Bend Beauty defines beauty as a state of being — the conscious choice to live meaningfully, authentically, and a touch magically. And that magic is rooted in science.

The Challenge

Bend’s products literally work from the inside out. They offer an oral supplement that supports healthy aging of the skin. Their core research explores the way natural ingredients create measurable and beneficial effects — and research is essential in the natural products space, where consumers need evidence that products are effective and safe.

But for a small company, doing research isn’t simple. Projects and lab equipment are costly. It’s difficult to find and attract specialized talent.

The Solution

Through a Mitacs research fellowship, Dr. Steven Hall, a postdoctoral researcher in pharmacology from Dalhousie University, is working with Bend for two years to determine the best scientific basis for enhancing and building out their product line. His research looks at the effect of specific natural product components at the cellular level.

In addition to a research partnership, access to lab equipment and space at Dalhousie provides an advantage. Cell culture work requires specialized facilities in order to prevent infections in the cells. Equipment is also costly. One of the microscopes Steven needs has a price tag just under a million dollars.

The Impact

Bend’s anti-aging formula is unique because it’s taken orally, so it addresses the foundation of skin health from the inside out. An eight-week clinical trial showed that it increases the skin’s resistance to UV-induced sunburn by 84 percent.

 “I think fostering these research relationships is important for small companies,” says Anna-Jean Reid, Product Development Manager at Bend Beauty. “With Steven’s expertise and connections, we are able to complete biological analyses internally, opening up a new area of research for us.”