The CIA has now entered the skincare business, it seems. Or at least, the agency is funding a product that has some very cool spying properties.
The CIA has injected some cash into Skincential Sciences, a maker of a new skincare product, Clearista, which can be used to collect DNA information from users.
The product, which is claimed to remove blemishes from skin, has caught the attention of bloggers, YouTubers, and even Oprah herself. But The Intercept reports that the CIA’s venture capital arm, In-Q-Tel, has also had its interest piqued.
The public face of Skincential advertises a range of skincare products, but the company has also “developed a patented technology that removes a thin outer layer of the skin, revealing unique biomarkers that can be used for a variety of diagnostic tests, including DNA collection,” The Intercept reports.
The procedure is noninvasive, and is described as “painless” on the Clearista website. It requires only water, a special detergent, and a few brushes against the skin. Easy to use, and effective for DNA collection.
“If there’s something beneath the surface, that’s not part of our relationship and I’m not directly aware. They’re interested here in something that can get easy access to biomarkers,” said Russ Lebovitz, Skincential CEO in an interview with The Intercept.
Lebovitz said he’s unsure of why the spook agency took a particular interest in the company he heads, but said that the fund was “specifically interested in the diagnostics, detecting DNA from normal skin.”
“There’s no better identifier than DNA, and we know we can pull out DNA.”