Learn the Science

Silk is soft, lustrous, and incredibly strong – stronger than steel and nearly as tough as Kevlar. Eighteen B harnesses the power of silk to reinforce the skin’s natural barrier, which we believe is critical to supporting skin health.
Our Chief Science Officer, Lindsay Wray, PhD, pioneered a production and purification process that mimics spider silk. We engineer b-silk™ protein using a simple fermentation process in which the inputs are yeast, water, sugar, and salt. Our method is clean, sustainable and cruelty-free.
Why the name Eighteen B? Our brand is named after our proprietary ingredient, b-silk™ protein. B-silk™ protein is comprised of 18 repeating blocks of an amino acid sequence found in natural spider silk, and is a structural protein similar to collagen and elastin.
Read more about how we make b-silk™ protein on The Lab.

The high molecular weight of b-silk™ protein makes it a multi-tasker, acting as both a carrier and a barrier.

Carrier:

B-silk™ protein carries beneficial low molecular weight ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid to the skin.

Barrier:

B-silk™ protein forms a lightweight, breathable barrier on the surface of the skin that holds nourishing ingredients close and protects skin from external aggressors like pollution and oxidation.

Read more about what barrier protection is and why it is important for skin health in The Lab.

Scientifically designed. Scientifically tested.

Clinically-tested efficacy lies at the heart of our process. We rely on quantitative measurements, expert grading, and customer surveys to develop our products and distill their benefits. We also have a strict practice around safety testing.

Clinical Trials:

We use third party clinical trials to quantitatively evaluate the efficacy of our formulations impact on skin in an unbiased manner using trained expert evaluators and scientific instruments like cutometers and corneometers.

Consumer Panel Testing:

We always test our formulations with third party consumer panels to determine their efficacy in an unbiased manner. In consumer trials, subjects use the products for a given period of time and report their results.

Human Repeat Insult Patch Test (HRIPT):

We test for skin sensitivity and irritation potential using the Human Repeat Insult Patch Test.

Ocular Irritation:

We use this test to determine if a product can irritate the eye if it manages to get in the skin around the eyes, the eye lids, as well as the conjunctiva (the membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids and covers the surface of the eye).

Stability:

This test determines how stable a formula is, confirming that the formulation specifications and characteristics (e.g. pH, viscosity, color) do not change outside of an allowable range.

Package Compatibility:

This test confirms that our formulations are compatible with the packaging we have selected, that there is no adverse interaction between the two, and that our product will remain stable for the shelf life noted on the package.

The scientific method at work

To determine the impact of our b-silk™ protein on skin barrier protection, we do a great deal of testing internally and with external labs. In the lab study pictured to the left, we used carbon particles as a proxy for pollution and applied it to an untreated skin like material (image left) and this same material coated with b-silk™ protein (image right). As you can see, the presence of b-silk™ protein visibly helped defend against carbon adsorption.