Have you heard of Boots No 7 skincare? If you’re from the UK, your answer is probably “Well, of course!” But if you’re an American consumer, this skincare brand may be new to you. If so, here’s what you need to know; the Boots brand can trace its roots back to 1849 and has since become the UK’s largest drugstore.
What are the Best Skin Care Products of 2021?
The Boots No7 skin care line debuted in 1935 and positioned itself as a prestigious but affordable collection. It launched with 11 products and the tagline “the modern way to loveliness”.
But can Boots No 7 skin care products really give you results? To answer that question, we’re going to evaluate the formulation details, including the key ingredients in No 7 skin care products and the research that supports (or doesn’t support) their use in skincare. We’ll also share some No 7 reviews so that you can get an idea of what customers really think of these products.
What Are The Top 10 Most Popular No 7 Skin Care Products?
The No7 collection includes skincare, makeup, brushes, as well as a line for men. Here’s a breakdown of the top 10 most popular No 7 skin care products.
No 7 Advanced Retinol 1.5% Complex Night Concentrate
As you’ll soon learn, this brand is most well known for its anti-aging serums, particularly the No 7 Retinol Serum. Based on the name, you’d think this serum contains 1.5% retinol, right? Well, that’s actually not the case.
The formula includes a 1.5% “retinol complex” which consists of 0.3% pure retinol, 1% retinol optimizer, and 0.2% retinol soother.
Including 1.5% in the name of this product is slightly misleading, in our opinion. But the good news is that even 0.3% pure retinol is enough to produce noticeable results. What kind of results can you expect?
According to a publication in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging, retinol is clinically proven to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and unclog pores.
Plus, this serum tackles lines and wrinkles with another powerful anti-aging ingredient — Matrixyl 3000. In case you aren’t familiar with this ingredient, it’s the trademarked peptide that’s made up of two matrikines (palmitoyl tripeptide-1 and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7).
Matrikines are peptides that regulate cell activities through cell signaling. The two matrikines in Matrixyl 3000 work synergistically to restore and maintain the skin’s youthful appearance by signaling to cells to produce more collagen.
Bottom Line: The No 7 Retinol serum combines 0.3% pure retinol with the peptide complex Matrixyl 3000, which both works to reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and more.
No 7 Lift and Luminate Serum
No 7 Lift and Luminate Serum includes the vitamin C derivative 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid as one key ingredient. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin from environmental free radical damage. Vitamin C also helps fade dark spots, evens out skin tone, and increases radiance.
As if that wasn’t enough, research suggests that when vitamin C is applied to the skin, it significantly reverses aging-related structural changes by influencing collagen and elastin synthesis. Although, as our in-house biochemist, Elle MacLeman points out, most of the research on vitamin C’s benefits comes from the ingredient L-ascorbic acid.
Bottom Line: No 7 Lift and Luminate Serum includes vitamin C to firm and brighten skin, but keep in mind that the formula may not have the same benefits as vitamin C is often purported to have.
No 7 Lift and Luminate Night Cream
The No 7 Lift and Luminate Night Cream is thick yet lightweight due to the combination of rich emollients like shea butter with silicones like cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone.
Similar to the Lift and Luminate Serum, the Night Cream features vitamin C as a key ingredient, but this time it’s the water-soluble derivative ascorbyl glucoside. After being absorbed into the skin, ascorbyl glucoside is converted to ascorbic acid (the active form of vitamin C) to provide benefits like improving uneven skin tone, fading dark spots, and increasing skin firmness. Ascorbyl glucoside is considered to be more stable than the traditional form of vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid, but research also suggests it may not increase the vitamin C content of the skin as readily.
One problem with No 7 Lift and Luminate Night Cream is the jar packaging, which exposes the formula to air. Why is this a problem? Well, research has shown that antioxidants — like vitamin C — break down in the presence of air, causing them to become less and less effective with each use.
Bottom Line: No 7 Lift and Luminate Night Cream should help your skin to feel soft, but we’re concerned about the jar packaging.
No 7 Lift and Luminate Eye Cream
This No 7 eye cream has a silky texture that will glide on easily, helping the skin around your eyes to feel smooth and moisturized while also possibly disguising signs of aging like crow’s feet.
Notice we said “disguise” signs of aging, not treat or correct. That’s because this eye cream mostly consists of humectants (glycerin, butylene glycol, etc.), silicones (cyclopentasiloxane and cyclohexasiloxane), and denatured alcohol.
