TRAVEL DIARY: A BEAUTY RETREAT WITH BIOSSANCE
What do you do when a brand you’re possibly the most in love with of them all invites you on a weekend getaway? You throw everything in a bag and run screaming, hands flailing, to the airport. Which is more or less what I did when Biossance invited me to come see their lab first hand, not to mention a slew of other kinds of #goals activities, including customizing my own Squalane oil, a hefty handful of sumptuous lunches and dinners, spa visits, breakfast in bed, pumpkin patches, ocean views, incredible company and inspiring conversations - and Biossance goodness galore!
Touring the lab was kind of a dream come true. We were given our own monogrammed lab coats (planning on wearing mine whenever I need to win an argument because I look super smart in it) before going on a walking tour of the massive lab. One thing that struck me immediately as impressive is how many female scientist there were - and not just scientists, but lead scientists!
But the thing that probably impressed me the most is both how Biossance got its start - and how dedicated the company is to providing sustainable and egalitarian solutions to the entire world. I could probably go on forever about this since it’s such a special part of the company, but in an effort to keep this shorter than a novel, here’s a quick overview:
Biossance is actually part of a larger company that has been around for quite some time, called Amyris, which got its start developing a primary first-line treatment for Malaria that was both affordable and sustainable, subsequently saving countless lives. This same holistic approach to using science-backed, lab-based research and high-level, sustainable, plant-based ingredients is what makes Biossance truly stand out from the rest. It’s what put them on the map when the company sought to find an alternative approach to deriving Squalane from sugar cane, which had been primarily been taken from shark liver beforehand.
As if that weren’t enough, Biossance’s dedication to pure, clean ingredients is at the root of everything they do. There’s nothing additional in any of the products - just the things you need, and ingredients that all work well together. And when you have a product like that, you really notice the difference.
After the tour, we jumped a little deeper into the products themselves, including testing out a few new ones that you’ll find out about very soon (hint - three of my favorite types of products that are not currently in the line are coming early next year - can you guess what they are?).
But to quickly reiterate why Squalane Oil is such a big deal - it’s actually something that we make ourselves, in our own bodies, to keep our skin plump, hydrated, even, and just overall youthful. By the time we hit our 30’s, we stop producing as much of it - and as we get older, our production gets lower and lower (see the paper in the photo above for a scary graph). So by reapplying Squalane Oil, we get those benefits back - in essence, taking back what was ours to begin with!
I’ve been using their oils for quite a long time, but one thing I learned about on this trip was the importance of probiotics and how they can help improve the barrier of your skin - which is actually one of the first visible differences you’re able to see (and is also why I’ve been using the Probiotic Gel Moisturizer obsessively since the start of this trip).
Oh and quick side note on sustainability - even the packaging for Biossance is biodegradable, which may seem minor until you learn that something like 30% of household waste comes from personal care products!
Feeling all kinds of Bill Nye, we got down to business customizing our own Squalane Oils with highly concentrated essential oils - I ended up with a blend of Bergamot, Lavender, Jasmine, and Mandarin - the mix is sultry, but still subtly sweet and light. More on this later too...
Day Two was a little less focused on education and a little more focused on fun-having and getting to know each other a bit better. Before heading to the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, we stopped off at Farmer John’s for a little extra dose of Fall festivities - it was both Wendy’s and Felicia’s first time at a pumpkin patch, which was actually really fun to witness.
Plus, now that Nikko and I are down south so much, it felt really good to soak up the (slightly) crisper weather and classic, fall-centric festivities.
And while my luxurious suite at the Ritz (complete with a private fireplace, golf-front ocean view, snacks and green juices galore plus insanely good coffee) was definitely a highlight, the thing I was the most excited about was walking into a bathroom stocked completely with Biossance, plus some extra goodies from likeminded brands such as Slip Silk Pillowcases (Obsessed), Eileen Fisher, Birkenstock, BKR, Bloom2Bloom, Ilia, and côte, all courtesy of the Biossance team! I didn’t even need to open up the toiletry bag I brought along with me the entire trip!
I actually picked up a lot of beauty hacks during this trip, a few of them thanks to makeup artist extraordinaire Katey Denno (and extraordinary woman in her own right - seriously can’t say enough good things about her both as a person and as a talent), who gave us the most gorgeous non-toxic makeovers pre-dinner on the second day.
Here’s a few of my favorite Biossance Hacks:
Use 100% Squalane Oil on the ends of your hair and even to pat down some flyaways around the crown of your head much like how you would use argan oil - it’s actually a little less heavy so you’ll have less risk of weighing your hair down too much or having it end up looking oily.
Use Squalane Oil or Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil to remove any drop down eyeshadow pigment below your eyes - it’s so gentle so you won’t get any redness and because it’s oil, what’s left over can be used to blend your makeup back into place.
Use the Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer underneath the Squalane Oil or Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil for extra moisture (I’ve been doing this since I got back to the desert for extreme moisture - it’s also perfect for winter)
Add a few drops of 100% Squalane Oil to your bath and leave the tub with shockingly soft baby skin (I came up with this one while soaking in the insane tub below at the Ritz, pretty proud of it)
Add a few drops of 100% Squalane Oil to your moisturizer post-bath or shower and you’ll feel like you’ve just undergone some kind of luxurious, 4 hour moisturizing spa treatment. No joke.
After learning so much more about Biossance and how clean and effective the ingredients are, I actually embarked on a little bit of an experiment of my own, putting aside all other beauty products for a full week (even an exfoliator, thanks to the new Biossance Facial Brush). The week is almost up already and minus attending Modernism Week, I haven’t worn a lick of makeup - and I don’t even feel like I need it! My skin feels smoother, more even, and like I’ve been living in a tropical paradise and not the desert.
It’s kind of like a detox for my skin, akin to what eating clean ingredients for an entire week would do for your body. Just wondering when Biossance will start selling their products by the gallon…
And now that the trip is over, I’m trying my very best not to jump the gun and blab all about the new products coming! Stay tuned… ;)
Photos by Nikko DeTranquilli and myself
In collaboration with Biossance, however all opinions are my own. Because I really am that obsessed with them.