Skincare Sunday: Iceland with BIOEFFECT

Iceland has long held one of the top positions on my must-visit list.

It seemed like one of those mystical destinations where photos simply don't do it justice--sprawling, unadulterated nature paired with whispered local tales of fairies living amongst the hills created the perfect shroud of mystery that beckoned to me.

I was blessed enough to travel there last month with BIOEFFECT, a skincare company based in Iceland. They brought me over to learn more about the line in a very hands-on, on-the-ground manner. The PR person who chaperoned us was genuinely excited about BIOEFFECT and was a huge fan herself, so it only heightened my excitement and expectations.

The first day was spent sightseeing and stomping around town. It was bitterly cold (at least, in comparison to our long NYC summer) and windy (Reykjavik is the #3 windiest place and #1 windiest inhabited city in the world!) so it was definitely an adventure. I lost my beanie a few times.

Eat at Kol
Shop on and around Laugavegur

Our second day was spent at the BIOEFFECT headquarters, learning about the wonders of the brand from the CEO and Global Director of Marketing themselves. What differentiates BIOEFFECT from most other serums is EGF (epidermal growth factor). Growth factors are what signals our cells to do tasks such as repair, rejuvenate, or proliferate. This is why people conduct stem cell research. EGF tells our skin to produce more collagen and elastin, increase cell turnover, and promote radiance.

In scientific research, EGF is grown in bacteria, but that poses a risk of infection to humans. There are other methods of obtaining EGF through animals, but that presents inherent moral and ethical issues.

BIOEFFECT has totally changed the game by harvesting EGF from barley--yes, BARLEY--by engineering barley's genetic code to closely resemble human EGF. We headed to the greenhouse a few miles away to see with our own eyes this scientific breakthrough.

What's extra cool is that BIOEFFECT isn't a newbie skincare brand that popped out of nowhere. Its mother company is a major pharmaceutical company, headed by doctors with decades and decades of proven results behind them. It's a highly scientific, results-driven line.

BIOEFFECT's greenhouse was something else. Engineered for ultimate crop purity (barley is self-pollinating so there is no risk of cross-breeding, and each barley plant is grown in the utmost ideal conditions to ensure a perfect specimen each time) and zero carbon emissions, it stood proudly atop thousand year-old volcanic pumice--isolated and breathtaking.

Then, it was back to the BIOEFFECT labs to see what their 1000 test subjects across 40 double-blind studies went through. We mapped out our faces with high-tech cameras and targeted our problem areas. My highs were no dark circles and wrinkles. My lows were spots and hyperpigmentation (likely from my acne scars, boooo). We were each given BIOEFFECT to incorporate into our daily routines.

I'm personally doing the 30 Day Treatment in order to kickstart my skin repair (and make up for years of not using EGF). I'll update further when I'm done! I'm so excited for my results. If you look on BIOEFFECT's website, you can see before and after images for each product portraying the drastic effect BIOEFFECT has on the skin. It seriously looks like time has been turned back. I'm hoping that if I start now, I'll stay looking in my 20s for decades to come, haha.

Day three was when we did all the fun outdoorsy stuff. BIOEFFECT knows how to work and how to play, and we spent the whole day following their lead into locals-only excursions.

We rode across the landscape in style, off-roading up hills and into rivers. We hiked for almost 10 miles, encountering geothermal pools, gaping pits of sizzling steam that probably led into Hell, the most breathtaking series of waterfalls I have EVER seen, and the thickest fog that at times made you feel completely alone on Planet Iceland (our nickname for our surroundings--it seriously felt like you were in another world).

I checked off something I never knew was on my bucket list: stripping down to nothing in 30° wind chill, changing into a swimsuit, and hopping into a geothermal pool. That was the easy part. Getting out soaking wet and changing back was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do--but totally worth it!


Thank you to the BIOEFFECT team for a wonderful introduction to Iceland!

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