The beauty industry is constantly awash with trends, and while some are definitely worth trying (Skin Flooding? We’re here for it!), others are downright dubious. (Deodorant as primer? We’ll pass.) As a result, many beauty editors approach trends with a healthy dose of side eye, with one notable exception: biotech beauty.
Biotech beauty is arguably the year’s biggest beauty trend as science-backed brands like Biossance lead the industry towards a sea change in sustainability, innovation, and efficacy. As a brand founded by the same biotech pioneers who developed a vaccine for malaria, we couldn’t be more excited about the science-driven renaissance happening in our industry.
Skincare scientist Kendall Johnson, our Head of Product Development sees this as an opportunity to clearly define biotech beauty, the kinds of ingredients being created, and how these innovations can improve your skin and the planet.
What is Biotech Beauty?
Biotechnology isn’t a field we often associate with the beauty industry. But the definition of biotech is any technology that utilizes the principles of biology – a much wider field than many of us assume.
“One of the most exciting things about the biotech skincare trend is that biotechnology offers endless possibilities in skincare advancements and innovations by offering the ability to develop and imitate current synthetic or natural ingredients,” Kendall explains.
Some of these principals have been around for thousands of years. For example, you could argue that a simple yogurt mask is a primitive form of biotech beauty, as it utilizes naturally-occurring microorganisms to calm skin.
New innovations — such as our sugarcane-derived squalane — utilize basic, sustainable materials to create superior results that can be replicated as powerfully and predictable in your daily skincare routine as they are in a lab.
How Biotech Beauty is Solving Sustainability and Skincare Challenges
Biotech beauty companies use science to simultaneously solve sustainability and skincare challenges by replicating natural or synthetic ingredients through process utilizing upcycled or biodegradable materials.
“For example, the Fermented Lemon Peel in our award-winning Vitamin C Rose Moisturizer is an upcycled byproduct of lemon juice manufacturing,” says Kendall. “Lemon peel is rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can improve the health and appearance of skin. In this case, the biological process of fermentation enhances the bioavailability and potency of the active lemon peel compounds for increased skin benefits that we see in Vitamin C Rose Moisturizer.”
The result is that biotech ingredients have been proven to advance ingredient efficacy and provide better results while stepping up to sustainability challenges.
Biotech Beauty Ingredients to Look For
More effective and sustainable ingredients mean that we can feel better about our beauty purchase now than ever before. Here are three cutting-edge biotech innovations to look for now, and in the very near future:
The use of biotechnology for probiotic production is inspiring new formulas that are targeted and tailored to your microbiome, such as our advanced reformulated Probiotic Gel Moisturizer.
“Skin health starts and ends with the microbiome,” says Kendall. “Utilizing biotech to program and access efficacious probiotics that are targeted to rebalance the skin microbiome is a fresh premise in all skincare products.”
Biotech enables scientists to create bioactive peptides specifically designed to target certain skin concerns.
“Bioactive peptides are short chain amino acids that have biological activity, influencing physiological processes in the body,” says Kendall. “In skincare, bioactive peptides offer a wide range of benefits including stimulating collagen production, improving skin elasticity, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, protecting the skin from environmental damage and improving skin texture.”
Water-binding ectoin is a hydrating hero with an unexpected superpower: it’s protective against stress.
This biotech beauty powerhouse is part of the skin-quenching secret to our bestselling Copper Peptide Rapid Plumping Serum, which instantly plumps skin using a trio of humectants, including ectoin.
“Ectoin is also an amino acid that is originally produced by microorganisms in harsh environments to protect them from external aggressors,” sas Kendall “Through biotech fermentation we are able to create this ingredient for skincare formulas. Ectoin creates a hydrocomplex with water and has the ability to distribute water to where it is needed most in the cell.”