Not a day goes by without the launch of a new must-have cream or groundbreaking anti-aging treatment, which makes keeping up with the $532 billion global beauty industry nearly impossible… But when a serum comes along that has the likes of Kate Moss, Salma Hayek, and Amber Valletta excited, and that generates a waitlist of over 8,000 people during a global lockdown, you know this is one launch that you definitely do not want to miss.
Created by the ‘Queen of the Glow’ Charlotte Tilbury, her new (and first-ever) serum – ‘Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir’ – is clinically proven to boost hydration by a whopping 172 percent in just one hour and reduce the appearance of wrinkles by 34 percent, while visibly firming the appearance of the skin by 49 percent in eight weeks. Tilbury claims this is all thanks to “a matrix of incredible ingredients”, including groundbreaking peptides, vitamin C, and hydration powerhouse polyglutamic acid.
Not forgetting its magic ‘crystal complex’, of course, which includes moonstone, ruby, crystal quartz, and rose quartz. Having grown up in bohemian Ibiza, Tilbury has always been a believer of crystals’ beauty powers, which is why this serum is packed full of them. “My approach to skincare has always been holistic and scientific – the power of beauty comes from the magic within! Crystals are all about radiating positive energy, so I surround myself with them to amplify their infectious, mood-reviving power. Crystals are like natural beauty filters, and they are proven to help balance the skin”, she explains.
But is this skincare magic or just a bunch of hocus pocus? To find out, Savoir Flair spoke exclusively to Charlotte Tilbury’s Head of Regulatory & Scientific Development Jonathan Reynolds, and asked him everything you need to know about this new super serum. Here’s what he had to say.
As a leading scientific developer and ingredients expert, you try new products all the time. What gets you so excited about the new serum?
The blend of ingredients in ‘Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir’ is absolutely amazing! You are able to add more potent ingredients into a serum than a cream, and the new elixir has 20 percent active ingredients!
We all turn to hyaluronic acid for hydration, but this serum is packed with polyglutamic acid. Why is this such a key ingredient?
Polyglutamic acid (PGA) bears many similarities to hyaluronic acid (HA). For example, it’s naturally occurring in our bodies, it comes in different molecular weights, and it can carry a large quantity of water to different layers of the skin. It’s actually a water-soluble peptide composed of a chain of the amino acid glutamic acid, which is obtained from fermented soybeans.
PGA helps seal moisture in your skin and enhances elasticity. Part of the aging process involves the loss of HA in the skin, which is broken down by an enzyme called hyaluronidase. Products such as ‘Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir’, which contain PGA help to inhibit the action of hyaluronidase, result in more HA in the skin, giving an overall moisturized, rejuvenated, and hydrated appearance!
PGA can retain four times more moisture than HA due to its larger molecular size. Not only does it draw water into the cells, but it also forms a protective film on your skin that prevents water from evaporating. The two ingredients need not be seen as competitors. In fact, when used together, they could actually end up being the ultimate recipe for hydrated skin, and this serum contains both!
Speaking of ingredients, what else is in the formula that makes the serum so special?
My favorite ingredient in the serum is a peptide blend called Replexium that Charlotte first introduced in her ‘Airbrush Flawless Foundation’. It’s a peptide powerhouse that really works to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps the skin look and feel firmer.
There’s five percent niacinamide (vitamin B3) to improve the skin’s barrier function and potent adaptogenic plant extracts (First Light Snow lotus, resurrection leaf, and Schisandra) that contain all the antioxidants needed to improve the appearance of texture and tone. Not forgetting a holistic blend of crystals, which actually contain trace elements your skin requires.
There’s also an active mineral complex of magnesium, zinc, and copper to boost oxygen and moisture levels in the skin, and ‘Golden Vitamin C’ – a new version of pure vitamin C conjugated to gold sub microparticles that improves its efficacy and guarantees 100 percent absorption. This means that you can use a lower level of vitamin C to help even out skin tone while reducing the risk of irritation it can cause.
You worked closely with Charlotte creating this serum. What was the most important piece of advice you shared with her?
The key things Charlotte wanted to focus on during the development of this product was that she wanted it to have powerful ingredients to visibly improve the skin, but also keep the formula gentle so it would be suitable for everyone. Finding that balance was extremely important to Charlotte, and that was our main focus.
What’s the biggest misconception about serums, and how should we be incorporating them into our skincare routines?
One of the biggest misconceptions about serums is that you should only use a serum when you’re 30+. It is much easier to maintain healthy and young-looking skin than trying to reverse the signs of aging and skin damage! A good multi-purpose serum, like ‘Charlotte’s Magic Serum Crystal Elixir’, offers benefits for all skin types and age groups, from anti-aging, hydration, skin brightening, improving the appearance of skin texture, firmness, and pores, to keeping the skin in good condition.
What’s the best way to apply the serum to get maximum beauty benefits?
Apply it immediately after cleansing your skin, preferably by double cleansing with Charlotte’s Goddess Cleansing Ritual, as this will improve the absorption of the serum into your skin. Charlotte worked with globally renowned aesthetician Georgia Louise Vassanelli to create a unique facial massage application of the serum. Begin your facial massage by taking 4-6 drops of the product, then press it into the skin. First massage along the facial contours upwards and outwards, then, inspired by Swedish massage, use a ‘shimmering wave’ motion to introduce the product to the skin. Finish with a tapping ‘crystal raindrop’ motion over the face to boost microcirculation.
Charlotte Tilbury ‘Magic Serum Crystal Elixir’
Is there a limit to how many products we should use, or is it “the more the merrier” when it comes to oils, serums, and creams?
This really varies from person to person, as everyone’s skin is different and will tolerate the number of products used in a single skincare regime differently. If you are trying new products you have never used before, slowly phase them into your routine so as to not overwhelm your skin with ingredients it might never have come into contact with before. Try adding a new product every two weeks, in order to give the skin time to get accustomed to the new products. If you feel any itching, irritation, or an increase in sensitivity after trying a new product, stop using it immediately, or else you could damage your skin.
What’s your ultimate top tip for achieving healthy, radiant, younger-looking skin?
Avoid being in the sun as much as possible, and always wear sunscreen. The sun is the most damaging thing to our skin, and the damage it causes is accumulative. It doesn’t matter what season it is; if it’s cloudy, if you have a darker skin tone, or if your skin doesn’t seem to burn — UV rays can still cause damage!
Complete the sentence: To me, beautiful skin is… Confidence from within. When you glow, the world glows with you!