Verso on how to create a brand new molecule, combining the best of two worlds

Most new molecules are developed by big corporations. Verso’s new and patented NEAR 1 is rather the opposite.
November 17, 2022

Vitamin A and Niacinamide are, rightly so, two of the most well-known hero ingredients for the skincare consumer of today. Now, they have been combined in Verso’s new and patented molecule NEAR 1 (Niacinamidoethyl Retinoate), described as a third-generation retinoid.

— It combines the best of two worlds in a true ’ingredient power couple’ where Niacinamide stabilizes and enhances Vitamin A, creating a high-performance vitamin A with great stability, Lars Fredriksson, Verso’s founder and CEO, explains. The first-ever product with NEAR 1 is our Super Elixir, a brightening facial oil for a radiant complexion. It is formulated and developed to target the appearance of uneven skin tone — and I would be surprised if the market will not see additional products with NEAR 1!

Verso Super Elixir.

How was the process of creating it together with your Italian lab partner?

— There were several challenges. First, it was not possible just to merge the two as each of them has different chemical properties, so they did not fit. However, after many months and hard work by the lab, this was solved by a special chemical process, a link was created, and NEAR 1 was born. Secondly, vitamin A is very sensitive and breaks down easily when exposed to oxygen and/or light, so we had to make sure that the molecule was stable and didn’t break down. When this was solved, we had to make sure the molecule was able to be incorporated in a formulation, where the molecule keeps its stability and dissolves in the right way, says Fredriksson. He continues:

— There were so many steps back and forth and every time we made changes, we had to make thorough tests to make sure that the molecules’ performance was intact. There were so many setbacks along the way, but I never gave up, even if it took longer time than I ever imagined. The result is fantastic, today we have a molecule that no one else has and with great efficacy data. I am sure that this will be a long-lived ingredient.

The molecule.

You’ve been in the industry for a long time. What other insights do you see when looking ahead?

— We will see continued development around sustainability, regarding what ingredients and packaging are being used and improved supply chain solutions and logistics. We’ll go more towards personalized skincare solutions where lifestyle and location will be important. For example, people that are more active. And, also, location-dependent GEO skincare. Science will become more important than ever, and I do believe that we can skip the bullshit — I think that the consumer will appreciate straight talking and honesty!