Ideo Skincare Is Science-Backed and Actually Works

With the Well+Good SHOP, our editors put their years of know-how to work in order

With the Well+Good SHOP, our editors put their years of know-how to work in order to pick products (from skin care to self care and beyond) they’re betting you’ll love. While our editors independently select these products, making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission. Happy shopping! Explore the SHOP

We all know what aging skin looks like on the surface. Wrinkles, sagging, dullness, and discoloration all become more prevalent as we get older, and there are plenty of products out there that promise to “fix” these concerns. The problem with traditional anti-aging products, though, is that the results they deliver tend to be limited to just the surface, which means they tend to ignore the root cause of changes in your skin. But as we learn more about the core function that cellular health plays in our overall skin health, new tech has emerged to address these issues at the source—and Ideo Skincare is leading the charge.

The brand, which launched last year with a single product, the Ideo Skin Memory Serum ($175), found a way to translate what we know about healthy brain aging in to the skin-care sector. Neurochemist John Blass, MD, spent more than three decades studying Alzheimer’s disease and brain regeneration, and discovered that a combination of three ingredients—malate, antioxidants, and resveratrol—could help brain cells regenerate their capacity to function. After witnessing the life-changing results that this “RMA” complex had on his neurology patients, he realized that it could have similar results on the skin when applied topically.

According to Andrew Shemin, Ideo’s founder, Dr. Glass’s research found that cells start to age as a result of their metabolism slowing down. “The cellular metabolic cycle is dozens, maybe even hundreds, of individual chemical reactions that turn fuel into energy to do all of the things a cell has to do,” he says. “When the metabolism slows down, you get oxidation in the cell, which is basically rust. In the same way rust destroys iron, oxidation damages parts of the cell, and it’s specifically a problem for the telomeres, which is your DNA.”

You know how if you remove the plastic cap on the end of a shoelace, the entire thing starts to fray? Well, the same thing happens in your cells when your telomeres are compromised. “The telomeres are to your DNA what that plastic cap is to your shoelace,” explains Shemin. “When those get damaged, DNA falls apart and things don’t move the way they should, so you get a chaotic reaction in the cell that leads to cells dying, wrinkles, and discoloration because all the chemical factors are falling apart.”

RMA—which is made up of resveratrol, malate, and antioxidants, and is the key complex in Ideo’s skin memory serum—prevents this “chaos” from happening. “Because the malate speeds up the [cellular] metabolism, there are less oxidative factors, and the resveratrol and antioxidants both support that process by cleaning up any remaining free radicals and oxidative factors in the cells,” says Shemin. “Basically, they all work together so that the chaos created by the metabolism slowing is less present, because the malate stops it from happening and the resveratrol and antioxidants clean everything up.”

The serum itself has a viscous, milky texture, but doesn’t feel sticky or goopy when you apply it to your skin—it simply melts right in and gets to work. I’ve been using the serum for a few months (I alternate between it, a retinoid, and a skin-resurfacing AHA serum every night), and because it’s so hydrating on its own, I can skip my usual hylauronic acid serum and move right onto my moisturizer—it’s a great one-and-done serum, and I especially love it on evenings when I don’t feel like dealing with an entire multi-step routine.

It instantly makes my skin look plump and more radiant, and over time, I’ve noticed a significant difference in the visibility of my fine lines and discoloration spots. Overall, my complexion is healthier, smoother, and less dull-looking—which is everything I could hope for from a single serum.

I’m not the only one who’s been able to benefit from the serum’s tech-y formula. As one reviewer writes, “This serum has saved my skin! After using this product my skin looks and feels healthy. Fine lines have been reduced, my face overall looks brighter and age spots have faded.” Another calls it a “staple” in their skin-care routine, and notes that they’ve “never found a serum [they] love as much as Ideo.”

While $175 a pop isn’t exactly cheap, trust me on this one: With so much incredible science to back up its benefits, this stuff is absolutely worth it. And if you’re still undecided? You can snag a $35 trial size to see what all the hype is about before you fully commit.

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