The beauty industry is cleaning up its act and helping consumers make better choices for their health, and the planet. Wasteful practices and harmful ingredients are on their way out and thoughtful, science-backed products are filling our bathroom shelves. And it wouldn’t be possible without brands like Biologi.
An Australian brand, Biologi is proudly a 100% organic skincare brand that utilises natural plant actives to create single-ingredient products. It’s challenging conventional products and giving a new meaning to the terms natural, clean and cosmeceutical.
Having just launched the world’s first all-natural, single-ingredient foaming cleanser, we caught up with founder, Ross Macdougald, to talk Biologi’s beginning, nature’s active ingredients, and a cleanser that’s going to revolutionise your skincare routine.
How did Biologi come about and what was the inspiration behind the brand?
Ross Macdougald: Biologi was developed to create a new paradigm in skincare, delivering world-first 100% active plant extract serums that actually change the skin on a cellular level.
I’m a Cosmetic Chemist by trade and throughout my career I’ve spent over 30 years working for large cosmetic giants and developing over 300 products. This experience led me to decide that I wanted to create a brand that proved that undiluted nature truly works.
Back then it was widely known that active ingredients delivered results, but brands were bottling only tiny percentages which when combined with filler ingredients rarely had any effect on the skin. The industry was being sold that ‘more is better’ and consumers were filling their bathroom cabinets with products that consisted mainly of water and filler ingredients.
Biologi was developed to create a new paradigm in skincare, delivering world-first 100% active plant extract serums that actually change the skin on a cellular level.
What’s more, with all the confusing options available on the market, people were often haphazardly combining products not realising that many of the ingredients were overlapping, cancelling each other out, not working, or worse – resulting in harsh reactions. I knew that delivering 100% active and safe ingredients would dramatically change people’s skin, and therefore, wanted to bring it to the world through Biologi.
ACC: So how would you categorise Biologi?
RM: Today Biologi sits in its own category of skincare – Clean Cosmeceuticals. This is a term we created because we were finding that our products really didn’t fit into their own category. Yes, they’re 100% natural, but the term ‘natural’ often comes with a connotation that it isn’t functional or effective.
Terms like ‘natural’ and ‘clean’ are often shrouded in a stigma of ‘not working’ and we were finding some consumers were opting for synthetic alternatives because they believed they would contain the actives the skin needs. However, what many people didn’t realise is that our natural ingredient serums contain 100% active ingredients without all the nasties.
Just like regular Cosmeceuticals, our ingredients are also backed by science and are highly effective on the skin, yet you have the added benefit of them being natural so there’s no risk of toxic build up over time.
ACC: Can you talk a little about your focus on creating single ingredient products? Why are these better for the skin?
RM: Each of the Biologi serums are extracted from a single native plant; finger lime, Davidson plum, Quandong and Kakadu plum. The reason for our single ingredient products is because they are 100% active and work best in their pure form. We know they work best on the skin without being mix or altered in any way, so we worked hard to ensure we could deliver them in their purest form.
My knowledge and experience in the industry meant that I was aware of traditional commercial extraction processes, such as maceration and percolation, but they were highly ineffective when extracting Phyto nutrients. These processes involve the plant material being steeped in an evasive liquid (usually containing alcohol or synthetic additives) and stored for weeks. The end product is close-to-decaying plant material which has lost most of its Phyto activity and may require the addition of preservatives and synthetic actives (standardisation) to function.
This led me to create a revolutionary extraction system that allows Biologi to mimic the plant’s internal closed process to extract serums that work in the bottle as they do in their unique cellular environment, without chemical manipulation. We discovered that plant cells, similar to human cells produce a liquid matrix that protects the Phyto-active nutrients from breaking down. By bottling the liquid matrix (Phyto Nutrient Protection-PNP™) the goodness of the plant operates inside the bottle, as if it was still inside the plant.
ACC: I know that it wasn’t an easy journey creating the Bc Refresh Cleanser. Can you tell us why creating it was so important to you and what sets it apart?
RM: Well, the funny thing is, we always said we wouldn’t create a cleanser because at the time, we weren’t aware of any single plant ingredient that could do the job on its own. We obviously knew we could synthetically manufacture a cleanser, but we always wanted to stay true to our brand ethos which is 100% active ingredients.
So, whilst the idea of a cleanser was certainly something we had thought about, we just didn’t think it was possible. However, we are always trialling different ingredients and were lucky to discover that our extraction method could extract Soapberry which acted as the perfect natural cleanser. What sets this cleanser apart is that when we say natural, we really mean it. Biologi’s Bc Refresh Cleanser contains 100% active soapberry extract and we don’t add in any filler ingredients other than sodium benzoate as a preservative 0.2%, because the pure plant extract works incredible on its own.
Biologi’s Bc Refresh Cleanser is unlike anything people would have tried before. It not only cleanses the skin, but its fully active ingredient works like a serum would, offering hydration, antioxidant protection and repairing of cells deep within the dermal layers. What’s more, it doesn’t dry out the skin, it’s undiluted and 100% active, it’s 100% water soluble, it’s fragrance-free and suitable for all skin types.
ACC: Finally, what’s your advice to consumers about how they can make smarter choices when choosing their skincare?
RM: My advice is to do your research and don’t just take things at face value. Unfortunately, the industry is rife with Greenwashing where brands use marketing tactics to make unsubstantiated and misleading claims. These subtle (and not so subtle) marketing tactics have been around for years and are usually what determines the success of the product.
Terms like ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘naturally derived’, ‘green’ and ‘dermatologist approved’ are all some claims that are seemingly everywhere on skincare labels but sit in a grey area of confusion and unsubstantiated claims. Consumers should always read the ingredient list on the back of the bottle or on the original packaging and make sure they understand what each ingredient is.
Consumers are lucky because most will have Google at their fingertips so can do their own research on ingredients, or better yet, ask the brand directly – if they have nothing to hide, they will be open and honest about their practices.