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TOP FLIGHT:

10 science-
backed
skin heroes 

The products using next-gen ingredients and futuristic tech to delay cellular aging, stimulate collagen, and more.


Photography ByKELIA


On the surface, beauty and science are strange bedfellows. Consider the words used to favorably describe a scientific facility: sterile, clinical, controlled, antiseptic. They’re antithetical to the glowy, dewy, plump, bouncy vocabulary of the beauty world. But this apparent tension is superficial; obviously, diligent, methodical research is responsible for some of our best-loved beauty innovations. And on a more meaningful level, beauty and science share a kind of utopian, futurist sensibility and fundamental belief that new solutions will work and look better than the old ones. “Let’s give it a try!” is the rallying cry of both cohorts. 

It’s in this spirit that we assembled a list of ten products built off the back of mind-bendingly cool scientific research. Think serums informed by rocket science, supplements that extend a cell’s lifespan, and stem cell-activating moisturizers. Has there ever been a more persuasive argument for funding STEM education? It’s time to shed your preconceptions of nerds huddled around a microscope—beauty is nothing without science. 

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These life-changing (truly) products harness the stem cell-activating technology that Dr. Bader used to heal burn victims in his native Germany. Plus, Diane Kruger, Carla Bruni, and Demi Moore all swear by it.

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111Skin was literally born of rocket science—it’s proprietary molecule NAC Y2 was developed using wound-healing technology pioneered by the Soviet space program. For those of us on earth, their 3 Phase Anti Blemish Booster does wonders for acne. 

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Yes, the ZIIP looks like a particular chic piece of Apple hardware. Fortunately, it has equally impressive tech chops. The at-home microcurrent device connects with your phone to dispense treatments via Bluetooth.

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Artist Gucci Westman’s new line, Westman Atelier, may be properly termed skin care-slash-makeup. The brand’s clean formulas are silicone-free, and utilize biomimetic tech to prevent synthetic pigments from coming into direct contact with skin. The Highlight Stick is a fave. 

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While the ingredients that power Patchology’s PoshPeel Pedi Cure are beauty standbys—it’s powered by a cocktail of citric, lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids—the results are downright sci-fi. Think: your entire foot molting to reveal a new layer of baby-soft skin.

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Erasa got the nickname “Botox in a bottle” for good reason. The anti-aging serum uses a proprietary blend of neuropeptides to stimulate collagen growth, lighten darks spots, brighten the complexion, and ease facial muscle movement. It also works wonders on melasma and pore size. 

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Skeptics might ask how one patents an adhesive patch—until they’re introduced to SiO. The brand’s medical-grade silicone stickers create a micro-climate on the skin that kick starts collagen production. The result? Fine lines are rendered invisible. 

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Purslane, an herb botanical and the hero ingredient of Skin Food, is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin A. Even more exciting: the herb activates telomerase, the enzyme that controls (i.e. slows) cellular aging. 

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Charlotte Tilbury’s Wonderglow primer is powered by something called fluorescent core light diffuser technology, which absorbs and reflects UV light for next-gen luminosity. Because good lighting is everything. 

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The T3 Showerhead purifies tap water of chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, iron oxide, dirt, sediment and more. In lay terms, that means your post-shower skin is less gunky (and hence less prone to breakouts).