Biossance is a skin care brand owned by Amyris Inc., a California company specializing in science and technology. In 2003, Amyris Inc. scientists developed patented technology that allowed them to create an accessible cure for malaria. Thanks to this technology, over 120 million royalty-free treatments have been successfully given. The company was inspired to continue using innovative biotechnology to make a positive impact on the world, which is why they created Biossance skin care. Biossance formulates clean, nontoxic skin care using the highest standards in the industry through their commitment to transparency. The brand even has a blacklist of over 2,000 toxic ingredients, and they prioritize sustainability with eco-friendly formulas and packaging.
Biossance offers a wide variety of skin care products for concerns such as aging skin, dry skin, dull skin, and oily skin. The types of skin care products they currently offer include moisturizers, oils, masks, serums, cleansers, eye care, and lip care. A few of the most popular Biossance skin care products include their 100% Squalane Oil, Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum, Squalane Marine Algae Eye Cream, and Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil.
Biossance 100% Squalane Oil contains only one ingredient: squalane. The oil can be used on your face, body, and hair. It is claimed to instantly hydrate and lock in essential moisture, leaving the skin exceptionally soft and smooth. When used on the hair, Biossance 100% Squalane Oil can help to add shine and tame flyaways, split ends, and frizz. We’ll give you all the details on this key ingredient in the next section.
Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum is a lightweight anti-aging serum that is said to reduce the look of lines and wrinkles while visibly firming skin. One of the key ingredients in this serum is bakuchiol. Bakuchiol is an east asian plant seed extract that provides many of the same benefits as retinol, including the ability to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and reduce the effects of sun damage (including uneven skin tone). Interestingly, bakuchiol can provide all of these benefits without the irritation or sensitivity that is typically associated with retinol. Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum also features niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 that has the ability to repair the skin barrier and improve skin moisture, as well as reduce inflammation, blotchiness, hyperpigmentation, acne, and wrinkling.
Biossance Squalane Marine Algae Eye Cream is a rich eye cream that is said to revitalize and bring a lifted look to eyes. One of the key ingredients in this eye cream is astaxanthin, a carotenoid (carotene pigment) found in algae that functions as the strongest natural antioxidant known. As an antioxidant, astaxanthin helps to prevent oxidative damage to skin after exposure to UVA radiation. One ingredient in the Biossance Squalane Marine Algae Eye Cream that really helps to lift saggy eyelids is paracress extract. When applied to the skin, paracress extract easily penetrates the skin and reduces muscle tension, thus reducing wrinkles by relaxing the skin. Paracress extract has been clinically tested to target the appearance of deep wrinkles and loss of skin firmness. It was found that Paracress extract can help to reorganize and tighten collagen fibres by stimulating the fibroblasts. Ultimately, this results in firmer and smoother skin.
The final Biossance skin care product we’ll discuss is the Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil. This brightening, vitamin-C-rich face oil is said to target dullness, dark spots, and discolorations while increasing brightness, firmness and radiance. It contains the stable, oil-soluble vitamin C derivative known as tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. Once absorbed into the skin, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is converted to ascorbic acid (the active form of vitamin C), which provides numerous benefits to the skin. Ascorbic acid exerts potent antioxidant activity. Like other antioxidants, ascorbic acid is capable of protecting the skin from free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS). Ascorbic acid also serves as a cofactor for two enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of collagen. By increasing the amount of collagen in the skin, signs of aging will be diminished and the skin will appear more firm. Lastly, ascorbic acid can decrease the appearance of dark spots and improve uneven skin tone through inhibition of melanin synthesis.
As you may have noticed in the previous section, squalane is a key ingredient in all Biossance skin care products. Squalane is claimed to replenish lost moisture, calm irritation, help to maintain hydration, and leave the skin exceptionally soft. But what exactly is squalane?
