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What Are the Best Ingredients in Skincare?

We know, it’s a jungle out there… Here’s something on our favorite natural and truly effective skincare ingredients.

Our favorite clean and effective ingredients in skincare.

When it comes to skincare, the extensive ingredient lists can be quite confusing – and understandably so. It can be challenging knowing which ingredients are a complete no-no and should be avoided. At the same time, there are so many wonder workers out there enhancing moisture retention, rebalancing moisture levels, and aiding towards improved skin health.

Read on to discover a few of our favorites, perfectly in tune with our commitment to clean and natural skincare.

Barley EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor)

A moisture-binding, skin-rejuvenating signaling protein, or a so-called growth factor. It is the first of its kind to be produced in plants by BIOEFFECT scientists to combat the visible effects of skin aging. Topical application of Barley EGF contributes to skin's healthy and dense appearance. It can help skin rejuvenate while strengthening its ability to retain and withhold moisture. Increased moisture levels help maintain skin thickness and density, visibly reducing the depth of wrinkles.

Barley IL-1a (Interleukin 1-alpha)

Our science team developed a way to bioengineer a plant-based IL-1a in barley that helps support the skin's structural integrity and visibly maintain its natural firmness; promoting skin elasticity.

Barley KGF (Keratinocyte Growth Factor)

Our science team developed a way to bioengineer a plant-based KGF in barley. KGF naturally occurring in skin is produced by fibroblasts in the dermis and has the ability to stimulate keratinocytes in the epidermis to migrate, differentiate, and synthesize Hyaluronic Acid – and by that creating a stronger and more structured skin barrier. It has also been shown that KGF protects human keratinocytes from the toxicity of xenobiotics that have electrophilic and oxidative properties and protects against UV-radiation. Barley KGF helps keep the skin barrier intact and healthy-looking. It has been shown to visibly strengthen the skin and promote its natural repairing processes, protecting it from UV-radiation, chemical- and physical stress.

NAG (N-Acetyl Glucosamine)

This is a vegan, highly stable form of an amino sugar compound originally found in skin, located in the spaces between the skin cells, that is known to help support our natural Hyaluronic Acid production. NAG is a precursor to Hyaluronic Acid, so it is one of the building blocks of Hyaluronic Acid together with D-Glucuronic Acid. NAG easily penetrates the skin and has been shown to have various skin benefits. Studies have shown that it brightens the complexion and minimizes the appearance of hyperpigmentation. It inhibits the glycosylation of pro-tyrosinase to tyrosinase in melanocytes. With that, production of melanin is reduced in the skin, thereby improving hyperpigmentation and skin tone. NAG also has antioxidant benefits and helps maintain skin barrier integrity, elasticity, and addresses skin dryness by sealing in moisture and reduce water loss.

Hyaluronic Acid

A vital substance naturally found in skin, critical for maintaining skin hydration. Known for its incredible capacity to attract and hold vast amounts of moisture. In fact it can hold up to 1.000 times its own weight in water, making it an optimal hydrator for all skin types. Hyaluronic Acid is also known for having restorative and soothing abilities. We use optimized Hyaluronic Acid when formulating our products, as it has a smaller or bigger molecular weight. Smaller molecular weight allows for deeper and better absorption in the skin, while higher molecular weight causes the Hyaluronic Acid to sit on the surface skin layers and provide an immediate plumping and glowing effect.


A great humectant as it pulls in moisture, making the skin plumper and smoother while diminishing fine line and wrinkles. Glycerin works as a protective agent against skin irritation, it has an antimicrobial effect on the skin, it can enhance the penetration of other active ingredients into the skin, it aids in the wound healing process, and also increases hydration/moisturization of the skin. To be able to get the maximal benefit from glycerin, the composition of the formulation of the product is critical. Therefore, BIOEFFECT products have the optimum concentration of water in the formulation for glycerin to have a very effective hydrating function.

Barley Beta Glucan

A skin-soothing ingredient known for its effect on the skin barrier, ability to seal in moisture and hydrate, fight wrinkles and UV damage as well as provide skin-calming rejuvenation. In addition, clinical testing has shown Beta Glucan derived from Barley can provide as much as 3 times more potent antioxidant protection than Beta Glucan derived from Oats.


A new skincare ingredient derived from an herbal extract known for its medicinal properties and its ability to reduce oxidative stress – another potential factor contributing to the visible signs of aging. Oridonin also has the ability to communicate with the skin similar to Barley EGF, and the two combine for a more profound effect by blurring the appearance of lines, targeting saggy skin, and ensuring a healthy-looking complexion.


Also known as Vitamin B3. Visibly improves skin’s texture, evens skin tone, and increases radiance while also minimizing fine lines and wrinkles.


A skin-replenishing and hydrating antioxidant. Softens and moisturizes while preventing moisture loss. Occurs naturally in the sebum.

Certain fatty acids, like those found in Evening Primrose Oil and Shea Butter, provide nourishing moisturization and skin-softening benefits without a greasy residue that is perfect for dry, mature skin. Evening Primrose Oil and Shea Butter don´t classify as mineral or vegetable oils and are non-comedogenic, meaning they don´t clog the pores or cause inflammation.

Orthosilicic Acid (OSA)

Bioavailable form of silica which the skin absorbs. Quite rare in nature but can be found in high-temperature geothermal steam in Iceland. Known to stimulate the natural production of collagen and strengthen the skin’s elasticity.

Azelaic Acid

Multi-functional support ingredient for all skin types and acts as an effective antioxidant. Mild anti-bacterial cleansing abilities, dissolving oils and dirt from the pores. It brightens the skin tone while having skin-calming abilities, reducing redness, inflammation, and hyperpigmentation.


A mix of surfactants suspended in a water solution. Micelles work like magnets for oil and dirt, removing impurities on the face, without leaving oily residue on the skin.

Icelandic Water

Clean and pure, as it’s geologically filtered through layers of inert volcanic lava. This natural process ensures a low concentration of hard minerals (like calcium and magnesium), leaving the water extremely pure and soft on the skin making it less likely to cause irritation.