.

If we look at macro trends, how do you use AI in your daily operations?

— It has already proved to be much more than just a buzzword, Suchy continues, and we’ve incorporated it into important parts of our customer experience. Charlotte herself even references some of our tech tools which leverage AI as being better than her! It will continue to revolutionise the way in which we engage with our customers, in much the same way as mobile devices and social media have. 

Beauty customers have experienced a huge growth in popularity for using peptides in formulations. Jonathan Reynolds, Director of Scientific Development, predicts that the next big thing is ingredients deriving from plant stem cells.

— These have been on the market for about a decade now, but when they were first launched, consumers didn’t really understand them and how they worked on the skin. They’ve learnt a lot more about skincare science since then. They now understand that ingredients derived from plant stem cells ensure consistency between batches, can be highly efficacious at low doses, and don’t require large plots of lands to grow plants that will only be used in cosmetics, so they have huge sustainability benefits too.

— As examples, we use BioNymph Peptide, a plant stem cell extract made to produce extra proteins and carbohydrates, which have energising effects on our skin, leaving it feeling firmer, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles over time. We also use plant stem cell extracts from the Snow Louts, an alpine species growing in snowy mountain peaks throughout China, which improves the appearance of the skin tone, leaving a more radiant-looking complexion that is glowing with vitality. Magic Night Cream contains an extract from Winter Daphne plant stem cells, which helps to strengthen the skin barrier.

The brand just launched Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser, based on founder Charlotte Tilbury’s work backstage on runways and red carpets.

— I always need to start from a perfectly cleansed canvas — you can’t have a beautiful painting without a beautiful canvas! she states. However, so many cleansers were drying, stripping, and dulling the complexion. Chlorides, fluorides, and tap water can all have an astringent effect that leaves your skin feeling tight. A lot of cleansers also only focus on makeup removal, but I wanted to create a formula that’s also going to care for your skin, and prime it. So, the new cleanser does remove makeup and deeply cleanse and is also a multi-purpose product to use at the start of every skin routine. AM or PM, whether you’re doing your skincare before applying makeup, or you’ve just got in from a busy day and want to melt away impurities. The blend includes the types of ingredients typically found in creams and serums, such as hyaluronic acid, so that not only are you getting a cleanser, but also a hydrator and a skin-reviver, and a primer!

According to Jonathan Reynolds, the multi-purpose properties — a cleanser that effectively and gently removes all makeup as well as improving the skin quality — was a main challenge. To solve it, the brand looked at another industry — haircare.

— We did it to find ingredients that are designed to adhere to the hair and scalp even when rinsed off. This research led us to infusing the cleanser with Biomimetic Barrier Shield Technology. This tech contains plant-derived oils which help replenish the skin barrier, creating a protective shield to help prevent water loss and give skin a plumping effect hydration boost that continues post-cleanse, even after rinsing.

It seems like it caters to the modern consumer; multi-functional, focusing on key ingredients, science-backed, and results-driven, to use four buzzwords in one sentence.

— Absolutely! Tilbury states. You’re experiencing three transformative textures and getting three magic skin-priming benefits in just one step. The science of the blend is not just about having active ingredients, which so many brands are using, but about percentages and how you blend specific ingredients together. I work with my expert in-house skincare scientists and industry-disrupting, global skin innovation laboratories to create the most efficacious blend. The ingredients-infused work in synergy and are effectively delivered together. My formulas take years to perfect — we want to get the right blend every time, and of course, every single product is trialled, tested and clinically proven so we know that this ingredient blend works.

Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser.

You’ve touched upon it but what other macro trends do you predict?

— We expect a continued focus on ethical AI, sustainable tech solutions, and advancements in AR applications, says Corinne Suchy.

— One of the big trends that will come up is the rise of neurocosmetics — products that don’t just make you look good but make you feel good too, says Jonathan Reynolds. There is a lot of research into the mind-skin connection, and we will see this being expanded into beauty. This will include the evolution of aromatherapy, from essential oils with calming or uplifting effects to ingredients that quickly improve skin concerns and how these influence both physiological and psychological wellbeing. I can’t reveal anything just yet, but we’re all over this at Charlotte Tilbury!