New skincare lines focus on packing in the ingredients, being sustainable

By Zsarlene B. Chua, Senior Reporter

Britory’s Like Snow Serum for Glass Skin
and Like Snow Cream for Glass Skin
Bioten’s Pink and Green lines

It was a busy week of skincare launches last week with one brand, led and co-owned by a Filipina celebrity, focused on the expertise of Korean beauty technology and cute packaging while another brand focused on presenting a value-for-money line that is also sustainable.

Britory (a portmanteau of “bright” and “laboratory”) is a skincare brand co-owned by Filipina celebrity Bela Padilla and manufactured in Korea. It is focused on giving its users the famed Korean “glass skin” and is packed with as many active ingredients as one small bottle will allow.

“I shot a film in Korea in February… and what I noticed working with the Korean team and actors was they had perfect skin — they had no [visible] pores, they looked amazing with and without makeup. They gave me a lot of tips that we condensed into the two products we’re launching today,” Ms. Padilla said in a digital conference on Sept. 17.

“Glass skin” refers to facial skin being smooth, apparently poreless, and perfect and is a term used by the Korean skincare industry for several years now.

“This project has been brewing for a year now,” she said, before adding that when she met the team for the first time, they talked about having a product that she will like and which is fashioned after the needs of Filipinos as climate conditions between South Korea and the Philippines differ.

The brand launched two products: the Like Snow Serum for Glass Skin (P899 for 35 ml) and Like Snow Cream for Glass Skin (P990 for 50 ml). The serum contains niacinamide, glutathione, arbutin, Neem tree flower extract, walnut leaf extract, Lactobacillus ferment filtrate, and Galactomyces ferment filtrate, while the cream has niacinamide, glutathione, ceramide, Neem tree flower extract, panthenol, and Lactobacillus ferment filtrate as active ingredients.

If it sounds like it’s a mouthful, it’s because it is. In fact, Ms. Padilla’s business partners Dongwoo Kang and Wonyoung Ryu (brand directors), noted that this is the first time a skincare product combined so many active ingredients, but Ms. Padilla insisted that she wanted the products to be as effective as possible to achieve “glass skin.”

“We cut down all the steps of your skincare routine into two products,” she said.

For those uninitiated in the world of skincare, here’s a short rundown of the effects of the active ingredients on the Britory products: niacinamide is meant to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, glutathione is said to control melanin production and “brighten” uneven skin tone, arbutin deals with hyperpigmentation, Neem tree flower extract has anti-inflammatory properties, walnut leaf extract smooths skin texture, Lactobacillus is said to give the skin its glow, Galactomyces is meant to control sebum production, ceramide locks moisture into the skin and protects skin from environmental stressors, and panthenol improves skin hydration.

A good thing about the Britory packaging is it dedicates a portion to discussing what a certain active ingredient does for the skin.

The packaging of the serum is probably the cutest thing this writer has ever seen — it is a glass snowman. Ms. Padilla said they decided on the packaging because the dream is to vacation somewhere with snow, and since they were launching the line near Christmas, she felt it would be appropriate for the holidays. The cream meanwhile is encased in a glass bottle and both products feel expensive and definitely worth displaying on one’s vanity.

“We don’t aim to whiten your skin with our products — we want to make your skin glow,” Ms. Padilla said when asked about the inclusion of glutathione in the product.

Glutathione is an antioxidant that has been commonly used in food supplements and skincare in the Philippines to promote whiter skin, but Ms. Padilla argued that glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that “brightens” one’s skin and makes it glow.

“It doesn’t change the color of your skin,” she said before adding, “all skin colors are beautiful.”

So how do the new Britory products perform? This writer only had access to the products for a few days and while I cannot comment on its effectiveness, I can appreciate that most of the active ingredients in the products — niacinamide and ceramide — are actives that I already use in my daily life.

Still, while Ms. Padilla claims that the products can be used by all skin types, I would beg to respectfully disagree as the products don’t work well with my dry to normal skin. But for people who have combination, normal, or oily skin, the texture of the products would work wonderfully because the cream, in particular, is a water gel type which means it gets absorbed into the skin quickly and leaves almost no residue, while the serum has a quick-dry consistency as well, perfect for people who want to be quick with their routine and get on with their day.

