Biossance Skincare Review: Squalane Oil, Serums, Moisturizers + More!
I’ve been using Biossance for years now and have tried out most of their products so I figured I would do a comprehensive Biossance skincare review! I’m sharing the background behind the brand, detailed product reviews, and how to save money on Biossance products!
*I’ve been gifted Biossance products in the past and also purchased my own. As usual, all opinions are my own!
Biossance is owned by the biotechnology company, Amyris, which focuses on creating sustainable versions of ingredients that are derived from petrolum and other non-sustainable sources. Around 2003, Amyris started developing technology that allowed them to create a more accessible cure for Malaria! They decided to take their sustainable practices into the cosmetic world and developed Biossance.
The main ingredient in Biossance products is Squalane, which comes from Squalene. Squalane oil (used in skincare) is produced when the unstable squalene undergoes hydrogenation processing. Squalene is naturally produced in the body and contributes to skin’s natural moisture. Over the years, the amount of squalene the body produces decreases which leads to drier skin.
Squalene is naturally found in shark liver. Obviously, harvesting squalene from shark liver is bad for sharks and the environment. Unfortunately, squalane derived from shark liver is widely used in a lot of skincare products. Squalene is also present in olive oil but it’s more expensive to produce and not exactly sustainable either.
Through their breakthrough biotechnology, Biossance was able to develop a plant-based alternative made from sustainable sugar cane! Their squalane is stable, sustainable, and eco-friendly so you can feel good about using it in your skincare products!
Benefits of Squalane Oil
As I mentioned above, squalene is a naturally produced substance in the human body that contributes to skin’s hydration. As early as your 20’s the amount of squalene produced starts to decline so it’s important to add it back in through your skincare routine.
Squalane is a lightweight, non greasy oil that provides excellent hydration. It is a very stable oil that has a long shelf life which makes it great for use in skincare products. It is also able to penetrate deep into the skin because of it’s molecular structure that’s similar to the skin’s own structure. Squalane is also a saturated oil which is the best kind of facial oil to use. Saturated oils don’t oxidize in the presence of light, heat, or oxygen. When oils oxidize they can actually cause harm to your skin! Squalane helps protect from oxidative damage and free radicals that cause premature aging. It’s also non-comedogenic, anti-bacterial, and non-irritating so it’s safe for all skin types!
No Compromise Clean Beauty
Biossance is also committed to using non-toxic, sustainable, and clinically proven ingredients in all of their products. They have blacklisted over 2,000 ingredients that are toxic for humans and the environment. For comparison, the US only bans 12 ingredients and Europe leads the way with 1,376+ banned ingredients.
Biossance prefers to be called a “clean beauty” brand as opposed to a natural skincare brand. That’s because not all naturally derived ingredients that are approved for use in skincare are actually safe. And some natural ingredients may also not be stable and effective, sustainable, or cruelty free. They also believe that some synthetically derived ingredients can actually be safe and effective for skincare use. So Biossance believes in using effective, nontoxic, sustainable ingredients that are safe for you AND the environment.
Biossance Skincare Review
I decided to get the free samples offered on their site because I really wanted to try out their best selling Squalane + Vitamin C Rose oil. I’m OBSESSED with rose products and I needed to add a Vitamin C product to my skincare routine. Like I said, after I tried it out I was hooked! Since then, I’ve tried almost every product in their line. Below are the skincare products I currently use in my skincare routine and the order in which I use them.
Squalane + Antioxident Cleansing Oil
The first step in my skincare routine is to cleanse with the cleansing oil. You apply to dry skin and massage to dissolve dirt and oil. Then just rinse clean! I love cleansing oils because they really do a great job of removing EVERYTHING. I get the deepest clean when I use a cleansing oil. This one is great and only $30! A little goes a long way so this bottle should last a long time. I always use a cleansing oil in combination with a regular cleanser – just to make sure there’s no residue left from the cleansing oil.
Squalane + Amino Aloe Gentle Cleanser
This is a gentle foaming gel cleanser with squalane, aloe vera leaf juice, and moringa extract to hydrate, cleanse, and clam skin. To use, massage onto skin with warm water and rinse off.
My Thoughts: This is a nice gentle cleanser. Since I usually double cleanse I prefer a gentle gel cleanser to get off any residual dirt and oil after I’ve cleansed with an oil (like the Biossance Cleansing Oil) or balm. This cleanser leaves my skin feeling clean without stripping it. This is my go-to cleanser from Biossance now!
