Is Skincare the CIA's New DNA Collection Frontier?
This story originally appeared on Allure
Did you know that the CIA (like, the Central Intelligence Agency, not the Culinary Institute of America) has a venture capital arm called In-Q-Tel? Yeah, neither did we. So we're betting you also didn't know that in addition to investing in computer and satellite technologies like the pre-Google Google Earth, In-Q-Tel has also invested in skin care.
Specifically, the CIA has invested in a company called Skincential Sciences, best known for the brand Clearista. The company's star product, Clearista Retexturizing Gel, is touted as an alternative to chemical peels and lasers, using a formula based on jojoba esters to treat everything from zits and wrinkles to dry skin.
So why is In-Q-Tel so hung up on smoother skin? Are spies just too sensitive forclassic AHA peels? As it turns out, Clearista's patented technology for removing all of the gunk that makes your complexion lackluster also takes off a thin outer layer of skin full of biomarkers that can be used for things like DNA collection. Exactly what the CIA would do with such biomarker-extraction technology is still a mystery—it isthe CIA, after all—but Skincential Sciences chief executive Russ Lebovitz posited that the biomarkers could be used for crime-scene identification or in some form of drug testing.
Skincential Sciences isn't the only company In-Q-Tel has invested in that has potentially DNA-related technologies, but it is the only one (that we know of!) that can give you a more radiant complexion. And in case you're not a major government intelligence agency but still want to invest like one, you can get in on the action at the brand's Kickstarter campaign.
Head over to The Intercept for the full story.