Pavise offers next level sun care products

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Despite the hundreds of sunscreens being released each year, there hasn’t been much innovation in the actual sunscreens that do the heavy lifting. A new UV filter (think: titanium dioxide or avobenzone) hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since the 1990s. Pavise, a biotech company run by a biomedical engineer, aims to make the best SPF around within these constraints, while creating new filters that, if approved, could totally change the landscape of sun protection.

“Sunscreen in the United States is a regulated drug, it’s an over-the-counter drug,” says Sophie Bai, a biomedical engineer and founder and CEO of Pavise. That’s why you haven’t seen much innovation for 20 years. Everything uses the exact same filters, just different formulations. Personal care should be regulated like medicines because the skin is the largest organ in our body. And our goal at Pavise is really to bring all of the pharmaceutical research and development (into cosmetics) to provide high-quality care in the skincare category.”

Pavise started out making molecules to treat eczema and acne, but put these on the back burner in late 2020 to focus on mineral filters. This change was initiated when the FDA published findings that chemical filters are more easily absorbed into the bloodstream than mineral filters and that more research was needed to determine whether or not this affects safety. By erring on the side of caution, Bai wanted to create the best mineral sunscreens on the market so that customers could feel comfortable with a mineral formula that they really like to use.

“Mineral filters leave a terrible white cast for me, for people of color,” Bai says. “I don’t think people of color should sacrifice access to quality care, and skin care is health care. Also, if we’re breastfeeding, pregnant, or young children, we can’t use chemical filters. So we immediately started working on clear mineral filters.

Pavise launched this spring with four products: Dynamic Age Defense SPF ($148), Lip Defense SPF ($58), Gentle Amino Powerwash ($64), and a UV Chamber ($176). Dynamic Age Defense and Lip Defense use Pavise’s renewed mineral filters.

“Our technology actually creates a different shape and composition of the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide molecules,” Bai says. “So we work with the starting point of what the FDA has approved, but we change their chemical properties, without changing the fact that they are still zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, to get better UV absorption.”

Dynamic Age Protection SPF

I have tried tons of mineral sunscreens, and this one from Pavise is up there with the best. It is SPF 30 and it does go on white, but with a little rubbing, it completely disappears on my skin.

“Dynamic Defense is transparent on all skin tones,” says Bai. “That’s something I’m very proud of because it’s an example of how science can create a more equitable world.”

Additionally, the formula is rich in antioxidants, allowing it to repair while the minerals protect. “Our photoaging defense cocktail consists of six compounds that work synergistically together to repair photodamage from daily UVA rays,” says Bai. “In fact, we reviewed a library of 10,000 compounds that have clinical evidence of being synergistic with photoresist along with UV filters and narrowed it down to these six.”

SPF lip protection

This SPF lip gloss is one of my favorites. It comes in three beautiful neutral shades and each one adds a nice, thick yet sheer layer of bright color while providing SPF 30 protection.

“I created lip SPF because I actually have a condition called venous lake,” Bai says. It is a non-cancerous tumor that appears as a bluish black spot on the lip as a result of cumulative UV damage. “It usually happens to people who are 50 and older, and the fact that I got it when I was 26 just goes to show how much UV damage I’ve taken.”

All three shades, 604 (semi-sheer nude pink), 616 (semi-sheer nude mauve), and 774 (semi-sheer rosy brown), are pigmented with iron oxides, the same ingredient that adds color to tinted SPFs.

“We don’t have synthetic dyes that are so commonly used in lipsticks, eyeshadows, or blushes,” says Bai. “For us, stating that the safety of daily use is very important from a drug development perspective. And we are all drug researchers at my company. So we have a much higher bar in terms of what safety means to us.”

Gentle Amino Powerwash

This cleanser just won our Well+Good SPF Award for The best luxury cleanser to remove sunscreen. It proved its value time and time again throughout the testing process, as I used it to cleanse my face in between the dozens of sunscreens I tried. He left my skin clean without feeling stripped.

“We found that many of the cleansers on the market don’t remove sunscreen even though they claim to remove makeup,” says Bai. “Sunscreen is often even more difficult to remove than color makeup due to the film formers in sunscreen products.” So Pavise created a cleanser that can remove any SPF sunscreen (including waterproof) in one wash.

ultraviolet camera

To make sure you 1) don’t miss a spot when applying sunscreen and 2) get all your sunscreen EOD off, you can use this camera. It plugs into the bottom of an iPhone, turning your camera into a UV camera so you can see exactly where your SPF is or isn’t. We just gave him a Innovation Award during our SPF Awards.

“When you apply sunscreen, the camera helps you see if you’ve applied it evenly or if you’re missing spots,” Bai says. “Often, you’ll actually miss the nose strip and the under-eye area. And a lot of people say, ‘Oh, I apply sunscreen every day, why do I keep getting skin cancer on my nose?’ “It’s because you never actually put sunscreen on your nose like you thought. So this tool really helps make sure you’re fully protected and can tell you when to reapply when you’re sweating. Plus, it can show if a cleanser is effective in terms of removing sunscreen.”

What will come from Pavise

Although Pavise has found a way to innovate with existing UV filters, it is also developing new ones and seeking FDA approval. Millions of dollars are needed to get FDA approval. The process to obtain FDA approval typically involves multiple stages, including preclinical studies, clinical trials (Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III), and the submission of extensive documentation to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the product. The costs involved may include research and development expenses, hiring investigators and clinical trial personnel, manufacturing the product on a large scale, paying regulatory consultants, and covering administrative fees associated with the FDA review process.

But Pavise has engaged investors in their corner to hopefully make it happen, and a new series of products they think deserve approval. “We have four new classes of very, very large chemical UV macro filters that we just developed in the lab that can create SPF 1000,” Bai says. No, that’s not an SPF typo. thousand. “That’s really going to change the way we think about sun care. We are committed to investing and going through the FDA drug approval process together to get those UV filters approved in this country.”

This process will take a while, but even if it doesn’t all come to fruition, we should expect to see more cutting-edge innovation from Pavise.

“We continually work to improve existing formulations or create new molecules as science evolves,” Bai says. “We are never stagnant. It will never be like, ‘This is the formula 10 years later.’ We want to always bring the latest and greatest.”

Our editors select these products independently. Making a purchase through our links may generate a commission for Well+Good.

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