It’s slowly been gaining traction for the last year or so, but for me it didn’t really sink in until I saw Bjorn Orvar – CEO of SIF Cosmetics – presenting his skincare brand Bioeffect at last week’s InnoCos conference in Geneva.
While I don’t doubt the scientific credentials of many skincare brands there is still an underlying scepticism borne from the knowledge that largely skincare products have no effect below the skin’s epidermis.
However, if I’ve understood the science correctly, a category of active ingredients know as EGFs (Epidermal Growth Factors) have the ability to speed up the rate at which skin cells renew themselves. The scientist who discovered them won a Nobel prize for his work and EGFs have found useful service (beyond cosmetic applications) for wound-healing and in conjunction with skin grafts.
The problem until recently has been that producing EGFs has been stupendously expensive as their creation is a laborious and difficult process.
However after 10 years of development, ORF Genetics (SIF Cosmetics parent company) have found a way of manufacturing them far more easily and safely from a culture of barley that’s been ‘bio-engineered’ – or in others words (again if I’ve understood the science) ‘genetically modified’. And therein lies the rub.
5 or so years ago science lost the last ‘genetically modified’ PR battle in Europe to the NGOs. The debate was essentially around GM foods but its influence has spread to other categories. And consequently here in Europe GM is largely perceived as spawn of the devil.
In the manner of Dorian Grey’s folly, for some, using Bioeffect might be seen as a pact with that devil, but if so it’s a pact many will be prepared to make.