A Derm-Beloved Skin-Care Brand Went To Outer Space, and Brought Back a Lifting and Firming Anti-Aging Serum that Literally Defies Gravity

Photo: Stocksy / Liliya Rodnikova
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No matter where you are or what you're doing, your skin is constantly under attack by one inescapable force—gravity. Obviously, there's no changing that (and why would you want to?!?), so PCA Skin has worked with NASA scientists to really understand how microgravity affects the skin.

"If I want to go out into space, I wear a spacesuit. But down here on Earth, our skin is our 'spacesuit,' and it's important to make sure that you are keeping your barriers healthy," says Cady Coleman, PhD, NASA advisor for Colgate, PCA Skin's parent company. Colgate sent skin and tissue sample cells to a zero-gravity laboratory in space to learn more about how gravity impacts skin and the best ways to support it. "They're seeing that a lot of genes are acting differently, and that means that it's just easier to see which ones may be involved in which processes."

Experts In This Article

PCA Skin spent the last decade developing a top-tier serum, referencing data found during the space experiment to ensure it met its super-high standards. It's designed to boost collagen production in the skin, helping it withstand the impact of gravity.

"Collagen is one of the most important structural proteins in our skin,"  says Michelle Henry, MD, a board-certified dermatologist who works with PCA Skin. "Collagen loss over time is a function of gravity and it's a function of the slowing down of a lot of our biologic processes.—we're not making as much collagen, there's accelerated degradation of the collagen in our elastin. Those are the major structural proteins that allow for our skin to have both elasticity and pliability, but also strength, structure, and lift."

The PCA Skin Pro-Max Age Renewal ($219) uses hyper-specific, lab-made growth factors to stimulate collagen in the skin, keeping it strong, firm, and lifted.

"There are many products out there that are looking to stimulate collagen, but it's not as easy as it looks," says Dr. Henry. "What makes this product really smart is that the growth factors are small enough that they can actually penetrate the skin. You'll see all these products with collagen in them, and the collagen molecule is far too big to actually penetrate the skin to provide any benefit. So actual topical collagen is going to do nothing. Maybe it'll give you a little bit of a glow, but it's not going to give you a lift. You need something that can actually go in and stimulate that proliferation of those cells that which we call fibroblasts, which creates that collagen—and that's what this can do."

In addition to stimulating collagen production, this growth factor is also rich in ferulic acid, a protein cross-linking agent that's also a powerful antioxidant to help protect your skin from the effects of pollution, light, and more. The serum also heroes kangaroo paw flower extract (cute!) and biopolymers.

"The kangaroo paw flower extract helps to stimulate a lot of the hydrating factors that we need to hydrate the skin, says Dr. Henry. "It's gonna help to really trap moisture and get longer-lasting hydration in the skin through natural sugars and fibers. The biopolymer is kind of like a breathable, lightweight, second skin. It helps protect the skin but also gives you a little bit more instant gratification with a temporary lift."

PCA Skin Pro-Max Age Renewal has a gorgeous silky texture that feels super hydrating even though it dries down super fast. I love the way it makes my skin feel, but what I love even more is knowing it's hard at work, keeping my skin as lifted as possible for as long as possible. If you, too, want some anti-gravity tech in your bathroom cabinet, grab this serum.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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