In which I recap my mind-blowing trip to California with Biossance

Friday, November 3

So this last week, I got really lucky. Somehow I got to go on the most luxurious trip with a skincare brand that I've been using and loving for years. And after meeting the women behind the brand, I'm even more in love with them now. Biossance has been a crucial part of my daily korean-style skin care regimen that I posted about earlier this year -- they provide truly skin changing products, so it was honestly like winning a lottery ticket for them to ask me to come to their headquarters to learn about the science, and observe the behind-the-scenes of a line I've been a fan of since I started paying attention to my skin.

Come with me on a journey of luxury, good skin, and badass female chemists.
(no I didn't climb on the roof of the hotel, but I also didn't get a chance to take any photos during the daytime, so here's one from Simone Anne)

When I got to San Francisco, I checked into the Claremont Hotel, which is a very beautiful, very old hotel in Berkeley. I got in a bit earlier than everyone else, so I started googling how far the hotel was from some of the food recommendations that you guys provided on insta (the Cheese Board was amazing btw). Turns out, when you google the Claremont location, you get several results about how it's haunted. Not the entire hotel, just the fourth floor, with several stories being reported in various rooms on the fourth floor and in the hallways. I was in room 429. This was thrilling for me as you can imagine. Typically I am a major chicken with these kinds of things, but in the moment that I was debating about whether or not to switch rooms, I got a knock on the door and these lovely flowers were delivered. I took it as a sign of good faith from the universe and decided not to be THAT person at the concierge desk. And it was a lovely stay. The only weird thing that happened was a door that slammed very loudly in the hallway at 2:30am and then right afterward the music I'd fallen asleep to started skipping. But no children yelling mama, no imprints on my bed, and no footsteps in the hallway. So I win.  

The next morning, in the land of the living, we headed off to visit the Biossance Headquarters. Before taking a tour of the facility, we donned our very own customized lab coats and safety goggles, and I instantly wondered why I decided not to pursue a PhD in chemistry.

Here's the cool thing about Biossance, and just one of the reasons I love supporting them. Biossance's parent company is Amyris, which is the biotech company who is responsible for the development of an anti-malarial drug. Before its development, the treatment for malaria was extremely time consuming and extremely expensive, so ever since harnessing the microbial engineering it took to develop this drug, they've literally saved millions of lives by making treatment extremely accessible.

This sustainable, reduced environmental-impact, biotechnical mindset is the same mindset that went into producing Squalane, which is the foundational ingredient in Biossance's skincare. (More about Squalane in a second, but your body naturally produces it in large quantities when you're younger, and you need to replace it in your skin as you age) I sat at the dinner table with Amyris's CEO and listened to how they discovered that Squalane could be 100% plant derived instead of the old way of harvesting it from shark liver. The trick is sugarcane. All of their beautiful packaging is also made of sugarcane, which is great because it's one of the most environmentally clean and sustainable plants for product creation. Sugarcane is like grass. You cut it down and it just grows right back, unlike the trees that are used to create most packaging.

We were given a tour of the facility by one of the 20 female chemists who are behind the development of the products, and then tested them straight out of the beaker. Their team is small, but their passion is great, and their standards are high. It really made me want to come home and re-evaluate every product that I'm using on the largest organ of my body. Here's the scary thing. In Europe, there are over 1300 banned ingredients that are not allowed to be used in beauty products. In the U.S.? There are only 11. 
And up until a little while ago, I wasn't even thinking twice about it. 
At Biossance, they've personally blacklisted over 2,000 potentially harmful ingredients for their products. They truly care and are so passionate about creating products that will be both safe for your body and also give you the results you want to see. 

Here we are with our personalized essential oil + squalane blends. #legit
Before dinner that night, we headed over to the SF Sephora, where they gave us Biossance facials. Which by the way, if you live near a Sephora, I would highly recommend trying the product this way.


The next day, we loaded up in a literal party bus and headed off to Half Moon Bay. But first, we stopped at one of the local pumpkin patches. This was slightly entertaining for me to watch a bunch of city girls go gaga over a pumpkin patch (for some of them, it was their first!) while I'm over here with no less than 5 within walking distance of my house. Didn't stop me from taking 200 pictures though. When in Rome.
 Shoes: Madewell, Jeans: ASOS, Sweater: Madewell, Jacket: H&M (old, sadly), Earrings: ASOS (old), Sunglasses: Amazon, Bag: Sole Society

THEN we got to the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay.
No offense to the ghosts of the Claremont, but they picked the wrong hotel to haunt.

This is where I'll be in the afterlife if you need me.

P.S. This Squalane Probiotic Gel is a new product that I was introduced to on this trip, and after using it, I literally saw results the next morning. One of my biggest complaints is uneven redness in my skin tone and this gel reduces that shockingly fast. Definitely adding it to my routine.

While we were there, we we got makeovers from green-beauty celebrity make-up artist Katey Denno, who's gotten to touch the faces of Gwyneth Paltrow, Amber Heard, Natasha Lyonne, Felicity Jones, and now me. My face wast humbled.

It was validating to learn that she does base just like I do - with a few drops of Biossance Rose Oil mixed into my BB cream and the Peptide Eye Gel mixed in with under-eye concealer. My only goal is glow. I want the orbiting satellites to look down on earth and be like, woah, check out the glow on that one. I don't think it's too much to ask.

Now here's some photos of me by the fireplace contemplating the benefits of Squalane. 
Speaking of Squalane, let me tell you about why you need it in your life, and why I've been using it daily for a couple years. 

Squalane is a molecule that is naturally already found in us, and it's a big contributor to why our skin looks so supple and pretty when we're younger - that's when we're producing a lot of it. Then something really depressing happens when you enter your 30's, and your squalane production drastically drops off, by like half. This continues for the remainder of your life. Welcome to aging. 

So that's what Biossance pioneered: a plant-based solution to replacing the squalane that your body decreases in over time. It's your body's moisturizer in its purest form. And it's in every one of their products. 

What I've been thrilled with is getting to share their products with you guys in the past and then getting to hear how much you love them. Yes, this is a brand partnership, but I GENUINELY love this company, and recommend them to friends/family offline too. Do your skin a favor and try a free sample of the pure Squalane oil and Vitamin C Rose oil HERE.

Thank you so much to Biossance for an amazing week, and for the good you're doing for our faces and for the world. 


Taylor Overton said...

love this! this trip looks ahhhhmazing! and i think you've got the glow thing DOWN. due to hormonal imbalances for the past few years i have started transferring to non-toxic products (the thinkdirty app is a life saver for this) so i love biossance!, but i would love if you could do another korean skin routine post with all non-toxic products! ive been really wanting to try this kind of routine but dont know very much about beauty products! haha. or if even not a whole post- just maybe some of your recommendations? <3

Alex Jackson said...

I've been in a beauty product slump lately, so I really enjoyed this post. My drugstore products work for my skin, but I don't think enough about what goes into those products and onto my face. Thanks for introducing me to this skincare line! I'll give them a try!

Photobook Favorites said...

Your photos are absolutely beautiful! I would love to see a post about what type of camera/lenses you use and how you edit your photos.

Unknown said...

I 2nd Taylor! Have you changed any products from your Korean skincare routine? I'm also switching to non-toxic products and would love your take! Also, your opinion on Beauty Counter? I was shocked when I looked up a number of my name brand makeup products!

Jessica Broyles said...

These pictures are beautiful and you're the absolute cutest!!

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