Brands We Believe In is an editorial franchise where our editors celebrate their favorite eco-friendly and sustainably innovative brands that are designing with the planet in mind.
I’m dedicated to becoming a more educated and thoughtful shopper, and I know I’m not alone. It might feel like our individual choices don’t matter, but in the face of the current massive climate crisis, they do. For instance, I’m especially focused on my beauty routine right now. What am I buying? How often am I buying it? Will those items eventually end up in a landfill? I know that the beauty industry is one of the world’s largest polluters, so these are the questions that flood my mind. Like everyone else, I want to feel good about the purchases I make and the brands I support.
So what’s the good news? There have never been more brands committed to becoming more sustainable, and Biossance is leading the charge. The brand believes the future of beauty will be driven by sustainable biotechnology, and so it pioneered the concept of “cleanical” with the help of its parent company, Amyris. Let me explain: Almost two decades ago, scientists at Amyris began a project to develop a patented technology that allowed them to create an accessible cure for malaria. Their success only inspired them to continue to use their innovative biotechnology to make a positive impact on the world, and skincare was where they landed. Fast-forward to 2017, and Biossance was officially born. “At Biossance, we’re witnessing how biotechnology can really transform the beauty industry. Our growth shows that we’re delivering what people value most—product performance and sustainability, with convenient ways to purchase and at an accessible price point. Biossance allows consumers to have it all—clean and clinically effective products, that are better for them and better for the planet —without compromise,” says Biossance President Catherine Gore.
I think it’s easy for people to feel intimidated and overwhelmed by the thought of having to do a complete lifestyle overhaul to live more sustainably. But the reality is you don’t need to do that—you just need to find better alternatives, and Biossance is making it easy to do so. All of its formulas are developed in a facility certified by My Green Lab, the gold standard for laboratory sustainability practices including responsible usage of energy, waste, and water. The brand uses conscious packaging, recyclable boxes and paper (without inks or dyes) certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council, and recyclable tubes and bottles made from glass, PCR, ocean plastic, and sugarcane.
But Biossance’s first real industry-leading innovation was the creation of sugarcane-derived squalane. For generations, beauty products have been made with squalene, a substance found in the livers of deep-sea sharks, that also aid in preventing moisture loss in human skin. So Biossance developed the more ethical, efficacious, and purer alternative squalane, which saves two million sharks a year. Now, it’s Biossance’s hero ingredient and found in every one of its skincare products—and in more than seventy percent of squalane products currently sold around the world. Yep, Biossance is also a brand that doesn’t gatekeep—it sells its innovation back to the industry so the entire world can benefit. The brand trusts that if the industry comes together and if brands pay it forward, share new findings, and work to create better products more efficiently and with less environmental damage, we have a better chance of tackling the climate crisis together. And that, my friends, is a brand I will always believe in.
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Caitie Schlisserman is an L.A.-based beauty director with over a decade of branded content and editorial experience. She joined Who What Wear in 2014 as the first branded content editor and has worked her way up to overseeing the beauty department of the media revenue team. Before Who What Wear, Caitie helped launch FabFitFun's first subscription box and worked at a beauty startup where she assisted in successfully launching the editorial department.
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