Beauty

This Skin Care Brand Basically Makes Topical Botox

And it’s all thanks to “intelligent peptides.”

In You Heard It Here First, Bustle's editors introduce the coolest up-and-coming beauty brands you should have on your radar. Here, Ourself co-founder Vimla Black-Gupta and executive vice president Lauren Otsuki explain what sets their genre-defying skin care brand apart from other science-backed beauty products.

As any skin care aficionado knows, countless beauty products promise results they ultimately don’t deliver. But the founders of the recently-launched brand Ourself have set out to change that, seeking to transform the cosmetics industry and science-backed skin care as we know it — for good. “Skin care was ready for a revolution,” Vimla Black-Gupta, president and co-founder of Ourself, tells Bustle of what inspired the genre-defying brand. The brand’s mission? To bring the effects of cosmetic procedures to your skin care routine, providing clinical-level results without the, well, clinic.

In fact, Ourself hopes to ultimately provide something even better: an at-home alternative to minimally invasive procedures that actually treat the root of the problem rather than just tweak it via injections or lasers. “When you do cosmetic surgeries and procedures, you’re not stimulating the skin,” Lauren Otsuki, Ourself’s executive vice president and chief innovation officer, explains. “A lot of that is just pulling and tucking, and the same is true of fillers: They fill the space up, but don't address the cause, which is a loss of elasticity and tone in your skin itself.” What’s more, Black-Gupta adds, is consumers often struggle with procedures that prompt too much of a change. “You're not actually becoming a better version of yourself,” she says. “That's what Ourself is: a call to action [to] be yourself, but a better version of it.” And, to unlock this potential, the brand turns to its patent-pending bio-engineered Intides™.

Intides™, aka “intelligent peptides,” are what sets Ourself apart from other science-backed skin care brands (peptides are tiny chains of amino acids that ensure the skin’s collagen and elastin are functioning properly). Because instead of repeating the decades-long process of formulating and reformulating the same list of skin care ingredients in various forms and concentrations — as is the case for traditional beauty brands — Ourself takes a skin-first approach, adapting components via bio-engineered actives to fulfill consumers’ needs instead of the other way around.

These intides are the brand’s trademark name for all of the exclusively curated compounds, peptides, and/or macro-molecules used in its products. “These are selected and based on specific [skin care] needs,” says Otsuki. “So in cases of sagging or structural issues, we were looking at boosting collagen and elastin, and delivering hyaluronic acid.” Black-Gupta adds that Ourself makes “designer peptides,” aka bioengineered versions of the amino acids, in order to enhance its effect on the skin. “We’re not just going to the peptide mall and buying them,” she says. “We’re actually able to optimize their size and activity for potency.” The Intides™ are encapsulated during formulation and transported into the skin by a multiphasic vesicle delivery system which allows them to target specific areas, addressing issues at their source. It’s what the brand dubs “subtopical” delivery, a unique system that allows ingredient molecules to penetrate deeper beneath the skin’s surface to rebuild and transform.

Lastly, and especially apropos considering the name, Ourself actually has its own pharmaceutical-grade manufacturing and supply chain responsible for its products. “We could find drug manufacturers, but they didn't understand the cosmetic space, and cosmetic people certainly don't understand the drug space,” Black-Gupta tells Bustle. “And so we thought: We understand both, so we’re going to do it ourselves.” And that’s what they did.

Within the line are products that address three main concerns: hyperpigmentation, brightening, and hydration. There are two hydrating lip treatments, including Lip Filler, a plumping hyaluronic acid-based formula that boosts the volume in your lips; two dark spot treatments — one of which is a peel — that work to reduce hyperpigmentation; a brightening peel that uses 34% glycolic acid to smooth the appearance of fine lines and pores; a mineral-based broad-spectrum sunscreen packed with skin-firming Intides; and the Daily Renewal Cream, a restorative facial moisturizer. All are available now on the brand’s website.

If the science behind its lab-engineered ingredients is any indication, these topicals may just give the world of injectables a run for their money.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.