Marc St-Onge: 'We want to position ourselves as a leader in this space.'

Marc St-Onge: 'We want to position ourselves as a leader in this space.'

A Halifax-based company has created a new skin care line that claims to treat your skin from the inside out. 

Bend Beauty is a high-end skin-care company that produces ingestible supplements that reduce inflammation in the skin and build its resistance against UV radiation.

Customers take a daily dose of the supplements, in liquid or capsule form. The company says this will improve elasticity and overall health of the skin within weeks.

The company now has two products on the market: its Anti-Aging Formula and Marine Collagen + Co Factors, are both formulated with special ingredients.

“It’s essentially skin care from the inside out,” said CEO Marc St-Onge during an interview. St-Onge said new skin care treatments like his are emerging in the natural health and cosmetics market because traditional treatments, like creams and salves, are not always effective.

“You miss spots and forget to reapply,” said St-Onge.

But the Bend Beauty line isn’t supposed to replace current skin care solutions. A bottle of Bend Beauty’s Anti-Aging Formula or Marine Collagen + Co Factors retails for $80 and $44 respectively. Its products are sold in spas and naturopathic clinics across North America.

According to St-Onge, the company serves between 200 to 300 customers, including A-list users who can’t be named for legal reasons.

Its ranking is the effect of the years of research that went into developing the products.

The initial ideas for what would become Bend Beauty began in 2009 inside a Dalhousie University-based research lab of St-Onge’s first company, Ascenta Health.

After receiving $500,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, St-Onge started to develop Ascenta Skin, a new type of skin care treatment.

“A lot of the core research originated at Ascenta Health,” said St-Onge. “So that was something I brought forward into this new venture.”

Then, in 2015, Ascenta exited in a sale to Nature’s Way, a herbal supplement company from Wisconsin, for an undisclosed amount. With new capital in hand, St-Onge devoted his time to researching his new idea for skin care.

“We just realized we had this really interesting IP we developed from Ascenta,” he said. “One of the conditions in that sale was to carve out all that skincare IP, and it would come along with me.”

In 2017, the company conducted an eight-week clinical trial with 30 people and got its anti-aging and anti-inflammatory claims approved by Health Canada.

The company will celebrate its fourth anniversary this May.

St-Onge said new products are coming down the pipeline, and he hopes to conduct clinical trials for one come springtime. On top of rallying 75 subjects for the trial, St-Onge is focusing on scaling the business and growing Bend into a global brand.

“We want to position ourselves as a leader in this space so we’re continuing to do research,” he said.


Correction: The original article included some inaccurate information. The article may have given the impression that Bend Beauty’s Anti-Aging Formula and Marine Collagen + Co Factors both contain Vitamins C and D and fish collagen. These ingredients are included in one or the other of the products but not in both. The retail price of Marine Collagen + Co Factors is $44 not $40. These products are not sold at health food stores.