Did you know that your skin contains its own version of squalane known as squalene (note the e)? Squalene is the biochemical precursor to cholesterol and the whole family of steroid hormones in the human body. It is produced by the oil glands in the skin, and plays an important role in skin lubrication and protection. However, the amount made and retained in the skin decreases over time. It peaks in our teens and then starts to decline in our 20’s, leaving skin rough, dry, and vulnerable.
Since squalene is very unstable, Biossance uses squalane because it is a saturated and stable hydrocarbon that mimics squalene. Squalane helps to replenish the skin’s lipid barrier, which is composed of corneocytes (dead skin cells) held together by a mixtures of lipids (ceramides, cholesterol, fatty acids, squalene, etc.). A strong, intact barrier is important to keep moisture in and keep things like allergens, bacteria, and irritants out. When the barrier is weakened, these intruders can pass through the top layer of skin, causing damage that ultimately leads to common skin conditions such as acne, rashes, sensitive skin, and even signs of aging. Replenishing the skin’s lipid barrier with products containing squalane can help to prevent these problems.
Biossance has found a way to produce squalane as safely and effectively as the body does. The brand derives their squalane from 100% plant-based, renewable sugarcane, which is then bio-fermented to create the end result—highly stable, sustainable, and eco-friendly squalane. Squalane is a suitable moisturizer for all skin types.
Biossance reviews on the brand’s website are overall positive, with the 100% Squalane Oil, the Squalane Marine Algae Eye Cream, and the Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil all receiving an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars. However, Biossance Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum has only received an average of 3.5 out of 5 stars. Negative reviews for this serum are mostly concerning the packaging, which state that the pump stops working once you’re about ⅔ of the way through the bottle. Many customers find this to be unacceptable since they are paying for 30 mL of product and can only get 20 mL out. Packaging seems to be problematic for all Biossance skin care products.
Positive reviews for Biossance skin care products mention that squalane helps to keep the skin hydrated and soft without feeling too greasy or heavy. There are many positive reviews for the Squalane Marine Algae Eye Cream, with users claiming that it effectively reduces the appearance of fine lines and dark spots.
What are some alternatives to Biossance?
As you can see, Biossance formulates their skin care products to contain mostly naturally-derived ingredients to treat a variety of skin concerns. While there is a growing consumer demand for natural products, it’s important to keep in mind that there are numerous synthetic skin care ingredients that are not only safe to use but also provide many benefits to the skin. That’s why we recommend Formulyst products. Formulyst believes in long-term skin care treatments rather than short-term cover-ups. That’s why they use ground-breaking research and cutting-edge technology to formulate advanced skin care treatments that combine both natural and synthetic ingredients that are proven to be safe and effective.
Let’s take Formulyst’s new Anti-Aging Concentrate for example. It is a fragrance free, highly concentrated formula that conditions your complexion and helps reduce the appearance of age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines. This serum contains natural ingredients like squalane, green tea, vitamin C, and vitamin E. All of these ingredients provide powerful antioxidant activity, protecting the skin against environmental free radicals that are known to degrade collagen. In addition, this serum contains Matrixyl 3000, a peptide complex composed of the matrikines palmitoyl tripeptide-1 and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7. These two peptides work synergistically to restore and maintain the skin’s youthful appearance by signaling to cells to produce more collagen. Numerous studies have proven the anti-aging and anti-wrinkle efficacy of Matrixyl 3000. Overall, Formulyst Anti-Aging Concentrate is a multi-tasking serum that is formulated to help promote the five signs of youth – radiance, elasticity, firmness, skin tone and smoothness.
If you like to use facial oils, we recommend trying Formulyst Nourishing Oil. Similar to Biossance’s oil, this facial oil contains squalane for all of its moisturizing and nourishing properties. But what makes Formulyst’s Nourishing Oil even better is the addition of omega-rich oils – including amaranth, olive, macadamia and avocado – which provide the skin with omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9. The antioxidants in Argan oil help keep skin moist, while vitamin C-rich grape seed oil visibly smooths and evens skin tone.