This New Skincare Line Is Changing How We Protect Our Skin From The Sun—And How We Age
Think back to your high school science classes and there’s a good chance your projects consisted of building a volcano or experimenting with fruit flies. But that certainly wasn’t the case for Sophie Bai, who was chosen to enroll in the National Science Program on behalf of China at age 14. When she was 16, she discovered an anti-aging compound and a minor planet (Planet No. 25045) was named after her by NASA and MIT Lincoln Laboratory to celebrate her scientific accomplishment. From there, Bai attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied chemical engineering with a focus on biomedical engineering. Since then, she has invented and patented multiple proprietary molecules to provide cures and treatment for eczema, skin cancer and skin aging. After completing her MBA at Harvard Business School, Bai founded B.A.I. Biosciences, and that extensive research, along with her own skincare journey, lead her to create Pavise, a new prestige skincare line focusing on sun care—and how we age.
“When I was doing the anti-aging work, I wasn’t thinking about skin—I was thinking about prolonging the lifespan of humans and how we can live above 120, 150 or 200 years,” Bai says. “I had always been fascinated about medicine, because my mom had always been sick since I was young, and I saw her taking pills, and that could have made her all of a sudden become better. There’s nothing more powerful you can do than save somebody’s life.”
Creating an advanced formula for sunscreen really can save lives. “One in five Americans get skin cancer,” Bai says. “That’s a lot of people. And we need to take this more seriously.” Thanks to the truly revolutionary science behind it, Pavise is changing the way we safeguard our skin from the sun. Tapping into groundbreaking molecular technology, their formulations offer a new level of protection from full spectrum UV rays, which are the leading cause of skin damage, skin cancer and premature aging.
Bai knew a major hurdle is convincing people to actually wear sunscreen daily, so nailing the formula was key. “Historically, sunscreen is a beach product—you only use it when you go to the beach—but now it has become an everyday product,” she says. She wanted a mineral filter, which is safer than a chemical option, since “we don’t know what the systematic accumulation of those UV filters is going to do to you, and in the in vitro and animal studies, the results are not looking good,” Bai says. It was crucial that the zinc oxide be completely transparent, so it didn’t leave any cast on any skin tones, plus it had to wear well under makeup. Bai created a molecule that’s so tightly sized that it isn’t visible to the naked eye.
Growing up with severe cystic acne and eczema, creating a formula that worked for all skin types, particularly sensitive ones like hers, was also a must for Bai. “I was kicked out of a public speaking contest when I was 11 years old,” Bai recalls. “The judges, in front of an audience of a thousand people, said, ‘you’re ugly; we don’t want to listen to what you have to say,’ That moment made me feel like it doesn’t matter how hard I try, maybe I’m just not enough and I don’t even deserve a chance. I don’t even have any teenage photos of me because I’m so scared of how people are going to judge me because of how I looked. Even though I went to number one in China in math and science among 1.5 billion people, I felt I was not good enough. That’s why I felt like nobody is solving this problem; let me do it. So, that’s how I started this company in 2020.”
During clinical testing, in which they tested on 100 people over 30 days, not a single acne lesion was formed. “We’re very serious about the claims we make because essentially we’re a drug company,” Bai says. “That’s why we go through extensive clinical trials; we work with Mass General Hospital, Department of Dermatology, to run a lot of studies together. We are a biotech company that has more than 20 patents and molecules in our portfolio to be commercialized into skin and personal care. We created our own UV filter that’s 10 times better than traditional UV filters in terms of safety and efficacy. It’s the best anti-aging product out there because we have the highest UVA protection on the market.”
Pavise consists of four products. Dynamic Age Defense SPF is quite the multitasker, serving as a treatment, moisturizer and sunscreen. “We already have [so many] layers of products on our face,” Bai says. “We don’t want more. By creating one product, we can ensure the proper amount is being applied.” The three-in-one is zinc oxide-based, but goes on completely clear on all skin tones to deliver broad spectrum SPF 30. Its hero ingredient is Pavise’s patent-pending DiamondCore Shield Technology, which provides the best and longer wavelength protection from UVA, UVB, and high energy visible light, all while visibly minimizing the appearance of hyperpigmentation and preventing and delaying the signs of skin aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity and loss of facial volume caused by UVA. Meanwhile, the brand’s proprietary Photoaging Defense Cocktail fights free radicals, leading to healthy, glowing skin. The formula is so potent that it can extend the results of cosmetic procedures, such as lasers and peels.
Some cleansers get a bad rep for leaving traces of sunscreen behind, as well as other impurities, and a clean slate is needed for the rest of your skincare products to be as effective as possible. That’s why Pavise Gentle Amino Powerwash is designed to leave skin squeaky clean of impurities, excess oil, waterproof makeup and sunscreen. Developed by dermatologists and medical oncologists, the gentle foam cleanser gently exfoliates, yet it doesn’t strip skin, leaving the skin barrier intact. It’s even safe for acne-prone complexions, as it works to smooth uneven texture and clarify.
One of the most common places people forget to apply sunscreen is their lips, so Pavise created their Lip Defense SPF. The tinted lip oil comes in three hues, each named after their corresponding color wavelength of light. The multitasking formula hydrates, protects from UV damage with SPF 30 and prevents lips from thinning as well as filler migration. Their universally flattering shades come courtesy of a natural tint, sans any dyes or titanium dioxide.
Finally, there’s the UV Camera to ensure you never miss a spot when applying your sunscreen. Made to be used with the Pavise app and compatible with iOS devices, it taps UV lens technology to take videos and photos that check for sunscreen application uniformity. The camera also shows existing photodamage below the skin’s surface that’s sometimes not yet visible to the naked eye to help prevent future age spots, dark spots, sun spots, hyperpigmentation and melasma. Small enough for on-the-go, it can be tucked into a beach bag to ensure you ace sunscreen reapplication every time.
“You simply plug it into your iPhone, the app will pop up, and essentially it will see the damage on your face that’s invisible to you,” Bai says. “The beauty of the UV camera is it shows you what you are going to look like under UV light, which is invisible, so you’re able to see the unseen. It’s kind of an early self-exam diagnostic tool for you to realize how much UV damage you have had over the years. Once you apply sunscreen, you actually will see sunscreen showing up under the UV camera—it will appear dark blue—because it’s very important to make sure you actually covered every inch of your skin.”
Ultimately, Bai hopes Pavise will change the way that people approach suncare. “I believe skincare starts with suncare, because 90% of skin problems are caused by UVA,” she says. “You don’t need to have wrinkles because wrinkles are not caused by your age. Wrinkles are caused by UVA. Dark spots, hyperpigmentation, facial volume loss, lip thinning, and wrinkles are all because of external factors that have nothing to do with you. Only 3% of aging is genetic. We believe our product is way more than suncare—it’s overall skin health and anti-aging, because if you’re serious about not wanting wrinkles, the first thing is to be thinking about is UVA.”