Natural beauty has generated a significant buzz during the past few years as beauty lovers seek out brands which have vegan credentials, sustainability and good ethics at the heart of their mission statements. Skincare in particular is one of the fastest growing trends in natural beauty. But while there is a plethora of 'clean' beauty brands cropping up, not many are as Instagram-worthy or adored by beauty editors and influencers as Biossance.
Created in a lab in California (by the same set of scientists who discovered an accessible cure for malaria), Biossance has fans worldwide, especially in New York, where you'll spot countless billboards showcasing the latest launches. And there's good news for skincare obsessives in the UK, as the brand has just launched exclusively on Cult Beauty.
So what can you expect? The line features some of Biossance's hero products, including eight dermatologist-approved, vegan-friendly and cruelty-free moisturisers, cleansers, oils and serums. The star ingredient in each product is sustainable, plant-derived squalane, which experts are touting as the next big thing in skincare. Squalane is produced naturally in our skin but just like collagen, it depletes as we get older. Cue dryness and a lacklustre look. Biossance's core face and body product, 100% Squalane Oil, £27, is a silky, non-comedogenic (so less likely to clog pores) oil which, applied to skin, helps to lock in moisture, protect against external aggressors such as cold weather and improve elasticity, leaving your skin hydrated, plump and nourished. It can also be used in hair.
What else is worth your hard earned cash? One product adored by women in NYC is the Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel, £46, which has sold out numerous times at Sephora. The award-winning product is made with a mix of squalane and Swiss apple stem cell extract, which the brand mentions helps tackle puffiness.
The Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum, £61, is good, too, but it isn't retinol as you know it. The serum features natural alternative bakuchiol, which targets fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage, and improves skin firmness. But R29's ultimate favourite is the Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturiser, £44, a lightweight moisturiser containing exfoliating lactic acid and moisturising glycerin. It brightens dull skin and works to reduce redness, with some fans claiming it improves mild rosacea.
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Other products in the range include the Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil, £25, which washes off even the most stubborn waterproof mascara; the Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Facial, £57, a 10-minute all-in-one face peel packed full of AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) to exfoliate dead skin; and the Squalane + Omega Repair Cream, £46, a luxurious moisturiser rich in lipids and ceramides, which protect the skin's barrier, hydrate parched patches and make skin radiant.
The 5-star reviews speak for themselves, but the brand's main focus is on sustainability and ethics. Biossance prides itself on not using any of the EU's 1,500 banned ingredients in its products and has even been verified by the Environmental Working Group. Its squalane (not to be confused with squalene, which is derived from shark liver oil) is sourced from renewable sugarcane. The products are also housed in FSC certified conscious packaging made from sustainable sugarcane fibre. "Our products use the most effective and conscious ingredients," said Catherine Gore, president of Biossance. "We want our consumers to know what they are putting on their skin is good for them, the environment and ultimately giving them their healthiest skin yet."
While the price point isn't quite The Ordinary (products range between £25 and £61), there's no denying that the brand's eco-friendly credentials and expert-approved formulas deliver results. Even better, the products complement any skincare routine, whether your concern is dryness, redness or even breakouts, and can be swapped in and out depending on what you want to target and when.