In the beauty world, we are not unfamiliar with the concept of weird science. In the name of smoother skin, we have endured injections of botulism, we've covered our faces in snail mucus, and have even looked into something called a vampire facial. It takes a lot to make us flinch. But, when Carisa Janes, the founder of Hourglass Cosmetics, told us that the secret to her own radiant complexion was something inspired by amniotic fluid, well, we were curious.
Essentially, Janes received a phone call one day from a chemist she works with for her cult makeup brand, and the two ended up on the topic of skin care. Research had just been conducted on phosphatidylglycerol, which is a natural body lipid or fat found in the protective liquid surrounding a fetus that's proven to be essential in lung development. The lipid was also linked to normalizing skin-cell growth, which Janes thought could completely revolutionize skin care.
Lipids are commonly found in skin care, and this one had already been harnessed by the pharmaceutical industry for the delivery of medicine. So, Hourglass got to work finding a "biomimetic" (very similar) option from multiple plant-based sources that could mimic it. From there, she threw in a little bit of stabilized vitamin C and a few other actives to create one high-tech recipe for a skin miracle.
Then, she took the formula even further. Janes had already been reading up on a process known as "ultrasonication," which the company's director of product development, Charlene Valledor, explains as "a high-energy sound wave that's placed onto the entire batch [of product] to cause major micro-vibrations that causes the oil droplets in the emulsion to become smaller, as in one-tenth of the size of a hair on your head." The smaller the particle, of course, means the greater ease with which it penetrates your skin. The process also alters the product's texture. This particular formulation would normally come in a heavier cream or dense serum, but instead it's a surprisingly lightweight, fast-absorbing milk (with a slight tingling sensation!).
Janes suggests using Equilibrium daily at night for a full 40 to 56 days (i.e. one complete skin cycle) before assessing results. What's more, the p.m. application is essential, since the actives are so potent that sun exposure could cause damage. All that science comes at a price: $350, to be exact, which explains its exclusivity to Bergdorf Goodman and the brand's website.
If you want to get serious about aging and you've got a few extra hundred dollars to spend, this formula might actually be worth the indulgence. And, since it's inspired by amniotic fluid, you might consider it the bottled form of returning to your youth — and who could really put a price on that?
Hourglass Equilibrium Biomimetic Skin Active Serum, $350, available at Hourglass.