Meet the founder: Carolina Reis Oliveira

Cofounder and CEO at OneSkin

OneSkin is a biotech leveraging proprietary technology to fight aging. It is currently focused on skin aging, which it describes as being “the fastest to test, falls in a less regulated market and moves a huge cosmetic and pharma industry.” Founded in 2016 in Silicon Valley, OneSkin set itself the goal of leading the development of the company’s disruptive rejuvenation technologies.

Carolina Reis Oliveira, PhD, is OneSkin’s Cofounder and CEO. With a PhD in Immunology from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in collaboration with Rutgers University, Reis Oliveria is also an alumna of IndieBio, one of the world’s leading biotech accelerators.

OneSkin in a nutshell

By replicating the skin aging process in vitro using diverse ethnic human skin models and integrating molecular markers, we are creating a unique platform able to predict and screen new molecules, testing efficacy and safety for producing the next generation of the most effective and personalized antiaging skin products.

The story so far…

OneSkin’s topical supplements are formulated with a proprietary peptide, an ingredient scientifically proven to reverse skin’s biological age at a molecular level. The company’s launch product sold out, despite hitting the market during the pandemic, and OneSkin now sells face, body and eye creams, all designed to address skin health and aging rather than just disguising the effects of aging.

If you could change one thing about the longevity industry, what would it be and why?

The longevity industry would benefit from having some kind of regulatory process that evaluates the impact of products or treatments – especially those that make incremental improvements. Right now, the industry is mostly focused on treating diseases, and this approach needs a clear end-point. But, there is less focus on improving and maintaining the function or health of tissues and of the whole organism before we get sick.

For example, skin is very important for health and overall longevity; a cosmetic is only supposed to improve appearance, not function, but at OneSkin we want to keep skin healthy and functioning for longer. Products that improve function, improve outcome, and an organization that regulates and promotes them would allow companies to bring their research out into the open, as it were, and the real benefits could also be communicated to the consumers. Companies shouldn’t be limited by the necessity of indication – improvement of function and health should be enough.

We need to be more proactive about prevention – this would help us make real progress in the space.

Why did you start a longevity company?

We developed a skin-specific molecular clock that could validate third party products, and we realized that there wasn’t any initiative for targeting senescent cells focused on our body’s largest organ, the skin.

We want to be people’s number one choice for keeping their skin healthy; it’s not about fighting for perfect skin, which can end up damaging the cells underneath, it’s about nurtured, resilient, healthy skin that is as biologically young as possible.

What is the biggest challenge in your corporate longevity journey?

The biggest challenge is time! Both in terms of keeping up with all the exciting developments and being able to implement my knowledge – longevity is a fast-paced field, with so much going on! And running a company is stressful – it probably impacts my own longevity! I want to make sure OneSkin is on top of everything from a scientific point of view, so we can pass benefits onto consumers, while being mindful of the optimum time fro translation from a safety point of view. This means I need enough to time to keep up to date with the latest research. Finding the right moment in which we can safely make that translation from research into new technologies or products for consumers – that’s the company’s biggest challenge, but one that brings bigger benefits and more dramatic impacts for our customers.

Describe your ideal investor

Ideally, it’s good to have a variety of investors – people who are experienced in technology, experienced in longevity or the science of aging. Investors that have invested in other companies that work in the same field are also good, as are ones that have good operational skills – company builders and team builders that know all the ins and outs of growing and scaling a company. These are profiles that we’d love to partner with.

Do you have a personal longevity regime?

I do, but it’s not very sophisticated! I aim for basic but consistent, and at the moment I am particularly focused on trying to optimize something that really affects my health and productivity – and that’s sleep! I’m trying to ensure I have a good amount of sleep, and that it’s good quality sleep. I’ve been tracking my sleep with wearables and taking some supplements to help me sleep better.

Then there’s the other basics – a healthy diet with not much red meat, but more fish and Mediterranean-focused. I exercise 5 or 6 times a week and I try to keep stress levels under control with meditation and by keeping up by social connections. Exercise, meditation and socializing are all great mood boosters – something that’s definitely associated with a long and healthy life!