In 2021, Retail Beauty reported on the relaunch of Boots No7  skincare range at its exclusive Australian retailer, Priceline Pharmacy.

To say the relaunch has been successful is an understatement – the brand has achieved cult status Down Under with one product purchased every minute.

Retail Beauty sat down for an exclusive interview with Dr Mike Bell, No7’s Head of Science Research, to find out more.

What sets No7 apart from other skincare brands in the market today?

No7 has been developing skincare products since 1935 responding to the needs of Boots’ customers for nearly 90 years! Our in-store and virtual beauty advisors support in providing us with unparalleled insights on the skin needs of our customers as well as the effectiveness of the products we provide them. When we combine this with our strong history in skin science research, publishing over 75 scientific papers over the last 15 years, with world-leading universities and dermatology departments, it allows us to translate science and technology into consumer-facing education, innovative products and services in a way that other brands can’t.

How does the brand ensure the effectiveness and safety of its products?

We test the effectiveness of our ingredients and products in many different ways – firstly in the lab testing how well ingredients perform on skin cells and are tolerated by them. Promising ingredients are then progressed to the clinic with long-term clinical studies and finally and very importantly ingredients and products are tested in real-life through extensive consumer studies. That way we know our consumers can really see and feel the product benefits for themselves. We also have a team of expert toxicologists who assess the safety and tolerance of all our products before they launch on the market.  Importantly, in recent years we have also increased the diversity of the consumer panels on which we test to help us develop products that we can be confident work for everyone.

Can you highlight some of the key ingredients that make No7 skincare products stand out?

Matrixyl 3000 plus is a key ingredient across our Pro Age serums (Protect & Perfect, Lift & Luminate and Restore & Renew). This is our collagen-peptide based technology which works by supporting elastic springs in the skin that give the skin its bounce and elasticity, helping to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In No7 Laboratories Line Correcting Booster Serum we have increased the level of this peptide blend to a 7x higher concentration, for really targeted wrinkle benefits. We also have lots of other key ingredients in our Pro Age serums. This includes a brightening complex containing Vitamin C, sophora and emblica in our Lift & Luminate serum that targets uneven skin tone and pigmentation. We also have a fortifying complex containing nourishing ceramides and calcium amino acids in our Restore & Renew serum that helps support the skin’s natural barrier, essential for more mature skin that may be thinner and more prone to dryness. Since the 1950s No7 has been utilising the benefits of Vitamin A in the form of retinyl palmitate in its rejuvenating products. More recently, No7 has created a retinol range of products after identifying an encapsulated form of retinol that has allowed the brand to provide highly effective concentrations to the consumer without the usual trade-off in skin sensitivity and tolerance.

How does No7 cater to various skin types and concerns, ensuring inclusivity for a diverse range of customers?

For many years No7, like many brands, was wrongly focused on meeting the needs of predominately white skin. The good news is that in recent years the brand has made big strides to increase its fundamental biological understanding of skin in all its wonderful diversity, to increase the diversity of our consumer research cohorts so that we have a much broader view of consumer needs and to increase the diversity of our product testing panels so that we can be confident our products work for everyone. Our most recent product development for example has been tested on 1000s of consumers including those with sensitive skin and with over 50% skin of colour representation.

Can you share some of No7’s initiatives when it comes to sustainability?

No7 is committed to having a positive impact on our world. At a headline level our initiatives fall into:

  • Putting our planet and communities at the heart of our brand and how we do business with a commitment to deliver 50% of global sales coming from healthier and more sustainable sources by 2030
  • Halving the impact of new products we bring to the market compared to 2019. Tackling single-use plastics and cutting green house emissions across our value chain is essential to this.
  • Improving the lives of people and communities through our business and brand by doubling the value we create for society by 2030. For example, supporting communities with our No7 MacMillan Beauty Advisors to help women living with cancer feel more like themselves.

Does No7 have a loyal customer base? Why?

No7 does have a loyal customer base, especially in the UK where we are a well-known and trusted brand. Our loyal customers love that they can get science-led, clinically proven skincare products on the high street at very affordable prices.

What exciting new developments/products can we expect from No7 in the near future?

We’re always working on creating exciting new products for our customers and looking for the next scientific breakthroughs. Our most recent launch in the UK has involved 15 years of science research and the development of a world first peptide technology, coming soon to Australia! We are also exploring new and exciting areas of science including the microbiome and the skin barrier as well as skin damage and repair.

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