Four Ph.D.-level aging experts are bringing the concept of longevity to the beauty industry.

The quartet of scientists—Carolina Reis Oliveira, Alessandra Zonari, Mariana Boroni and Juliana Carvalho—launched OneSkin OS-01, a topical skin care supplement online in February 2021. The key ingredient is a peptide, OS-01, that inspired the product’s name.

The founders maintain OneSkin OS-01 turns back the clock on skin’s biological age by targeting the root cause of aging at the cellular level. Chronological age is set in stone, but skin’s biological age can be altered, said Carolina. “Improving skin health extends its skinspan,” she added using a term her team coined to describe skin’s health and youthfulness.

“We were born out of longevity which we believe is the new wellness,” Carolina said. Interest in longevity, she proposed, will continue to gain momentum as consumers dig deeper into the science behind healthy lifestyles. The longevity movement is also gaining traction through exposure by David Sinclair, Peter Diamandis and social media channels.

“We wanted to dovetail with the approach being used by other longevity companies who are developing solutions to live longer and healthier lives, we wanted to bring that to skin care.” Riding on the longevity tailwinds, OneSkin plans to achieve sales of $100 million within five years en route to the $1 billion mark.

Formed in 2016 as a biotech start-up after acceptance into biotech accelerator IndieBio, OneSkin’s founders didn’t set out to be skin care entrepreneurs. At first, they researched how to grow human skin in labs as an alternative to animal testing. After assessing that need had been addressed by others, they pivoted to developing anti-aging solutions.

“Anti-aging is a massive market and is growing rapidly and the trend has gained more endorsement especially from everyone seeing themselves on Zoom. But a lot of consumers are lost in what they can trust and what provides effective rejuvenation,” she said.

The U.S. market, said Carolina, has been focused on quick fixes such as lasers or Botox, rather than addressing what drives aging. “You can eliminate wrinkles with Botox, but that doesn’t mean your skin is healthy or being rejuvenated.” And retinol, she added, was found in her company’s control studies to actually increase inflammation which can accelerate the skin’s aging in the long term.

OneSkin’s secret weapon is the ability to measure product effectiveness, the founder maintained. “Since we could grow human skin, we knew we could measure, through its DNA, whether products were reducing the age of skin,” said Carolina. “We can read the DNA of a skin tissue and see if a product really is changing the biological age.” Clinical testing, she explained, is still largely biased by s measuring how users note how their skin “feels.”

To quantify the age reversal potential of a product, OneSkin uses MolClock, which it developed as the first-skin molecular clock to ascertain the biological age of human skin. Developed by Mariana, one of the cofounders, the machine-learning based skin-specific molecular clock algorithm predicts molecular age and can help gauge how OS-01 affects skin at a molecular level. OneSkin also uses skin aging modeling which includes growing 3D human skin weekly and measuring how products and ingredients influence the genes associated with aging and longevity. Combining these tools, OneSkin can understand the efficacy of any product, Carolina said.

Peptides are not new in skin care, but not all brands have pinpointed the perfect size to penetrate the skin’s barrier. OneSkin’s proprietary peptide is teamed up with a cocktail of oils from the Amazon, such as pau mulato, along with actives such as niacinamide and three types of hyaluronic acid, to yield the benefits of reduction of fine lines and wrinkles along with better firmness, according to Carolina.

OneSkin is offered in a single purchase ($120) or monthly for $99. “We compare it to a supplement to nurture your skin daily like vitamins,” explained Carolina about the subscription strategy.

In the works are products for overall body care and sun protection. Beyond its own products, OneSkin has a wholesale and licensing business for others who want to tap into its technologies. Most recently, OneSkin is expanding shipping to Canada.