Today’s skincare deep dive is an in-depth BIOSSANCE Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum review! BIOSSANCE is filed under Sephora’s notoriously picky “Clean Beauty” section, but is this serum really worthy of a spot on your skincare shelf?
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BIOSSANCE Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum Review
The BIOSSANCE Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum is a lightweight watery cream with a subtle herbal scent. This is partly due to multiple floral extracts but there are also 4+ fragrant ingredients. It absorbs very quickly without leaving any tacky feeling on the skin. It does not leave the skin feeling hydrated but it’s not drying either?
Honestly, I could not feel much of a difference in my skin texture after application. I could still smell the fragrance of this serum even after I applied my moisturizer which was a turn off for me.
I’m honestly confused about why bitter orange peel oil was included in this formula. The selling point for Bakuchiol is that it has all the benefits of retinol without the irritating and photo-sensitizing effects (can cause damage after sun exposure). Citrus oils have an added risk: they can cause photosensitization, meaning they react with the sun to cause phototoxic burns.
It’s the 8th ingredient out of a 21 ingredient long list which is uncomfortably high up there. The fact that they included Orange Peel Oil in the formula also takes away from the whole “It’s a safer and less irritating formula” gimmick.
What is Phyto-Retinol?
Despite its name, this serum does not actually contain any retinol! Phyto means “pertaining to or derived from plants” and the main active in this serum is Bakuchiol. Bakuchiol is a plant-based retinol alternative that has been proven in studies to provide the same results as retinol but without the irritation that can be experienced with retinol use.
“Bakuchiol functions similar to a retinol, increasing cell turnover thereby stimulating collagen production and diminishing signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, skin laxity, and overall photodamage.”Sejal Shah
How does the formula hold up?
My overall rating for BIOSSANCE Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum:
- Packaging- 5/5 Stars
- Price- Lowest current price: $72.00 for 1.0 oz. 3/5 Stars
- Formula- 3/5 Stars
- Effectiveness- 3/5 Stars
- Fragrance-Free?- No
- Cruelty-Free?- Yes
- Vegan?- Yes
BIOSSANCE Squalane + Phyto-Retinol Serum Review: Would I buy again?
I do not think this serum is worth the $72 price tag. There are far cheaper Bakuchiol alternatives with less added fragrance. Unfortunately, I won’t be picking up the Biossance serum again.
I will be trying The Inkey List Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Moisturizer next. This alternative is only $10 while being 1/7 of the cost! This is a 1% Bakuchio formula which is standard compared to other products on the market (most studies done on the effects of Bakuchiol use a 0.5% mixture).
It also doesn’t have any added fragrance so it’s awesome for sensitive skin types! If you want to try an even higher concentration of Bakuchiol this Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum is a whopping 4%!