The Post-Natural Campaign — A new natural.

While working on the Skincare 3.0 project, Tiny Associates’s chemists studied molecules with one subsequent objective: unlearning skincare.

Tiny Associates proposes a new natural. This is what the future of sustainable skincare could be. The post-natural movement. For people and planet.

Instead of studying ingredients, Tiny Associates has built a molecular meritocracy based on the latest scientific findings.

A molecular meritocracy: welcome to Tiny Associates’s world of molecules.

Lab-grown, nature-identical molecules

Bio-scientists have, almost unnoticed, discovered ways to make nature-identical molecules in laboratories. They call it biotechnology. It is a far more sustainable model for skincare than standard methods of farming ingredients. Reliance on natural ingredients taxes precious land, water, energy and labor resources — yet the carbon footprint of lab-grown molecules is next to nothing in comparison. The truth is, natural ingredients (nature-derived molecules) are not always what is best for the planet — or the skin. Lab-grown molecules are typically safer and more potent than their nature-derived equivalents. Tiny Associates’s formulas contain nature-identical lab-grown molecules, and we are continuously evaluating new molecules.

Lab-grown, nature-identical ingredients

Bio-scientists have, almost unnoticed, discovered ways to make nature-identical ingredients in laboratories. They call it biotechnology. It is a far more sustainable model for skincare than standard methods of farming ingredients. Reliance on natural ingredients taxes precious land, water, energy and labor resources — yet the carbon footprint of lab-grown ingredients is next to nothing in comparison. The truth is, natural ingredients (nature-derived molecules) are not always what is best for the planet — or the skin. Lab-grown ingredients are typically safer and more potent than their nature-derived equivalents. Tiny Associates’s formulas contain nature-identical lab-grown ingredients, and we are continuously evaluating new molecules.

Collaborate with the billions of microorganisms on your skin

It was recently discovered that human skin is home to billions of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. The skin’s outer layer (the stratum corneum) should no longer be considered a simple layer of dead cells, but rather a layer supporting a complex living ecosystem [3]. Collectively, this is known as your skin’s microbiome and it is important. Scientists uncovered that this microbiome plays a central role in maintaining healthy skin. By strategically eliminating microbiome-disrupting molecules, and adding ones that support it, Tiny Associates formulas work symbiotically with the skin microbiome.

Collaborate with the billions of microorganisms on your skin

It was recently discovered that human skin is home to billions of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. The skin’s outer layer (the stratum corneum) should no longer be considered a simple layer of dead cells, but rather a layer supporting a complex living ecosystem [3]. Collectively, this is known as your skin’s microbiome and it is important. Scientists uncovered that this microbiome plays a central role in maintaining healthy skin. By strategically eliminating microbiome-disrupting molecules, and adding ones that support it, Tiny Associates formulas work symbiotically with the skin microbiome.

Small enough to penetrate the skin

Ingredients matter little. We should be looking deeper—down to the molecular level.

The skin’s corneal layer is remarkably good at blocking molecular penetration. In fact, only molecules smaller than 500 Dalton are able to penetrate skin layers and be absorbed. This is known as “the 500 Dalton rule”, which has fundamental implications for how skincare is designed. This is why scientists advise to restrict the development of new compounds to a molecular weight of under 500 Dalton.[2]

So, Tiny Associates went tiny.

Small enough to penetrate the skin

Ingredients matter little. We should be looking deeper—down to the molecular level.

The skin’s corneal layer is remarkably good at blocking molecular penetration. In fact, only molecules smaller than 500 Dalton are able to penetrate skin layers and be absorbed. This is known as “the 500 Dalton rule”, which has fundamental implications for how skincare is designed. This is why scientists advise to restrict the development of new compounds to a molecular weight of under 500 Dalton.[2]

So, Tiny Associates went tiny.

Natural to the skin

Our formulas consist of skin-natural molecules — molecules the skin identifies as natural. Scientists are continuously learning about the skin’s natural systems for sustaining itself. There are hydrophobic lipid molecules naturally found in human skin, such as ceramides and cholesterol, that play a critical role in the skin’s barrier function [4]. The skin’s Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) is a natural system composed of amino acids that the skin employs to keep itself moisturized. Tiny Associates uses these molecules because they are natural to the skin.

[1] A step forward on sustainability in the cosmetics industry: A review. S Bom, J Jorge, HM Ribeiro, J Marto. Journal of Cleaner Production 225, 270-290, 2019.

[2] Bos, J. D.; Meinardi, M. M. H. M. The 500 Dalton rule for the skin penetration of chemical compounds and drugs. Exp. Dermatol. 2000, 9, 165– 169

[3] Crowther, J.M. Stratum corneum or stratum ecologica? Int. J. Cosmet. Sci. 41, 200–201 (2019).

[4] Bouwstra JA, Ponec M. The skin barrier in healthy and diseased state. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 2006;1758:2080-2095.