This Emeryville Lab Wants to Science the Sh!t Out of Skincare

Photo courtesy of Eighteen B

Photo courtesy of Eighteen B

You expect skincare to come from cosmetics brands or pharmaceutical companies—not a textile startup. But Bolt Threads has never been your average textile manufacturer. The company made its name innovating sustainable, lab-grown spider silk and a mushroom-based leather-product called Mylo. This is where the narrative takes a twist. Lindsay Wray, a biomedical engineer, was a material scientist at Bolt Threads, where she helped produce unbroken, high-quality silk for the consumer textile industry. Wray realized that she could incorporate these full-length chains into skincare products to help retain more of silk’s natural properties, and created a new skincare company—Eighteen B—around that technology.

The secret sauce in Eighteen B’s two launch products, a $95 cream moisturizer and a $75 hydrogel moisturizer, is a proprietary B-Silk Protein. The company explains that most silk used in skincare is highly processed, but B-Silk Protein is developed through a fermentation process in the lab, thus retaining more of silk’s regenerative qualities. Eighteen B claims its products lock in moisture and promote long-term healthy skin. From an aesthetic perspective, the company says the products can visibly lift, restore, and smooth skin over time. Both moisturizers are “clean:” fragrance free, paraben free, phthalate free, and petrolatum free (including mineral oil and petroleum distillates).

That’s the official word from Eighteen B scientists and testing, but you’re allowed to form your own opinions. Products are backed by a 75-day guarantee—more than 10 weeks—so you can see for yourself if silk protein works for you. If you try it and it’s not your jam, return your purchase for a full refund.

Curious about silk-based skincare? You can learn more about the science behind the brand at