The beauty industry's rife with interesting origin stories--an anti-aging strain of yeast discovered in a sake factory led to SK-II, an anti-glaucoma drug turned into Latisse, a cancer-targeting technology ended up at the core of 3Lab's moisturizer--and Restorsea
's tale is next in line.It all begins with Patti Pao, who, while touring a salmon factory in Bergen, Norway, noticed that though the faces of the women working with salmon eggs looked middle-aged, their hands were as smooth as teenagers'. After years in the beauty industry, Pao realized the cosmetic potential of whatever was in the water. Sure enough, a scientist had already been there--professor Berendt Walther--and discovered the almost magical qualities of the enzyme baby salmon release to break out of their eggs. Through Walther, Pao reached the pharmaceutical company that was collecting the enzyme and secured exclusive rights to its cosmetic use.
"Unlike a chicken, [salmon] can't physically break through their shell," Pao says. "So they release this enzyme that dissolves the cells allowing them to swim out." That enzyme, Aquabeautine XL, forms the core of Restorsea. But what does it do to human skin? It exfoliates the top layer, leaving the new skin untouched, plumping up fine lines, and brightening along the way.
Like all stories, the big question is, "Does it really work?" I've been using Restorsea's Day Cream ($150) for three months now and noticed visibly brighter skin. Since it's clinically proven to reduce wrinkles, discoloration, and other signs of aging, I also gave it to my 47-year-old aunt. After two weeks she called me and said, "Sign me up!"