You see, alcohol tightens the skin, glycerin hydrates the skin and thereby plumps skin, and silicones form a thin, invisible film that can help disguise signs of aging. However, these effects are temporary and will disappear once you wash off the product.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a product to temporarily disguise crow’s feet, this No 7 eye cream is a good option.
No 7 Lift and Luminate Powder
The No 7 Lift and Luminate Powder is a finishing powder that sets makeup while also diffusing light and reducing the appearance of pores and fine lines, leaving skin looking visibly smoother. It’s only available in two shades: light and medium.
The talc in this formula also helps to absorb oil and reduce shine. Perhaps you’ve heard that talc in cosmetics is dangerous, but is that true?
According to the American Cancer Society, while talc is a danger for talc miners or other workers who come in contact with natural, asbestos-contaminated talc fibers, it has not been established as a concern for cosmetics.
Bottom Line: No 7 Lift and Luminate Powder is a finishing powder that uses talc and other natural minerals to absorb excess oil, reduce shine, and create the appearance of visibly smoother skin.
No 7 Line Correcting Booster Serum
This is another No 7 serum with the anti-aging peptide complex Matrixyl 3000 as the key ingredient to help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
While Matrixyl 3000 is an excellent ingredient, the rest of this formula is rather simple. It mostly consists of humectants, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, and polyacrylate crosspolymer-6.
Aluminum starch octenylsuccinate and polyacrylate crosspolymer-6 don’t really provide benefits to your skin. Rather, they improve the texture and feel of this product, producing an elegant gel texture that dries quickly without feeling greasy or heavy.
Bottom Line: No 7 Line Correcting Booster Serum contains just one ingredient that provides anti-aging benefits, and that’s the peptide complex Matrixyl 3000.
No 7 Restore and Renew Serum
Another No 7 serum that’s mostly made up of filler ingredients and low concentrations of key ingredients. For example, the highest concentration ingredients in this formula include water, dimethicone (a silicone), glycerin and butylene glycol (humectants), aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, and isononyl isononanoate (emollient).
There are low concentrations (less than 1%) of beneficial ingredients like vitamin C, hibiscus extract, sodium hyaluronate, ceramides, and Matrixyl 3000. But in such low amounts, we doubt these ingredients will provide much, if any, benefit.
Bottom Line: A No 7 serum that feels nice and promotes soft skin, but probably won’t do much in terms of anti-aging effects.
No 7 Restore and Renew Night Cream
No 7 Restore and Renew Night Cream is a rich night cream that includes emollients, silicones, and retinyl palmitate.
Retinyl palmitate is an ingredient composed of palmitic acid and retinol (Vitamin A). After being absorbed into the skin, it’s converted to retinol and should provide anti-aging benefits.
Data from an FDA study indicate that retinyl palmitate, when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, may increase your sensitivity to the sun, so make sure you use this at night and apply your sunscreen during the day.
Bottom Line: No 7 Restore and Renew Night Cream is meant to be an anti-aging night cream, but make sure you are using it safely.
No 7 Laboratories Firming Booster Serum
This No 7 serum has a formula that’s very similar to the brand’s other serums, with key ingredients like humectants, silicones, emollients, and aluminum starch octenylsuccinate.
There are also low concentrations of hibiscus extract, sodium hyaluronate, and Matrixyl 3000 in this serum.
Bottom Line: Another No 7 serum is a simple formulation with some beneficial ingredients.
No 7 Laboratories Dark Spot Correcting Booster Serum
This No 7 serum contains ingredients that provide benefits to your skin, such as vitamin C and gluconolactone.
Like we mentioned above, vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects against free radicals, helps to fade dark spots, evens out skin tone, increases radiance, and promotes firmer skin.
Gluconolactone is a polyhydroxy acid (PHA). PHAs are second-generation hydroxy acids that are similar to AHAs but provide high-strength anti-aging benefits without irritation. Therefore, PHAs are an ideal choice for sensitive skin types.
Gluconolactone provides anti-aging, antioxidant, and gentle exfoliating benefits without sun sensitivity. In addition, gluconolactone strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier, thereby leaving it more resilient.
Bottom Line: A No 7 serum with key ingredients like vitamin C and gluconolactone that help to brighten skin, fade dark spots, and reduce signs of aging.
What Are The Key Ingredients in No 7 Skin Care Products?
The No 7 skincare products contain pretty standard ingredients, including retinol, peptides, sodium hyaluronate, vitamin C, glycerin, emollients, and silicones.
These are beneficial ingredients, but it’s easy to find them in products by other brands.
Frequently Asked Questions
In the following sections, we’ll answer these FAQ about No 7:
- Which No 7 Serum is Best?