Squalane + BHA Pore Minimizing Toner
The Squalane + BHA Pore Minimizing Toner tightens pores, clarifies, and hydrates skin. It contains White Willowbark Extract and Caviar Lime Extract to exfoliate skin and Squalane to hydrate. Willowbark extract is a beta-hydroxy acid related to salicylic acid – except it’s much more gentle.
My Thoughts: This toner comes in a beautiful glass bottle which you shake to distribute product into your hand or onto a cotton pad. I used this toner a few times and thought it was fine. It didn’t “WOW” me but I didn’t hate it either. I’ve found that I prefer toners in a spray bottle so I can quickly spritz and go. I don’t end up using this toner a lot because you shouldn’t combine BHA’s with Vitamin C (when used together they can cause irritation). And since I’m using my Vitamin C serum a lot these days I feel it’s better to avoid using this toner. However, if you have oily skin but still need a product that doesn’t strip your skin – I think this would be a good option!
Squalane + Micronutrient Fine Mist
This is a facial mist that you can spritz on throughout the day for hydration and to set and refresh your makeup. I was initially using this facial mist during the day – especially in the summer – just because it felt good. But then I realized that I could use this as a toner! So I much prefer to use this after cleansing and before applying my serums. It helps to keep my skin hydrated so that I can better absorb my skincare products. I actually just repurchased the full size to use during my skincare routine and a travel size to keep with me during the summer to give my skin a refresh though out the day!
Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Facial Mask
It seems this product has been discontinued and I’m so sad because it was one of my favorite Biossance products! If it comes back I’ll update this review.
Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel
This lightweight eye gel claims to reduce puffiness, dark circles, and hydrate. I like it because it’s lightweight and I can use it during the day under my makeup. I don’t suffer from dark circles so I can’t comment on the effectiveness. BUT I do have puffiness so the combination of peptides and a little caffeine (that I noticed on the ingredient list) I think help with that.
I was surprised after reading the reviews on Biossance’s website that a lot of them said the product was irritating and caused allergic reactions. After doing some of my own research, it could be the Niacinamide that causes that. Niacinamide is anti-inflammatory antioxidant that is proven to reduce redness. However, some people are allergic to Niacinamide – especially on sensitive areas like the under eye. I don’t have any sensitivity to this product but you might want to get a sample of this product before you commit to the full size.
My Thoughts: As I said, I like using this product during the day because it’s lightweight. I use a different under eye cream at night that is really thick because I feel like my eyes dry out a lot at night. I don’t notice a big difference with eye creams since I don’t have dark circles. But if I had to choose between the Biossance eye creams I’d go with this one since I can use it day or night. I also like the packaging better with this eye cream.
Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream
This eye cream is supposed to lift and firm the under eye area and reduce the appearance of fine lines. It comes in a jar because it is a thicker eye product than the Peptide Eye Gel. Because the Peptide Eye Gel is supposed to reduce puffiness and contains a little caffeine I think that is a better eye cream for day. I prefer using the Marine Algae Eye Ceam at night because it is a little thicker but you can totally use it during the day.
My Thoughts: I haven’t really noticed that much of a difference but the reviews are great and if you are looking for a clean eye cream then this is a good option. I’m not really a fan of jar packaging so like I mentioned above, I’d choose the Peptide Eye Gel over this one.
Squalane + Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum
This plumping serum contains Copper Peptides to support collagen and elastin production for firmer skin. It also contains hyaluronic acid, polyglutamic acid (PGA), and sugarcane squalane to lock in moisture.
My Thoughts: I like using this serum in the morning and at night because I’m a big fan of serums containing hyaluronic acid. Since my skin is on the drier side I love anything that locks in moisture. I don’t know if I’ve noticed any crazy plumping results from this serum. For that reason, I might order again if I get a great deal on this product but otherwise it’s not something that I need.
Squalane + Phyto Retinol Serum
This serum features Bakuchiol – a plant derived alternative to retinol – which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. So this serum claims to have the same effects as a retinol serum but without the irritation! Despite the name, it does not contain retinol.
I’m really excited about this product because when you are pregnant and breastfeeding you are supposed to avoid vitamin A – and that means retinol. So I have been unable to use retinol products which is sad because retinol is basically the number one ingredient to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles! Thankfully, this serum is safe to use if you are pregnant and breastfeeding. I was a little confused about the product at first but I was able to ask a Biossance rep if it was considered safe since it doesn’t contain retinol and she said it was. (As always, you should consult with your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding to make sure it’s safe for you).
My Thoughts: I’m glad there is something on the market with similar effects to retinol that you can use when pregnant/nursing or if retinol irritates your skin. This is a concentrated serum (and again, contains Niacinamide) so try a sample before you commit!
