*I’ve been gifted Biossance products in the past and also purchased my own. As usual, all opinions are my own!
*Updated June 2021
I discovered Biossance about a year ago when I heard about their free sample offer on Instagram. I can’t remember if I heard about them through another blogger (probably) or just a targeted ad. Either way, I ordered free samples of their oils and I’ve been hooked on this clean beauty brand ever since!
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.
Squalane + Elderberry Jelly Cleanser
Is it a gel? An oil? A cream? It’s actually all three! This is Biossance’s newest all in one cleanser that starts as a jelly, massages into an oil, and rinses away as a cream. It is supposed to remove makeup and impurities while hydrating and nourishing the microbiome. You can use this cleanser on dry skin by massing it into your skin for 30 seconds, adding some warm water and massaging until it turns to an oil, then rinse the rest away as it becomes a milk texture.
My thoughts: I was initially concerned because this product has a pinkish/purple hue and I don’t like artificial colors in my skincare products. However, the color is due to natural extracts and NOT artificial coloring. My first impression of this cleanser is that it smells amazing! I love the light floral(?) scent. I’m not exactly sure what it is but I love it. However, this cleanser doesn’t really work that well for me. I’ve used it on dry and damp skin and I just don’t feel like it gets off my (light) makeup. I always feel like I need to follow up with another cleanser. Also, I think it kind of stings my eyes? It just makes them feel weird – like I have a film on my eyes after washing. I noticed reviews of the product on the website mention the same thing. I’ve only used this product a couple of times so maybe I need to give it another go.
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.
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.
Squalane + Glycolic Renewal Facial
This product is a peel, exfoliator, and mask in one! It contains a combination of Alpha Hydroxy Acids to chemically exfoliate the skin AND mineral spheres to physically exfoliate the skin. It also contains hyaluronic acid and, of course, squalane to lock in moisture.
To use, just massage a layer onto dry skin after cleansing. You can leave it on for 3-10 minutes and then rinse off with water. The first couple of times I used it I definitely felt a slightly uncomfortable tingling. That’s the AHA’s working! As I got used to the product I felt like I could leave it on for the full 10 minutes. It can be used up to 2 times a week.
This is one of my favorite products from the line. I love how it makes my skin feel! It’s important to exfoliate the skin to get off the dead skin cells, and help unclog pores. And I love that this product has the chemical and physical exfoliators. It is one of their more expensive products but I actually just have the 15ml trial size right now and it has lasted me months! Definitely try out the trial size first if you are unsure about buying the full size!
*UPDATE – Biossance has updated the packaging on this product which is great. It used to come in a jar and now it comes in a tube. While I like the idea of jar packaging, it’s actually not that great for skincare products because the exposure to air and dirty fingers can compromise the product. So the tube is more sanitary and helps product the quality of the product.
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 the Biossance website I was surprised 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.
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.
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 cCeam at night because it is a little thicker but you can totally use it during the day.
I haven’t used this product long enough to comment weather it works but the reviews are great and if you are looking for a clean eye cream then this is a good option.
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).
I’m glad there is something on the market with similar effects to retinol that I can use now. I will definitely be purchasing this again – even with the higher price tag. This is a concentrated serum (and again, contains Niacinamide) so try a sample before you commit!
*UPDATE – Biossance has updated the packaging on this product which I think is great. It used to come in a pump bottle which left product at the bottom that was hard to get out. The new and improved airless pump bottle is able to get all the product out!
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.
I just started using this product (it’s been about a week) and I think it’s making my skin break out*. 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!
However, it is kind of disheartening to start using a product and see your skin get worse before it gets better. You have to be careful not to pick at the blemishes because that will cause scarring. You also have to be aware of when your skin is purging and when it’s just plain breaking out. If a product causes cystic-like acne or if the breakouts don’t stop after 6-8 weeks then your skin is probably just breaking out and you should stop using the product. Unfortunately, the purging phase can take 6-8 weeks so you won’t know if it’s working for about 2-3 months! Yikes!
*Update: 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!
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.
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. Since I have dry skin I love this cream!
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!
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. 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.
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.
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, which I love. I keep buying this product because it just feels luxurious. Like I said, 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!
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!
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!
The only downside is the bottle is small (1.6 oz). It’s almost the same price as the Drunk Elephant sunscreen but you get half as much.*
*UPDATE – 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 + 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. It does feel refreshing but I don’t end up using it that often*. After reading some reviews, it looks like people are spraying this on their face before applying the serums and moisturizers. That might be an interesting way to help the products absorb better!
*I am now using this spray as a toner to rehydrate my face before I apply my moisturizer!
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. Plus rose absolute for a nice, light scent. It comes in a jar and it’s a vaseline-like consistency*.
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.
*UPDATE – Biossance updated the packaging and it now comes in a squeeze tube. I like this better because it is easier to apply and more sanitary!
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.
Shop Biossance Skincare Products
Have you tried Biossance? What’s your favorite product?