For those of us who want to age gracefully, but don’t want to go under the knife to do that, Icelandic brand Bioeffect may offer a way out of the conundrum.
For those vaguely au fait with the brand, Bioeffect was born when a team of Icelandic scientists, led by Dr Björn Örvar, took a groundbreaking approach to skincare when they started producing tiny proteins called ‘growth factors,’ which are used for stem cell research but can also be used to slow the ageing process in skin cells. Unsurprisingly, it is used by 30 percent of Icelandic women over the age of 30, as well as a slew of women around the world. China is now the company’s fastest-growing market.
With more and more Asian women adopting Bioeffect as part of their beauty regime, it was only a matter of time that the brand focussed on the different needs of the Asian skin type, coming up with serums that utilise EBE (engineered barley extract).
The brand’s CEO Frosti Ólafsson was in town recently to mark the launch of this new line of skincare products and also to attend the grand opening of their store opening in Harvey Nichols at The Landmark Central. We caught up with him to chat about Bioeffect and his vision. Check our video coverage of their store opening. For the full interview, please scroll down.
Tell us about ORF Genetics’ technology in growing barley that makes such a difference to Bioeffect’s skin care products?
The barley seed is an ideal factory for proteins and other active ingredients. Our bioengineering technology allows us to create recombinant proteins in inert and endotoxin-free environment, and the barley seed provides long-term protein storage before processing of the proteins. The barley plant is also extremely rich host of natural ingredients.
There were mainly three reasons why we decided to introduce our plant-based EGF (epidermal growth factor) into skincare. Firstly, our barley-produced EGF is tailormade for skin care because of its purity and stability. Secondly, as a company, we understood the characteristics of EGF better than others and so we were able to maximise its efficacy. Finally, we believe that EGF is the most effective and reliable ingredient for increased skin firmness, density and water retention. At the time we launched our EGF Serum, very few products were available that were utilizing EGF, and none of them were plant-based or with a formulation that supported the EGF efficacy in the best way possible.
Tell us more about the newly-launched EBE product line…
Now we have taken the next step in the journey by introducing the EBE (engineered barley extract) product line. The EBE products are also largely based on ingredients that can be found in the barley plant. However, the skin concerns addressed in the EBE product line are more focused on the Asian skin type, which has to deal with slightly different concerns than e.g. Caucasian skin.
Do you think that when it comes to skin care products such as Bioeffect, less is really more’?
Yes, we did aim to make the product as simple as possible for three primary reasons. Firstly, we wanted to create the optimal environment for our ingredients to thrive and deliver its benefits. To achieve this, we needed to use as few ingredients as possible to maximize the stability and efficacy of the active ingredients. In most cases, these are very sensitive ingredients that would break down and lose its efficacy if combined with many of the common skin care ingredients.
Secondly, we believe that the way we recommend using the Bioeffect products, e.g. the serum, represents very well what we stand for as a brand. Using only four drops each day is simple, yet very effective, which is exactly what we aim to do.
Finally, it’s impossible to talk about our ingredients, without elaborating further on the water. Iceland has a very unique type of geologically filtrated water with very limited amount of minerals, yet it still has fairly high PH levels, which is unusual for soft water. Instead of being forced to adjust the water characteristics with unnecessary ingredients, we are blessed with water that works as the perfect canvas for products focusing on purity and efficacy.
Interview: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay
Video: Kingsley Lau