Where to purchase: Available at Cult Beauty: HERE
NOTE: If you want to test out the brand’s products, their Trial Kit (includes their new Biome Calm Cream), get 30% using the code: TRYME30 (Black Friday Discount). After purchasing, you’ll receive another 20% off Code to purchase any other products from the range (Until the 29th of December).
Made in: The UK
What is it?: A Lightweight emulsion-like serum containing skin-beneficial ingredients (that promote skin shedding + its overall tone) + pre/probiotics that restores + strengthens the skin’s barrier.
What does it do: Moisturise + Support the skin’s microbiome – Leading to less inflammation.
Supposedly Good for: All Skin Types
What I think: Normal-Dry skins > Combo + Oily Skins. However, Combo Skins could use this as a Moisturiser in the Summer and Winter (especially winter) Months.
Cruelty Free?: Yes
Packaging: Glass bottle + plastic that has some PCR content. The primary packaging = 100% Recyclable Glass +the spray coating is environmentally friendly, water based paint with low energy consumption.
- Sustainability is a key point of the brand and they try to carefully source and package their products thoughtfully. They are a Certified B Corporation, aiming to be environmentally responsible when it comes to their packaging and will continue to try and improve on it. Their cartons + paper come from responsibly managed forests and their inks are soybean oil inks to reduce fossil fuel and air pollution
- (NOTE: I will say that over time, the letters/writing on the packaging does begin to wear off).
Directions: ”Apply morning and night onto clean skin.”
How I use it: I use this in the PM either under a moisturiser or as my evening moisturiser, depending on how hot it is outside. Note: I have Oily-Combo skin, so the texture of this lightweight emulsion makes it emollient enough for me to use as a moisturiser or under a Gel moisturiser. This doesn’t ball up and doesn’t seem to layer poorly.
The idea of Pre/Probiotics: Prebiotics are ”food” for Probiotics (Good bacterial strains). As antibiotics (both ingested and topical) tend to remove both good and bad bacteria in the skin (non-discriminatory), it may be better to apply pre+ probiotics onto the skin as they promote the growth of good bacteria (instead of wiping them out) and supress the growth of bad bacteria (i.e. things like P. acnes – the acne-causing bacteria) on the skin; bringing (hopefully) balance to the skin and reducing inflammation etc.
These ingredients are supposed to balance the skin’s microbiome (promote a good bacterial balance on the skin), therefore reducing the chance of or alleviating skin issues such as Blemishes, Rosacea + Itchy Skin. However, there hasn’t been a substantial amount of research done on pre and probiotics in terms of applying onto the skin (not in pill form) – so the efficacy isn’t as confirmed as something like Retinol / Vitamin C.
As Scientific Reviews have said HERE and HERE – There has been some improvements to Acne + Atopic Dermatitis, the research on topical Probiotics on the skin is in its early stages. And Prebiotics have been researched less (but hopefully there will be work done in the near future!). More studies are required simply to see what concentration of pro + prebiotics work the best on the skin and which Skin issues they improve or help solve the best and which strain works (as well as looking further into resistance). So many answers remain, but early work has been done on animal + human models, applying probiotics (more tests need to be done with prebiotics) on the skin and improving the skin. What I find interesting is that these reviews say it may be more favourable to ingest pre/probiotics + simultaneously apply them on the skin as the best route for therapy.
Notable Pro/Prebiotics: 1. Lactobacillus Ferment – It’s supposed to protect the skin from environmental damage and helps reduce skin-sensitivity. 2. Kombucha (Black tea ferment) – Skin Conditioning. 3. Inulin (a fructose polysaccharide/sugar + a prebiotic) – this reduces the growth of ”bad” bacteria on the skin + helps promote friendly bacteria growth on the skin.
Key Ingredients: Although Pre + Probiotics are used here, Lactic Acid for me is the Superstar Ingredient. It’s an AHA (Dry Skin-centric) and gently exfoliates the skin (resurfaces it) to provide a smoother textured + even skin tone.
- Glycerin, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid and Arginine are Moisturising/Hydrating + Skin-barrier reinforcing. Squalane is a great oil as Acne-Prone skins can use it.
- Borage Seed Oil, Lactobacillus Ferment (Probiotic) + Chamomile Flower Oil are included to soothe the skin.
Full Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Lactococcus Ferment Lysate, Inulin, Squalane, Cetyl Phosphate, Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black TEA Ferment, Sodium Hyaluronate, Chlorella Vulgaris (Plankton) Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment, Propanediol, Arginine, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Maltodextrin, Xanthan Gum, Cetyl Alcohol, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Sodium Chloride, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Hydroxyaceophenone, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate.