Squalane + Retinol Night Serum
Biossance now has a true Retinol serum – the Squalane + Retinol Night Serum. It contains time released retinol and retinal to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In one of the reviews Biossance commented that this serum contains an active percentage of .05% Retinol and .05% Retinal for a total of .1% Retinoids. This is considered a gentle yet effective percentage of retinoids so this is a good product if you are just starting out with retinol. In contrast, Drunk Elephant’s Retinol contains 1% retinol which I think is one of the highest concentrations that’s currently recommended.
My Thoughts: I’m really glad that Biossance came out with a Retinol Serum! As long as I’m not pregnant or nursing I would choose this serum over the Phyto-Retinol Serum. I think true retinol is going to be more effective than Bakuchiol. And they are the same price point. This serum doesn’t irritate my skin at all so I think at some point I might upgrade to a stronger product.
Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Serum
This Lactic Acid Serum is supposed to exfoliate and resurface skin for brighter and more even-toned skin. It contains 10% vegan lactic acid (and AHA) which boosts cell turnover. To use this product, apply 2-3 pumps onto your face at night. It’s supposed to be gentle enough to use every night.
After doing some research I found that AHA’s including lactic acid have the potential to make your skin “purge”. That means it’s bringing all the junk up to the surface of your skin which can cause breakouts. This is a good thing because that means the product is working and once your skin is done purging you should have amazing results!
My Thoughts: I only saw a few small pimples pop up when I first used this product. But after using it a few times my skin cleared up again! However, instead of using it every night I use it every other night or every couple days. I haven’t had a problem with breakouts since! I do still think this product is a little irritating when I first apply it. So if you have sensitive skin you might want to be careful with this product!
Squalane + Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum
The Squalane + Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum is a 10% stabilized Vitamin C treatment to brighten and fade dark spots. I like that this contains 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, which is a very stable form of Vitamin C that’s also good for sensitive skin. I’ve tried the Kiehl’s Vitamin C Eye Serum which contains 10% L-Ascorbic Acid (the purest form of Vitamin C) and it makes my skin itch. I don’t have that problem with the Biossance Vitamin C Serum. Granted – they are different brands and formulas but from what I’ve read, L-Ascorbic Acid can be slightly more irritating.
My Thoughts: Originally, I wasn’t that excited about this product because I don’t have that many dark spots that I felt I needed to “fix”. But then I read that Vitamin C is a great ingredient to layer under your sunscreen because it’s more effective at preventing free radical damage from sun exposure than just wearing sunscreen alone. So now this serum is part of my daily routine! I wear it in the AM under my moisturizer and sunscreen. (P.S – if you want to use Vitamin C serum during the day you have to use it in combination with sunscreen – otherwise the formula starts to degrades with exposure to light).
Squalane + Omega Repair Cream
This is a thicker cream that contains squalane, omega fatty acids, plant sterols, and ceramides to hydrate and lock in moisture. I think this is a great night time moisturizer in the winter. It’s thick but absorbs and feels lightweight once you put it on. It does have a weird plant smell, in my opinion, but it goes away quickly. Biossance doesn’t use fragrance in their products so I don’t mind that the smell is a little different!
My Thoughts: I LOVE LOVE LOVE this cream. I have dry skin and I feel like this does a great job of moisturizing. I will use this morning and night. It’s now available in JUMBO size and that’s what I buy. Again, this cream comes in a jar and I’m hoping that eventually Biossance changes the packaging to a tube. It’s thick but not to thick that it couldn’t come in a pump container or squeeze tube.
Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer
This gel moisturizer contains probiotics and squalane to reduce redness and hydrate. I think this is a great moisturizer if you have oily skin. It also has a nice cooling effect so I think it’s great for summer time! It’s definitely lighter than the Omega Repair Cream.
My Thoughts: I still prefer to use the Omega Repair Cream because it feels more hydrating to me. I personally feel like gel moisturizers are slightly drying so like I said above, if you have oily skin this would be a great option!
100% Squalane Oil
This is a great product to try if you want to try out the brand. It’s just one ingredient – 100% Squalane Oil. Like I mentioned above, it’s an overall great oil for your skin. You apply this AFTER your cleanser, serum, eye cream, and moisturizer to lock in all the goodness.
My Thoughts: A little goes a long way so you could get the trial size and be good for a at least a month. You only need to apply 3-4 drops. I have the full size version and it’s great but I found the dispenser to be a little tricky. The trial size is a dropper so it’s easy to control. The full size is a pump so it’s hard to control the amount sometimes and it squirts out too much product. If you find you have too much product for your face, you can always apply this oil to the rest of your body or even your hair!
Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil
This oil contains Squalane to hydrate plus a stable form of Vitamin C to brighten. It also contains rose oil so it does have a very light floral smell.
Just like the Squalane Oil, you apply 3-4 drops as the last step in your skincare routine (before SPF). You don’t need to use both the 100% Squalane Oil and Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil at the same time. I use one or the other. I prefer to use the Vitamin C oil at night because Vitamin C can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. So if you wear this during the day, make sure to wear sunscreen!
My Thoughts: This was the first product that attracted me to Biossance. I keep buying this product because it just feels luxurious. I love the smell and Vitamin C is a great ingredient to incorporate into your skincare routine. It is a little pricier but it’s one of my favorite items from Biossance!
Squalane + ZInc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen
I’m so glad Biossance came out with an updated mineral sunscreen because I did not like the original one (which has been discontinued). This Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen is sooo good! It’s my new favorite mineral sunscreen. If you’ve used mineral sunscreens before you know that they can be thick and hard to blend. This sunscreen is very lightweight and not super thick so it blends in so much easier and doesn’t leave my face white (granted – I am VERY pale so I don’t know how this holds up on darker skin). I had been using the Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF which was the best option I’d found so far. But the Drunk Elephant sunscreen is thicker than the Biossance sunscreen and it would dry out my skin. So I’m so happy to switch to the Biossance mineral sunscreen!
Biossance has come out with a JUMPO size bottle which is 3.38oz. This is a much better option if you use sunscreen everyday – like you should!
If you want more mineral sunscreen options – check out my Mineral Sunscreen Review Post!
Squalane + Rose Vegan Lip Balm
I have really dry lips so I’m always looking for products to keep them hydrated! This Rose Lip Balm contains hyaluronic acid, squalane, and ceramides to hydrate and lock in moisture.
My Thoughts: I do like the consistency of this lip balm but I don’t think it offers extreme hydration. Like I said, my lips are pretty dry so if you have moderately or occasionally dry lips this might work for you.
Squalane + Omega Repair Hand Cream
I LOVE the Omega Repair Face Cream so I was excited to try this hand cream out. It does the job of keeping my hands moisturized with a thick cream (that’s not too thick or greasy). It’s also unscented. The Omega Repair Face Cream actually has a weird smell so I was glad that this hand cream doesn’t have any scent.
Squalane + Magnesium Deodorant
This is a natural deodorant stick with magnesium to absorb sweat and protect against odor.
Natural deodorants don’t really work for me and this Biossance one is no exception. If you are really stinky like I am this probably won’t do much for you.
Squalane + Caffeine Toning Body Cream
This is a rich body cream with caffeine to smooth skin, squalane to hydrate, and niacinamide to even out skin tone. It’s available in unscented and citrus scented.
My Thoughts: I love that this body cream is thick (like the Omega Repair facial moisturizer) and that it’s available in unscented. I actually prefer unscented body products because fragrance (even if it’s natural essential oils) can be irritating. However, I’m not a huge fan of jar packaging. I wish this was in a pump bottle.
You can also find Biossance products at Sephora!
Is Biossance Worth It?
Yes! I think Biossance is a great clean and affordable skincare line. I like that the formulas are science-based instead of just stuffed with a lot of ineffective “natural” ingredients. I’ve been using Biossance for years and I never have issues with my skin.
The original price of the products might seem high but I never pay full price, which is why I’d classify them as affordable. I’m almost always purchasing products during promotions for at least 30% off. And my orders always come with free samples so I’m able to try out new products without purchasing first. Make sure to join their rewards program – the Clean Crew – to get additional discounts!
How to Get a Discount on Biossance
Join Biossance’s FREE Rewards program – The Clean Crew – to get discounts on Biossance! You’ll get free products, and points for dollars off your next purchase. It’s really easy to accumulate points! You’ll also have early access to product launches.
Biossance also has amazing sales so be sure to sign up for their emails. I always manage to score an amazing discount on Biossance products through their sales!
These products sound amazing. I love the packaging too!
I’ve heard of Biossance, but have never tried the products. I love that they’re clean, and the products sound amazing.
I love trying new clean beauty brands! This sounds like an amazing one to try! I’m definitely checking this out!
Jill – Doused in Pink
This line sounds really great and I love how much effort they put into being sustainable and into using healthy ingredients. I’m definitely going to try out some samples.
x, Julie | ThisMainLineLife.com
That seems like an amazing brand! All the products look so luxurious and good quality. I love that it’s eco-friendly and cruelty-free, nothing makes me happier than a brand friend of the planet and animals.
Marta – http://www.aroundcolours.com
I have tried several biossance products such as eye cream and retinol and am curious about their other products. thank you for reviewing