How can you trust that your skincare really works? This beauty journalist uncovers the bare-faced facts. Put your lab coat on, we’re getting scientific!

Imagine you’re on the hunt for a new moisturiser. What’s important to you? Natural ingredients? An efficacious formula? Sustainable, planet-friendly packaging? Well, if you’re a fan of Tropic, we’re guessing all three. But while these things might be at the top of your wish list, how can you actually ensure that what you’re buying ticks all the boxes?

In a world of marketing spin and spiel, navigating the skincare aisles has never been so difficult. Beauty jargon and bogus claims are everywhere, with new A-list botanicals and compounds popping up every five seconds, promising to give us glass skin and turn back time.

“There’s just so much noise in skincare at the moment,” says Susie, founder and CEO of Tropic. “Sometimes it seems that brands add plant actives to their formulas to respond to trends. But often, their products are created by cookie cutter manufacturers, and lack proper research or scientific backing.” Amidst all the clean beauty gloss and vegan glamour, the proof is in the percentages. At Tropic, it all comes down to real skin, qualified dermatologists, trusty technology, and weeks of rigorous clinical testing.


Clinical trials and scientific backing are second to none when it comes to knowing what’s really going to get you glowing. So, what is clinical testing?

First, Tropic’s in-house chemists and biochemists spend months testing, trialling, and adapting formulas, until they’re ready for the big assessments. Then, they send their ‘pride and joys’ away to ISO-certified, independent labs (which adhere to an international standard of testing and data validation practices) where they’re met by qualified dermatologists, who vigorously test their performance on real skin, under clinical conditions.

“We only arrange independent clinical testing once we’re confident in our formulas,” says Susie. “Tropic is at the forefront of beauty technology. We’ve invested in state-of-the-art machinery that measures every aspect of the skin, from redness to elasticity to pigmentation.

This is how we conduct internal studies on our formulas to ensure they really do have an impact,” she explains. So, before they even get examined, Tropic’s products have already jumped through a lot of hoops. But these clinical tests are no piece of cake. The assessments begin when four to five dermatologists assess a group of random volunteers (usually around 20-25 people, but sometimes up to 80) and screen their skin, ensuring everyone has skin in need of a specific type of nourishment.


The first round is the allergy patch test, and if the product gets through this stage, it passes to round two. Then it’s on your marks, get set, test! The volunteers use Tropic’s formulas every day, while dermatologists assess changes in their skin. This isn’t done ‘by eye’ or guesswork. “The lab scientists use various scientific instruments to measure the impact the product has on skin,” confirms Tropic’s biochemist, Kavitha Murugesan.

There are Sebometers to measure changes in skin’s sebum production, Skin Hydration Meters, and the mother of all testers: VisioFace Skin Imaging Analysis – a 360-degree machine that can measure skin texture, wrinkle depth, brightness, UV damage, and take 3D pictures of your skin.

Once the ‘before and after’ difference in all of the testers’ skin has been analysed, the data is totted up by the lab’s clinical statistician. “An average percentage of improvement is calculated and handed to us on results day,” says Kavitha. If the results are anything less than jaw-dropping, Tropic sends the formulas back to the lab at Tropic HQ for improvement.

As Kavitha says, “We keep going until the product is the most effective it can possibly be.”

It’s empowering to feel full confidence in your skincare, and Tropic’s plant-powered products prove time and again that they deserve their exalted status, awards, and a place on your bathroom shelf. With advanced tech, clinical trials, and a pioneering attitude, it’s exciting to think about what’s next for their formulations. Rest assured – the future of Tropic is as bright as your beautiful, glowing skin.


Provenance is a third-party programme that checks a company’s claims – reassuring you that the brand has the evidence to back up their business. On our website, you can see Provenance’s interactive Proof Point buttons, showcasing Tropic’s evidence, and verifying their impressive data.

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