NOTE: The Incidecoder / Skincarisma have a full ingredient breakdown HERE
Texture: A Milky, Lightweight and Moisturising emulsion-like Serum. This is lightweight yet contains many emollients and hydrators to adequately cover the skin.
As you can see, this is an opaque serum initially when applied. It is milky.
When spreading the product out, you can see it’s translucent and still looks milky. It’s moisturising and lightweight (emollient).
This gives the skin a slight, dewy sheen. The finish isn’t ridiculously oily or greasy, but of course this doesn’t simply disappear into the skin, but moisturises/hydrates it.
Summer or Winter: Moisturising serum/cream for Dry skins in the Summer and Moisturising serum/cream for Oily skins in the Winter.
Stings if the Skin is irritated? (I.e. Irritated from Retinol Use or Shaving): Due to the Lactic Acid, I do find this does sting a little (Not insanely) when the skin is already irritated.
Fragrance?: Yes, this has Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil – An Essential oil. Albeit, this is supposedly Soothing and Anti-inflammatory as it is from the Roman Chamomile plant. It does give this serum a scent to it, but it’s not my favourite.
Good Under Makeup?: Yes this is fine under makeup (for dry skin) as it doesn’t ball up / pill. But I will say that Oilier skins may not like this under makeup (it’s not a mattifying finish).
How long have I been using this?: For about 2 months.
The Effect?: Moisturised skin with a strengthened skin barrier (Didn’t ruin my skin or break me out).
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What I like:
- The brand are environment-conscious and are trying to improve their packaging
- Sturdy, easy-to-use + Travel-friendly packaging (no spilling)
- Didn’t worsen my skin / sting or irritate (will do if the skin is already sensitised due to the lactic acid)
- Not just solely relying on pre +probiotics to benefit the skin
What I don’t like:
- Emulsion-like Serum = A bit tricky to layer as I prefer to use this (as an Oily-Combo skin user) at the last step of my routine instead of my moisturiser + also I wouldn’t use this under makeup personally (due to its emollient nature)
- Essential Oil Inclusion (Just a personal Preference – but I’d prefer it without, and also the scent of this isn’t my favourite)
Overall Rating and Conclusion: 4/5 – This is a nice, all-rounder, lightweight, emulsion-type serum. (I’m not a big fan of essential oils, so the addition of Roman Chamomile essential oil was something I personally could have done without). However, this is a nice, lightweight moisturiser (I use it as a moisturiser), and the good thing is, it’s got skin-improving, barrier strengthening and tone-evening ingredients in here. So for me, it’s not just a basic moisturiser, but a lightweight emulsion that gently resurfaces and even’s out the skin tone (provides additional benefits to the skin).
I’m guessing the brand understand that pre and probiotics in topical (on the skin) skincare are still quite new and not as totally backed up by science and research papers compared to Retinol + BHAs (although it seems promising!). So, I like that they added proven-beneficial ingredients like Lactic and Hyaluronic Acid as well as Squalane etc (they’re not just relying on Pro + Prebiotics, and added in additional skin-beneficial ingredients to ensure something beneficial is being added to the skin).
Would I Purchase?: It’s the Essential oil that makes me a little hesitant because other than that, I like this product + the packaging! I really am into Moisturisers/Creams that contain additional actives because then it reduces the steps in my skincare 🙂
Dupe?: Including both Pre and Probiotics in skincare, as well as the product being vegan + cruelty free is pretty difficult to provide a dupe of at the moment. However, the Rovectin Biome Ampoule (and that is essential oil free) is probably the closest thing! (My Review HERE). And, the concept reminds me of the Isntree Bifida Ampoule (Review HERE), however in terms of texture – this is similar to the Etude House Soon Jung Emulsion Review HERE). The Inkey List Multi Biotic Moisturiser also contains Lactobacillus Ferment (Probiotic) HERE
My Skin Type: I am acne prone and have slightly dehydrated combo skin. My skin is usually tight where the cheeks and eye area is and the outer parts of my face. My T zone is oily. My skin isn’t a fan of thick/heavy formulas so I opt for lightweight formulas to prevent it from clogging up. My skin doesn’t like essential oils either and I try to avoid fragrance when I can.
Disclaimer: I am a skincare enthusiast and not a skin expert. I am not qualified to give out dermatological advice. This type of advice should only be given by a medical practitioner. Upon trying / using any of the reviewed products on the blog, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings and please seek medical advice if needed.
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