Hundreds of skin-care entries tout their roots in science, but Rescue can truly trace its heritage to medical research.
While working on a cure for Type 1 diabetes, Dr. David Scharp noticed the benefits of human stem cells on skin repair. “He took me aside and explained the beauty industry has it wrong. They treat skin superficially, only affecting the epidermis,” recalled Kai Hansen, the founder and chief executive officer of Rescue.
Scharp suggested the focus shift to cellular renewal and that became the seed for Rescue’s formulation. “Fine lines, age spots and wrinkles start to go away because you produce more cells,” Hansen said.
Now, Rescue has its own 18,000-square-foot facility in Southern California, which Hansen said makes Rescue the only skin-care firm in the U.S. growing its own stem cells.
Rescue’s stem cell-derived core active is a proprietary blend of natural ingredients to support cellular turnover, pro-collagen and fibroblast production. There are more than 30 ingredients including Kona coffee.
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“Consumers today want to research ingredients. We make it very transparent for them and we don’t add anything that doesn’t have a real value,” stated Hansen, adding that the company doesn’t just leap onto the hot trends of the moment.
Rescue offers the results of a chemical peel without a visit to the dermatologist and subsequent trauma. “We produce meaningful results that do not require a response to trauma,” Hansen explained. “We bring immediate healing factors to the forefront of skin, which also makes Rescue a solution for sunburn. We are a chemical peel without the chemical peel.”
The brand eliminates several issues associated with skin-care regimens such as product fatigue, complicated steps and disappointment with the time it takes to see results. “You are going to see immediate effects, but over time [you notice] more dramatic results.”
Emboldened by scientific results along with return customers to its e-commerce site, Rescue set out to reach a broader audience — a heady challenge in a competitive landscape loaded with megabrands with deep pockets.
“We decided we were going to become the anti-establishment skin-care company,” Hansen explained. “We’re science first and we focused first on two products. The reality is you don’t need hundreds of products.”
In skin care, compliance is key and some consumers give up on complex regimens. “We want people — men and women — to not be afraid of skin care anymore,” he said.
The simple approach includes a Serum Concentrate and an Ultra Moisturizer. The serum absorbs quickly, leaving skin hydrated without feeling oily. It be used as a stand-alone treatment or enhanced when applied before the Ultra Moisturizer. Hansen said a moisturizer was created to complement the serum and deliver hydration deeper into the skin. The non-comedogenic formulation is suitable for all skin types.
Each is sold separately at $80, packaged with 30 applications of either the serum or moisturizer. In addition, Rescue offers a combo package with 15 units of the serum and 15 units of the moisturizer, also priced at $80.
Rescue extended its uniqueness to its packaging. The serum and moisturizer are housed in single-dose packets — a distinguishing factor from myriad skin-care lines. The packages are convenient, especially for travel, but also eliminate the threat of product contamination.
“When leaving your house, skin care is not something you normally remember to bring with you,” Hansen explained. “With Rescue, we wanted to take it outside of the medicine cabinet.”
Rescue is sold online at Rescueskin.com, but the founders aren’t ruling out future brick-and-mortar distribution. There are new products in the pipeline, but only items that add a meaningful step, said Hansen, such as an eye treatment.
Some powerful influencers have discovered the brand organically. In fact, Naomi Campbell was so impressed she contacted the company to learn more about the science behind it. “We get a lot of people who have simply grown tired of a medicine cabinet filled with ineffective products,” Hansen concluded.