Ideo – from the frontier of brain aging comes a vanguard of skin antiaging

Trailblazing skin rejuvenation by leveraging the science of skin memory.

Following the launch of our new Advanced Aesthetics report, we are showcasing the dynamic and innovative companies we feel are driving this exciting space – our trailblazers.

Over the coming weeks, we will be bringing you extracts from five trailblazer profiles; each profile includes a flagship product deep dive which offers a forensic consideration of product development, future development, target market, channels to market, success factors, IP and funding.

Here’s the lowdown on IDEO, and to read the full version of IDEO’s profile (and much more besides!) in our HTML advanced aesthetics report, please click here.


IDEO Skincare is a revolutionary antiaging brand that was born out of the pioneering work of Dr John Paul Blass at JPB Labs in 2020. From Harvard undergrad to doctoral studies in biochemistry as a Marshall Scholar in London on his way to both a PhD and MD, Dr Blass is an award-winning neurologist who has spent more than three decades studying Alzheimer’s disease. During this time he developed a (once) radical theory on the primary cause of brain aging, which during his career brought buzz of a potential Nobel nomination. The pioneering science conducted in JPB Labs, and now in other labs across the globe, supports the theory that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the consequence of impaired (and consequently slower) metabolism within the “power-house” of cells, the mitochondria.

Working within this framework, Dr Blass formulated a compound (called Resveratrol-Glucose-Malate or RGM) that improved mitochondrial health and slowed down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in preclinical studies. It was also found to be safe in humans within clinical trials. Despite this promise, pursuing clinical trials targeting Alzheimer’s disease with such a contrarian approach was expensive and it was difficult to acquire funding. From these challenges, a renewed opportunity emerged. One that has the potential to breathe new life into the skin antiaging industry.

“When you see what this formula does for your aging skin, just imagine what it can do for your aging brain” – IDEO Skincare

Dr Blass’s studies strongly suggest that mitochondrial dysfunction and inefficient metabolism are ”primary triggers” in the process of neuronal (brain cell) aging. In other words, they are the first domino to fall that initiates the “aging cascade”. Further, Dr Blass realised the inherent commonalities between how all cells and tissues age, through damages posed by the fundamental hallmarks of aging. Accordingly, if RGM could target and remedy the root driver of brain aging, it could be effective at rejuvenating aging skin as well. To optimise for targeting skin aging, Dr Blass reformulated his compound to create topical RMA (Resveratrol-Malate-Antioxidants). Around this time, Dr Blass’s wife (Gitte) had a surgical procedure that left a deep and long scar on her body that was not healing well. With the spirit and mindset of true scientific trailblazers, the couple decided to test RMA on Gitte’s scar and found that treatment with topical RMA helped it heal within a few weeks.

Inspired by these promising results, the couple teamed up with polymath Andrew Shemin (Founder and CEO) and IDEO Skincare emerged. The fuel for starting IDEO Skincare arose from the team’s intense desire to help other individuals seeking to rejuvenate their aging skin and maximise their healthspan. In doing so, they would use their results on the skin as a demonstration, and an advertisement, for what RMA could do for aging tissues throughout the body. Restoring youthful function to the aging and damaged brain is the ultimate hope for Dr Blass’s life’s work.

“The Science of Skin memory”

Dr Blass’s research suggests that with age, brain cells (i.e. neurons) “forget” how to engage basic maintenance and repair processes that help efficiently use fuels and manage oxidative stress (toxic byproducts produced by “everyday metabolism”). This “cellular amnesia” leads to slower metabolism, increased production of toxic metabolites (i.e. reactive oxygen species) and damage to critical cellular machinery including DNA and mitochondria. Over time, the inability of mitochondria to provide enough energy for aging neurons results in cellular dysfunction and neurodegenerative pathologies.

Promising early results suggests that RMA facilitates skin rejuvenation through targeting a similar mechanism in aging skin. In other words, RMA works by “helping skin cells remember” how to efficiently generate energy and effectively remedy oxidative stress, as they did in their youth. This pivotal concept led to IDEO Skincare’s flagship product – the Skin Memory Serum. This serum holds potential to rejuvenate the skin by boosting mitochondrial health, metabolism and antioxidant capacity to address the major drivers of skin aging. “With the development of IDEO’s Skin Memory Serum, we seek to transform the cosmetic industry. Taking it from a strategy that focused on disguising and concealing wrinkles, to one that addresses the root cause of skin aging and achieves true rejuvenation.”

IDEO Skincare’s potential is quickly being realised as it was named by Forbes Magazines as among the best beauty and wellness products for self-care in 2021.

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