A Stanford-trained scientist with more than 15 years of research in human stem cell-derived products, Jordan Plews, Ph.D., is focused on the natural cellular repair process of the skin. He is CEO and co-founder of ELEVAI Skincare, the first exosome product developed specifically to be used topically and the first shelf-stable exosome formula. Exosomes are cellular components that exist outside the cell and carry nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and more. They can help protect the skin from oxidative stress. Here, Plews shares how he defines wellness as well as how science can transform the skin and how we age.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness, to me, represents a holistic balance that encompasses physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s not just the absence of disease but the active pursuit of a lifestyle that fosters vitality, happiness, and longevity.
What are your favorite things to do to maintain your personal wellbeing?
I enjoy activities that nourish both the body and mind. A morning jog, followed by a session of meditation, sets a positive tone for my day. I also aim to do strength training at least three times a week. Additionally, reading on a wide range of topics keeps my mind sharp and engaged.
Is there a specific fitness activity that you love and why?
I am particularly fond of swimming in the ocean. It combines physical exertion with the serenity of nature, which I find to be incredibly rejuvenating and grounding.
What is your favorite healthy food, and do you have a favorite way of preparing it?
Just about anything pickled. Pickled vegetables prepared with zesty spices is probably my go-to.
What is your greatest wellness achievement?
The disciplined establishment of a morning routine that prioritizes physical activity, mindfulness, and nutrition. Starting each day with exercise, meditation, and a protein-rich breakfast has been instrumental in enhancing my overall wellbeing and focus. This ritual has not only strengthened my body but also helps to center my mind, fueling both personal and professional success.
What person in wellness do you most admire and why?
Over the last 20 years, I’ve watched wellness and longevity branch out of the science around aging, with some of the most profound discoveries rooted in stem cell research and somatic cell reprogramming, which became the focus of my doctorate research.
For me personally, it started with going to the British Library and photocopying articles by John Gurdon from the early 1960s (pre-digital), following the work of Ian Wilmut (known best for cloning Dolly the Sheep), and Shinya Yamanaka. Ultimately, Yamanaka and Gurdon shared the 2012 Nobel prize for their contributions, heavily influencing my doctorate and later research, and forming the basis of much of David Sinclair’s work, arguably the most notable longevity researcher today.
What is the best piece of wellness advice you have ever received and from whom?
“Consistency over intensity”—I can’t recall where I first heard this, but it’s become a simple reminder that lasting wellness comes from daily habits, not occasional extremes.
What do you think is the most exciting wellness innovation you have recently discovered?
As a stem cell researcher and biotechnologist, I’m biased of course, but I think exosomes, particularly human stem cell exosomes, have many exciting applications and are likely the vehicle to enable rejuvenation to be stored and bottled for use as needed.
What is your idea of balanced healthy happiness?
It’s the ability to engage fully with life, with a body that’s nurtured, a mind that’s stimulated, and a heart that’s content.
What do you think is the most overused word or words in wellness?
Detox. It’s often used in contexts that lack scientific backing and can be misleading about how our bodies actually function.
Do you have a secret health or wellness tip you would like to share?
Exosomes—as a biochemical engineer and stem cell researcher, most of my personal focus has been on ways to support your own innate healing and recovery systems, essentially leveraging your own biology. Topical exosomes are a simple and effective way to support skin health and help you look as young as you feel when you follow a science-backed wellness routine.
What is your go-to for de-stressing?
Hot and cold exposure. Nothing is as de-stressing for me personally as sauna, steam, and cold plunge. Rotating between hot and cold while in a meditative state helps me relax and has even knocked out migraine headaches on more than one occasion.
What wellness-related books or authors do you recommend, and why?
I like Peter Attia’s book, Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity. It’s a great overview blending scientific research with practical advice on how to modify lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and sleep to not just live longer, but better. It’s an essential read for those looking to make informed, proactive decisions about their long-term health and wellness, based on the latest advancements in longevity science.
How do you celebrate small victories?
By taking a moment to reflect and express gratitude. Sometimes, it’s the small achievements that pave the way for larger successes.
What brings you joy?
Seeing the impact our work at ELEVAI Labs has on improving people’s lives and helping them to be happier and more comfortable in their own skin brings me immense joy.