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A little while back I did a brand focus for Biossance, which you can check out here but they've since launched a bunch of new products so it only seemed right to do a second roundup...
I'll just get the 'meh' product out of the way first! The Squalane & Amino Aloe Gentle Cleanser* | £20 | is a perfectly-fine foaming gel cleanser, but this type of product just isn't my preference. As far as they go, though, this one does have some nice ingredients; all of Biossance's products are infused with sugarcane-derived squalane, which is a skin-similar moisturising oil, plus there's glycerin and amino acids for hydration and soothing aloe. It's not overly sudsy and does have a little bit of body to it. It works for me as a second cleanse in the evening during the summer and if you like a gel cleanser or need that foaming action from a product then this is a pretty safe bet and it doesn't feel drying on my skin.
The next product is one I really enjoyed and you might have seen me mention it already; it's their Squalane and Elderberry Jelly Cleanser* | £22. This is a pretty unique formula; it comes out like a jelly but as you massage it onto dry skin, it melts down into something more oil-based (which can effectively remove makeup and sunscreen) and if you apply water to your skin afterwards, it emulsifies off into a milk without leaving behind a residue. It can be used as a moisturising, softening morning cleanse or as a first cleanse in the evening and the fact it's in a tube means it's super travel-friendly. My only gripe is honestly that the packaging should be improved because mine is now all scratched up and battered!
Moving on from cleansers, I also recently tried out the Squalane and Hyaluronic Toning Mist* | £25. I'm not usually a fan of humectants in face mists because ingredients like hyaluronic acid are water magnets, so if applied to dry skin they can actually grab onto existing moisture and then as the product evaporates off, it takes all of that with it so your skin feels drier than it did before. However, I liked the inclusion of squalane in this formula, as oils can help seal things in a little bit so the hydration remains within the skin. However, this wasn't my favourite; I personally still felt like I needed to follow this up with my serum really quickly or else it would seem to disappear on my skin. Ultimately, I've just tried mists that I prefer and provide a more robust, long-lasting level of hydration.
I personally had more luck with their Squalane and BHA Pore Minimising Toner* | £24. Again, the addition of squalane really elevates this product and acts as a differentiator when it's compared with other similar products on the market. This is an exfoliating toner formulated with oil-soluble BHAs, meaning that using this type of acid clears out spot-causing debris from your pores. This product uses willow bark extract, which is a kind of precursor to salicylic acid, and also betaine salicylate, which is salicylic acid combined with betaine for hydration. So this mix means you're really getting a gentler, more hydrating, less drying take on the BHA toner. Whilst I wouldn't say this is a super-effective treatment-style product if you have very persistent acne; if you have drier or more mature skin or you're very sensitive but want to help move along the breakouts you do experience, then this is a great option as and when you need it or 3 times a week!
Next up is their Squalane and Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum* | £52. Copper peptides are an ingredient I really love for my skin - they support your collagen production so your skin stays full and bouncy for longer, and they also have a reparative quality and hydrating benefits. Panthenol soothes the skin and helps it retain hydration, hyaluronic acid and polyglutamic acid draw water into the skin, we obviously have moisturising squalane and then there are various antioxidant-rich plant extracts in the mix, such as turmeric. This has a gel texture which makes it easier to apply than some other copper peptide serums on the market that are super watery. And it delivers on its promises in that my skin looks and feels healthier, plumper and bouncier after use.
I also tried their Squalane and Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum* | £48. This is a lightweight milky serum that combines 3-O ethylated ascorbic acid with licorice root. Pure ascorbic acid is amazing for brightening dark spots, protecting the skin against free radical damage and boosting up collagen production in the skin, but it’s notoriously tricky to formulate with. Ethylated ascorbic acid (with 3-O being the most reliable form of it) is a Vitamin C derivative, whereby ascorbic acid is tinkered with to improve its stability. It’s also going to feel nice and gentle on the skin. The jury is still out on if this will actually boost collagen production but it can still be helpful for hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, as the product name suggests. Licorice root is a gentle extract with the ability to inhibit the activity of an enzyme that causes excess melanin production and therefore prevents dark spots when the skin has been injured or otherwise inflamed. This all sounds great but I do think the brand shot itself in the foot by branding this as a dark spot treatment when it only contains these two ingredients and to make a real dent in the issue, because you'll probably need a bit more than that. It’s a nice daily serum with a lovely, moisturising texture that makes my skin look fresh and glowing and you’re getting an antioxidant benefit but I didn’t find it dramatically helped even out my skin tone, and I would have liked to see at least another 2-3 of these tyrosinase-inhibitors in this for it to really make a difference.
Finally, we have the Squalane and Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30* | £23. This had pretty good reviews from the US and it’s not too expensive for a mineral formula so I was looking forward to trying it. If you’re not familiar with different sunscreen types, essentially: mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide (often alongside titanium dioxide) and chemical sunscreens are... everything else. If you’re here in the UK like me, you’ve probably only used chemical sunscreens because European brands have a huge range of modern sunscreen filters to work with that generally aren’t irritating and don’t leave a cast, however American brands aren’t approved to use these filters which is why mineral sunscreens are so popular over there. Mineral sunscreen can still be helpful for people with access to good chemical sunscreens because the likelihood of irritation is still reduced because mineral filters are extremely unlikely to cause sensitivity and - given there are only the two filters really being used - there’s less guesswork involved. The issue is that zinc oxide is essentially a powder, so it’s really difficult to make a cosmetically-elegant formula when you’re using a high concentration of it; it naturally leans towards being dry, difficult to spread and stubbornly white. This product is actually not bad - it does feel light, fluid and moisturising and it doesn’t pill up (another frequent complaint I have with mineral sunscreens) but it’s branded as ‘sheer’ and it is not! It definitely leaves at least a bit of a cast on my skin with proper application, and with it being an SPF 30, especially during the summer - you’re going to need to reapply this several times throughout the day (which is only going to worsen the issue). It’s not really possible to formulate a truly sheer mineral sunscreen so I wish brands would stop making this claim; the best you can do is try to make it as sheer as possible and offer a few different lightly-tinted options. Given we have good sunscreen options in this country, I’ll stick to my current favourites.
Have you tried any of these newer launches from Biossance? Let me know how you got on with them!