After the year we’ve had we’re welcoming this cortisol blocking ingredient that reduces the appearance of premature ageing and improves skin luminosity
Neurophroline is an ingredient we’ve seen cropping up in skincare with increasing frequency in the last few months, with both Trinny London’s BFF De-Stress Tinted Serum , £39, and Tracie Giles’ Crème Rescue Serum, £60 , and Annee de Mamiel's First Fix, £130 including it in their formulae.
Extracted from the seeds of native Indian plants tephrosia purpurea and wild indigo, neurophroline is an active ingredient that works to block the production of cortisol (the stress hormone) in our skin. Skin cells produce cortisol in response to external stress factors which can lead to redness, inflammation and a dull complexion but a dousing of neurophroline serums will soothe it.
Neurophroline is often used after aesthetic procedures as it alleviates redness and stimulates the production of natural pain relief peptides. “This makes it perfect for use on purposefully damaged skin after cosmetic aesthetic treatments (peels, injectables, permanent makeup, laser etc) and on problem skin such as rosacea , eczema and psoriasis ,” says aesthetician Tracie Giles.
How does neurophroline work?
Neurophroline breaks down the cortisol produced by skin cells and promotes the release of calming neuropeptides (endorphins) in the skin, which results in an improved skin tone, increased luminosity and a reduction in the visible signs of ageing.
Ready for your science hit? “Cortisol is produced by keratinocytes [cells found in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin] as an instantaneous answer to a stress factor,” explains stress and skincare expert Annee de Mamiel. “Neurophroline regulates the production of cortisol by keratinocytes, inhibiting its production by 70 per cent within a two hour period. In in vitro testing, neurophroline also activated the release of beta-endorphin, which is a natural calming neuropeptide that acts on mood, and so can also be claimed to offer instant stress regulation. Some studies show that neurophroline significantly stimulates the production of beta-endorphin by skin cells up to +163 per cent.”
How much neurophroline do we need for it to be effective?
We only need a relatively low dose of neurophroline to see the results, with as little as 0.0125 per cent enough to make a difference. “When you increase the dosage to 0.5 per cent the production of cortisol is reduced by 33 per cent,” Tracie Giles tells us. “When increased further to one per cent it inhibits production by up to 70 per cent reducing the skin’s shock response and redness too. At this level it also defends against collagen damage, reduces inflammation, dryness and breakouts and protects against pollution.”
To deliver skin luminousty, Annee de Mamiel recommends two per cent neurophroline for the best results.
How quickly does neurophroline work?
Tracie tells us it has almost immediate results when used at one per cent; “Results of clinical trials show that the benefits of inhibiting cortisol production will start to show just two hours after use, skin luminosity should improve within two weeks, and after 28 days of regular use you should see a significant reduction in skins redness.”
How to use neurophroline
Neurophroline is most effective in a serum formula as it needs to be left on for maximum absorption – it won’t work in a cleanser as it needs to be applied to skin that is already clean of dirt and impurities, Tracie tells us. It’s also not suitable in an oil as it’s water-soluble. You’ll often see neurophroline combined with hyaluronic acid.
Who can use neurophroline?
Everyone! There are no safety concerns for any skin type according to Tracie Giles.
Neurophroline skincare to buy now
The budget serum: Garden of Wisdom Neurophroline Serum, £18
This lightweight serum contains two per cent neurophroline, combined with hyaluronic acid to restore hydration and liposomes to moisturise skin. As well as limiting the signs of ageing, it also minimises sebum productions to improve oily, acne-prone skin thanks to lowering cortisol production.
The makeup skincare hybrid: Trinny London BFF De-Stress Tinted Serum, £39
Available in 12 shades this serum not only uses neurophroline to combat the signs of stress, it leaves skin looking wide awake with a lightly tinted, breathable formula plus it plumps skin too thanks to hyaluronic acid. After a week of use 91 per cent of people said their skin felt bright and radiant. Trinny explained that she put a high does of neurophroline in the mix to really supercharge the effects – watch our video with Trinny below, from 11 minutes onwards to hear her talking about the procut which took three years in the making.
For after cosmetic procedures: Tracie Giles’ Crème Rescue Serum, £60
Tracie Giles and her daughter Charlotte created this to be used after procedures such as microblading in her Knightsbridge clinic after noticing a gap in the market for skincare specifically designed to help the skin heal following treatments. It combines two per cent neurophroline with hyaluronic acid, chamomile for soothing and anti-inflammatory properties and blue yarrow to tighten the skin and calm sebum production. Before launching this to the public this year, it was in use for two years in Tracie's clinic to test for efficacy and was met with acclaim from clients. They also donated thousands of these to NHS workers during the pandemic. One doctor described it as life-changing!
The luxe one: de Mamiel First Fix, £130
De Mamiel's founder Annee de Mamiel believes stress should be tackled with a three-pronged approach and applied this to the creation of First Fix, which she calls a 'preventative measure' for your skin when you re constantly stressed. "I chose a number of actives that will work on different pathways of cortisol," shes explains. This includes squalane to reduce dryness, ectoin to support the skin barrier as well as an aromatherapeutic blend which includes rose, cape chamomile, vetiver and sandalwood oils to address the emotional impact of stress.
MORE GLOSS: Why is stress giving me spots? A doctor explains