- How Much Do No 7 Skin Care Products Cost?
- Where to Buy No 7?
- No 7 Return Policy?
- Is No 7 Cruelty Free?
- Is No 7 Vegan?
Which No 7 Serum is Best?
While we weren’t particularly impressed with any of the No 7 serums, if we had to pick one it would be the No 7 Retinol Serum. The serum combines 0.3% pure retinol with the peptide complex Matrixyl 3000, which both provide anti-aging benefits. And this is one of the few No 7 skin care products that doesn’t contain fragrance!
How Much Do No 7 Skin Care Products Cost?
Boots No7 skincare products are priced in line with some of the more expensive drugstore brands, while makeup has a lower price point. For example, the No 7 Retinol Serum costs $36.99 USD while the No 7 Lift and Luminate Powder costs $12.99 USD on the brand’s website.
Where to Buy No 7 Skin Care Products?
In the UK, Boots No7 products are available at Boots stores and on its website. In the US, they can be found online at the Boots No7 website, Walgreens, CVS, Ulta, and Target.
What is The No 7 Return Policy?
The No 7 return policy states, “We offer free returns on all items purchased on No7beauty.com. Please ensure that when you receive an item that you take reasonable care of it, at minimum the items you are returning should be unopened and in any original packaging. You have 14 days from the date of receiving your order to initiate a return.”
Is No 7 Cruelty Free?
Yes, No 7 is cruelty-free. According to the company, “We do not conduct animal testing on our products, or on ingredients used in our products, nor do we commission animal testing on our products or on ingredients used in our products.”
Is No 7 Vegan?
No 7 may offer some vegan products, but this is not a 100% vegan brand.
No 7 Reviews
No 7 reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive. The product with the most reviews is the No 7 Retinol Serum, which has earned an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars after more than 300 customer reviews.
The positive reviews for the No 7 Retinol Serum mention that it works well to reduce signs of aging such as lines, wrinkles, and dark spots while causing little to no irritation.
For example, one review says, “I am so loving this retinol night serum! I have used other retinol serums from other companies and they always break my skin out or cause a rash, but this retinol treatment by No. 7 is the best! I have been using it for 3 months and have seen a great difference in my skin. My wrinkles are reduced and the dark spots from sun damage have improved. I highly recommend it!!”
And another 5-star review says, “Have been using this product for over 8 months and have noticed good results. I only experienced a little irritation the first night/first morning I used it, but after that there were no ill effects. Use it every night and even on my neck. I use the Restore and Renew collection and have seen a noticeable difference.”
However, there are a handful of negative reviews for the No 7 Retinol Serum from customers who either didn’t see the results they were hoping for, and others who experienced breakouts and/or irritation after using this product.
For example, one review says, “I’ve used this product for over 4 weeks with NO CHANGES AT ALL!!”
Other 1-star reviews say things like, “It broke my face out! I wouldn’t recommend it” and “It really dried my face when I used it. I’m not sure why I only tried it twice.”
No 7 skincare products are simple formulations, good for those who don’t need active or super hardworking skincare.
- Some No 7 skin care products contain beneficial ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, and Matrixyl 3000
- Many positive No 7 reviews
- No 7 is cruelty-free
- Most No 7 skincare products contain low concentrations of key ingredients
- Jar packaging will cause delicate ingredients (like antioxidants) to deteriorate over time
What Are Some Alternatives to No 7 Skin Care Products?
If you’re looking for skincare products to address the signs of aging, one brand we recommend is Formulyst. Formulyst maximizes the use of powerful ingredients and minimizes the use of superficial ones, resulting in clinically advanced skincare solutions that help promote healthy, more youthful-looking skin.
One example is Formulyst’s Double Defence serum, anti-aging serum with retinol. Remember, retinol is clinically proven to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, fade dark spots, improve uneven skin tone, restore skin firmness, and shrink the appearance of enlarged pores.
Rather than using standard retinol, Formulyst’s Double Defence serum contains a form of retinol (hydroxypinacolone retinoate) that provides the same benefits as retinol, but without irritation. It’s also packed with many other beneficial ingredients, including caffeine, squalane, alpha-arbutin, an innovative vitamin C derivative, and more. Overall, the Double Defence Serum can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes, leaving you with youthful-looking skin that’s visually smoother, firmer, and more even.
Another brand that balances the power of plants with cutting-edge science is Carrot & Stick. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, but it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skincare products.
Clin Interv Aging. 2006 Dec; 1(4): 327–348.
Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 866.
Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) Cosmetic Database
American Cancer Society “Talcum Powder and Cancer”