The ‘Magic Cream’ That Sells Every Minute Just Got a Lightweight Reboot—Here’s What Happened When I Tried It on My Mature Skin

Photo: Getty Images/ Prostock-Studio
Exposure to pollution, weather, and air conditioning combined with on-the-go lifestyles and minimal sleep are all hard on the body, but they also take a toll on our skin. Add these modern-day factors together, and you have the perfect recipe for a dehydrated, dull, and uneven-looking complexion, says Sofia Tilbury, global brand muse and artistry director for beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury (and Charlotte’s niece). While working backstage as a makeup artist, Charlotte saw dehydration was an issue for clients of all skin types and tones, so the beauty maven went to work with leading skin-care scientists to create a product to instantly revive thirsty skin.

The result: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Water Cream ($100), a lightweight, hydrating gel moisturizer inspired by the brand’s iconic Magic Cream (one sells every minute worldwide). The newest “magic” is designed to balance, smooth, and plump dehydrated skin using a gentle, fragrance-free formula that delivers a “fresh-water glow” in less than 30 seconds, while also improving skin’s appearance and hydration over time.

The hero of the formula is Charlotte’s trademarked Waterlocking Fusion Technology, a skin-quenching blend of ingredients including hydagen aquaporin that trains the skin barrier to retain more moisture and provides 100 hours of hydration with every application, says Sofia Tilbury.

“It’s the perfect everyday moisturizer—the water-break texture intensely hydrates like a rush of water on the skin, whilst also being weightless, pore refining, and oil-controlling for a dewy, glass-like glow,” she explains.

The formula also contains hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and vitamins C and E, to combat dehydration and visible signs of skin sensitivity. It's also got niacinamide, which Tilbury calls“One of our favorite ingredients to smooth and balance the look of skin whilst working in harmony with the hydrating technology to help strengthen your skin barrier and create that instant, fresh glow." In clinical trials, participants reported that their skin tone appeared 69 percent more even and that their pore size appeared reduced by 54 percent in just 28 seconds. After 28 days, 100 percent of testers experienced a reduction in the appearance of redness, and 74 percent experienced smoother-looking skin.

My skin’s dive into the magic water

Tilbury says the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Water Cream is suitable for all skin types, and that its peptide complex is ideal for my mature, combination skin. Because the cream never “pills, rolls, or slides,” her favorite way to wear it is under makeup. Using the infamous “Tilbury Tap” facial technique, I applied the cream to my cheeks, jawline and forehead. It blended into my skin like a charm, and within seconds, I experienced the promised dewy glow, especially around my cheekbones. Whether wearing it under light or heavy makeup, my skin felt smooth and plump, but never greasy—even in the worst heat of summer. My new trick is swiping a few dabs on my cheekbones over my makeup when I want to refresh my radiance. I’ve also taken to applying the cream to my neck and decolletage, loving the way it smooths out my uneven skin tone there, adding extra luminescence below my jawline.

Another Tilbury tip is to apply the cream during plane travel to keep dehydration at bay. As it turned out, I had a flight booked soon after receiving my product sample. While the absolutely beautiful jar (eye-catching on any vanity) was a bit bulky to fit in my carry-on tote, I applied the cream liberally the evening before and morning after my flight. My usual post-flight skin “hangover” never happened—instead, my face felt moisturized and refreshed. (Hey, Charlotte, how about making a travel size cream to throw in our in-flight bag?)

I’m now looking forward to using the cream in the colder months ahead when my skin can get really dehydrated. After all, modern life takes a toll on our skin no matter the season, and I’m happy to find a product that can “magically” quench my thirsty skin year-round.

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