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How Jellyfish Inspired Tina Craig’s Newest Product

U Beauty's new launch, The Barrier Bioactive Treatment, is inspired by the immortal jellyfish — and Craig's own history with beauty treatments.

Tina Craig parlayed influence into business when ideating U Beauty, but it was her past favorite treatments she turned to when coming up with her latest launch.

The Barrier Bioactive Treatment, which launches on Violet Grey, Saks Fifth Avenue, Revolve, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus on Feb. 8 for $198, looks back on her own experience with beauty treatments during her summers with family in China.

The treatment was inspired by Craig’s experiences repairing her skin barrier in the past. “By the time I was 18, you could see the topical damage on my skin. My grandmother dragged me to her acupuncturists and herbalists in 1988, with no Instagram and no one talking about doing crazy treatments,” she said. “I was horrified, I would get acupuncture needles everywhere, and they’d put this slime on my face. They wouldn’t tell me what it was, but it was jellyfish stem cell treatment.”

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When Craig took this idea for a product to her lab, though, it took them four years to perfect. “I told my chemists what I used to do, and that I didn’t want to damage jellyfish, if we could bio-engineer this function in a bottle,” she said. “They learned at that point, that nobody says no to Tina.”

One of the immortal jellyfish’s defense mechanisms is to defend itself by reverting damaged cells into stem cells, which is where Craig also drew inspiration. Past products utilized proprietary Siren Capsule technology, a delivery mechanism used to only target damaged skin cells for minimum irritation and maximum efficacy.

In the Bioactive Barrier Treatment, a range of actives are encapsulated in the Immortal Siren capsules, such as hyaluronic and salicylic acids, purified oat extract and vitamin B6.

Although the brand’s core business targets older Millennials, Craig said that all of her products meet the concerns of a much wider demographic. “The business is about 20 percent male,” she said, adding that at store events, entire families across age ranges buy into the buzz.

The brand, which sold out globally within weeks of launching with its hero Resurfacing Compound in late 2019, has not let the pandemic slow its momentum. Last year, it launched two products across skin and body care, and the Bioactive Barrier Treatment is said to reach a sales volume of $2 million for its first year on the market, according to industry sources.


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