Personally, I want a little more heft and heaviness with my products as my skin needs more moisture than it is able to produce, so instead of cutting down my steps while using the Britory products, I needed to add a face oil here and a heavier cream there to feel that my skin is hydrated.

It all boils down to personal preference. I’m sure people with other skin types will appreciate the line. The price is a bit up there but the promise of having more than five active ingredients and the cute packaging may just make it worth it.

And just a tiny note — simplifying one’s skincare routine is good and all, but please remember to clean your face before plastering on any product and apply sunscreen after using those products.

Britory is available in Lazada and Shopee.

While Britory focuses on packing as many ingredients into their products as possible, Greek skincare brand Bioten focuses on providing value-for-money products which are also sustainable.

“Nature is our library,” Kelly Erripi, head of the skincare category of Sarantis Group, the company that manufactures Bioten, said in a press conference on Sept. 17.

Bioten is one of the brands under the Sarantis Group and is considered one of their flagship skincare products. Ms. Erripi explained that the brand is meant for people who want good skincare products derived from natural ingredients.

He explained that Bioten selects “100% natural key ingredients” derived from eco-friendly and sustainable sources from around the world and creates products with “100% recyclable packaging.”

“We’re very honest [about what’s in our products],” she said, noting that all Bioten products, from the carton packaging to the jars and bottles, contain information about how much of it comes from “ingredients of natural origin” and that the main ingredients are acquired sustainably.

The glass jars, she explained, are made from 30% recycled material and the boxes are made from paper obtained through responsible sources.

The products are also vegan-friendly because they want “to respect their customer’s lifestyle choices.”

During the launch, the brand focused on its main Skin Moisture range which has two product lines: one crafted for people with dry and/or sensitive skin (the pink line) and another for those with normal or combination skin (the green line). The skin moisture line was created for people aged 20 to 35 years old.

“Right now, as we all know, everyone’s being very, very concerned when it comes to what we put inside, what we actually ingest, and what we actually apply in our skin… aside from that is sustainability, because aside from taking care of our bodies, we also have to take care of the environment,” Angelina Goyena, general manager of iFace (the local distributor of Bioten in the country), said in a release.

The pink Skin Moisture line for dry and/or sensitive skin has as its main ingredient saffron which functions as an antioxidant. It has “skin healing properties and helps increase the skin’s elasticity,” according to a press release. The line includes a micellar water cleanser (P349/400 ml, P99/100 ml), a cleansing milk (P349/200 ml), and a face cream (P349/50 ml).

The green Skin Moisture line for normal/combination skin meanwhile has quince, a type of lime, as a main ingredient for its moisturizing properties. The line includes a micellar water cleanser (P349/400 ml, P99/100 ml), a cleansing gel (P349/200 ml), and a face cream (P349/50 ml).

Ms. Goyena noted that the price points make the product “very, very affordable” and, coupled with its sustainability focus, this attracted them to the brand.

“We felt that it was our responsibility to make this available in the Philippine market,” she explained.

And she’s right: the price points are incredibly attractive and it also makes one feel better about choosing the products because of the sustainability efforts it included.

This writer has been using both the Skin Moisture lines for about two weeks now and though I can’t say for certain whether the products work, I do enjoy using both the Micellar Water Cleanser (the pink one) and the Gel Cleanser (the green one) as part of my two-step cleansing routine whenever I’m not using makeup as I still feel the need to clean my face with an oil-based cleanser after spending a day wearing makeup. The pink face cream is also working pretty well, though I don’t like that it’s heavily fragranced — it has a floral scent that just hits you hard, but I got over it. People with sensitivity to fragrances may want to steer clear of the creams — the brand has other good products that have less fragrance.

At first, I felt that the cream was not working because it took me more than my usual amount of product (a medium-sized dollop, the size of a P1 coin) to spread all over my face but once it sinks in, it does provide me with more than 12 hours of moisture and I didn’t feel the need to reapply moisturizer or spray a face mist at 4 p.m., the time when I feel my other moisturizers have worn out and I need more.

It also wore well under makeup because it’s not greasy and does not move the foundation or concealer around.

While the jury is still out if this is a brand I’ll keep on rotation, Bioten looks very appealing to me right now.

Bioten is available at Watsons, the SM Store, on Lazada, and on Amorfia (an online store).

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