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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 ByANNA PALMA


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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A rich, intuitive cream that boosts barrier function and adds major moisture.

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A bio-cellulose mask that borrows from advancements in wound-healing medicine to boost glow, strengthen skin, and lock in hydration.

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A hands-free LED mask that combats acne and signs of aging with three types of light therapy.

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A scientifically-backed “ingestible retinol” supplement that helps brighten and banish breakouts from the inside out.

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A line-reducer so effective, it caused a supermodel to give up Botox. (Seriously.)

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A gentle-yet-effective mask that buffs away dull, dry skin using botanical enzymes and eco-friendly microbeads.

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A featherweight oil that helps heal damaged hair using a bioidentical form of keratin.

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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.