Why Science-Backed Beauty Is The Answer To The Industry’s Sustainability Challenges

September 02, 2022

Catherine Gore, President of Biossance & JVN Hair, explains how an ethos of sustainability and efficacy through science-backed innovation is the driving force behind Biossance’s success

Amyris-owned sustainable skincare brand Biossance marked its German debut Thursday at Douglas, Europe’s premier luxury beauty retailer, with products stocked at 138 brick-and-mortar locations and also online via Douglas.de

This is the latest milestone during a multi-year period of industry-leading growth for Biossance, which saw launches in overseas markets including Asia, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and now Germany with further planned expansion into European markets in 2023.

As Global President, I believe that our ethos of sustainability and efficacy through science-backed innovation is the driving force behind our success.

The Future Of Beauty Is Clean-ical

Today’s consumer demands consciously-created, highly effective skincare products. Consumers are smart. They aren’t fooled by greenwashing and value transparency around beauty companies’ business and manufacturing practices to ensure that the product they’re buying actually benefits their skin without negatively impacting the planet.

That’s why I like to think of Biossance as a “clean-ical” beauty company. Clean-ical means leading consciously with the highest standards for skin, sustainability and ingredient safety while using science to deliver superior performance and planet-friendly practices across our business from product development and formulation to packaging and shipment.

Biotechnology is what has enabled us to create these high-performance, in-demand products without negatively impacting our planet.

How Sugarcane Squalane Signals An Industry Sea Change

As pioneers in science and biotechnology, we create groundbreaking, high-performance skincare powered by our industry-leading innovation: sugarcane-derived squalane. Squalene is the body’s natural moisture molecule, but the amount we produce naturally decreases as we age. To get this moisture back, beauty companies fortified products with squalane harvested from shark livers, killing millions of these crucial apex predators every year.

Biossance’s team of University of California, Berkeley scientists discovered how to engineer a similar substance – squalane – from naturally-renewable sugarcane. We grow ours responsibly in Brazil, far away from rainforests and using only natural rainfall for irrigation. This is a key difference from other vegan squalanes, which rely on other unreliable natural sources, like olives, which require far more land and water use and are less effective.

This purer, ethically-sourced and vegan squalane is a molecular match for the moisture already found in our skin and because we create through biofermation in a lab, it’s more reliable, sustainable and effective than other natural sources. We can make as much as the world needs without negatively impacting the planet. Through this technology, we prevent more than 2 million sharks from being killed each year.

How Innovation And Collaboration Are Driving The Industry Forward
The finite nature of our natural resources is increasingly coming to the forefront of our collective consciousness as a society. Through biotechnology, we can recreate endangered ingredients in the lab, sustainably, in order to improve people’s lives (or skin). It provides the solution for creating powerfully effective, luxurious ingredients without negatively impacting the planet.

But here’s the thing about sustainability: it isn’t a competition, it’s a common goal. I believe that a rising tide lifts all ships. We sell our squalane back to the industry, so that we can help move the entire beauty industry forward, encouraging other brands to use sustainable alternatives too.

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