University of Manchester, Boots And No7 beauty company renew 20-year partnership to supercharge skin science advancements

No7 Beauty Company and Boots today announce the renewal of their 20-year, multi-million-pound partnership with the University of Manchester Centre for Dermatology Research for a further five years. The partnership has accelerated discoveries in skin science and paved the way for game-changing skincare products that have fuelled the growth and reputation of the British beauty industry globally.

The renewed commitment will help Boots and No7 Beauty Company continue to break new ground in helping people care for their skin throughout their life, whether it is maintaining skin health, helping to combat skin ageing or supporting people through significant skin changes such as those resulting from the menopause. It will also further strengthen their market leading cosmetic science innovation pipeline, which has delivered product innovations generating waiting lists of up to 100,000 people, physical queues outside Boots stores and surges in visits to

The collaboration renewal comes exactly one year following the launch of the partnership’s biggest scientific breakthrough to date; the ground-breaking No7 Future Renew skincare range, which was developed following 15 years of research and development between scientists at both organisations, resulting in the discovery of a world-first super peptide blend that is clinically proven to reverse visible signs of skin damage. This innovation has taken the beauty industry by storm, with the Future Renew serum becoming a global bestseller and the biggest ever beauty launch in the UK. 25,000 products were sold on launch day in April 2023, and a year later, one product is still sold every seven seconds.*

The collaboration renewal also coincides with both institutions celebrating landmark anniversaries; with Boots marking its 175th anniversary and the University of Manchester reaching its 200 year milestone in 2024.

Prof. Mike Sherratt from the University of Manchester said: “We are delighted to be able to continue our partnership with Boots and to pursue our shared aims of uncovering new insights into skin biology and applying this knowledge to repairing accumulated damage.”

Dr Abigail Langton said: “Our longstanding partnership with Boots has enabled us to explore the depths of skin science while delivering real-world benefits to consumers through clinical translational research. We are thrilled to continue this collaboration, advancing innovation and enhancing skin health for all individuals.”

Where it all began

The partnership was established twenty years ago by a small team of No7 and University of Manchester scientists. The ambition was to come together to create cutting edge skincare solutions that could be taken from the laboratory straight to the high street. One of the first innovations was the renowned No7 Protect & Perfect serum. The serum famously featured in a BBC Horizon programme in 2007, where the efficacy of the serum was verified by independent dermatologists, leading to the product selling out in Boots stores throughout the UK.

Fast forward to 2024 and today, the collaboration has caught the eyes of the scientific community and the Government**. It has also:

  • Led to 10 patents being filed, with more in the pipeline
  • Resulted in over 100 academic publications including 60 peer reviewed papers published in scientific journals
  • Helped to upskill thousands of beauty advisors and pharmacists within Boots stores
  • Supported a UK talent pipeline of brilliant entrepreneurial scientists – many of whom are female
  • Significantly raised the reputation of bioscience research in the UK and in particular in the North West
  • Helped put No7 on the global map with distribution now extending to over a dozen countries including Australia, the Nordics and the US
  • Created effective collaborations both in the UK and internationally with the likes of Imperial College London, Kings College, Newcastle, York and Liverpool universities, as well as internationally with Johns Hopkins.

Millie Kendall OBE, CEO, British Beauty Council, comments “The launch of No7 Future Renew was somewhat revolutionary. The teams took a ground-breaking scientific discovery straight into an affordable, accessible skincare range available to all on the British high street, whereas traditionally you would see cutting edge scientific innovations trickle down to high street products several years after launching in premium products or clinics. It is testament to the rigour and strength of the partnership between the University of Manchester, Boots and No7 Beauty Company that they have created truly world-leading skincare innovation together.”

New era of discovery beckons

The renewal of the partnership establishes a ground-breaking five-year research programme that will explore peptides, clinical testing, skin immunology, and the skin microbiome. It includes a pioneering project to investigate skin across the pigmentary spectrum, aiming to develop more inclusive and effective technologies suitable for all skin tones. The project has already secured multi-million-pound funding from The BBSRC’s Prosperity Award, marking a significant investment in advancing skin science.

Samantha Dover, Mintel Category Director of Beauty and Personal Care research, said: “Beauty consumers are increasingly discerning and want to know more about the products they buy. This is exemplified by the 71% of UK adults who believe beauty brands should provide more scientific evidence to validate their claims. Showcasing the research and development behind a product can provide brands with a powerful point of difference in a crowded market. Moreover, partnerships that elevate and spotlight the R&D process will undoubtedly appeal to consumers who want brands to validate their claims, and therefore can build brand trust and loyalty.”

Investing in the next generation of British scientists

Throughout the partnership, the University of Manchester, Boots and No7 Beauty Company will support the next generation of scientists through the following initiatives:

  • Funding from BBSRC Collaborative Training Partnership in 2021 to train 15 PhD students, addressing skills gaps in the UK bioscience industry.
  • Co-investing with UKRI since 2019, with UKRI recognising the No7 Future Renew story as an exemplar of business and university collaboration**

An event is being held at the University of Manchester on April 11th (the one year anniversary of the No7 Future Renew launch) to celebrate the impact and success of the partnership and look ahead at the next phase.

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