With Herbal Scientist Tracey Ryan
As fans of the Bia Collection, you understand and appreciate that our gorgeous raw ingredients are ethically sourced directly from Ireland to deliver the untapped beauty secrets of indigenous botanicals.
We sat down with our Herbal Scientist, Tracey Ryan, who also serves as the Managing Director at Codex Beauty Labs Europe, to highlight some truly amazing healing facts about Irish plants. We dive into how Bia Skin Superfood uses five distinctly native plants to deliver long-lasting hydration and how Tracey uses her expertise in plant science to assist in developing our cutting-edge foresight in plant-based biotech beauty.
Tracey, you have such a devoted following due to your amazing ability to heal with plants. Tell us more about your work as a Herbal Scientist with Codex Beauty Labs?
Blending herbalism with cosmetic science gives me an opportunity to use the store of herbs I have in my head, either learnt through study, or that have been passed down to me by various mentors. When we are developing a new product for the Bia range, I think about what benefits a customer will want to see in the product and I match that with what I know from herbal science. I think about what plants have—which constituents and what actions those constituents have—and how they are best extracted from the plant and formulated into the product. I love the blending of the old reliable herbal extracts with new biotech plant actives.
How does your work in plant-based skincare, herbalism, and botanical extracts assist Codex Beauty Labs to stand out in the beauty space?
Herbalism brings a new layer to cosmetic science. We don’t just scan the brochures of ingredient distributors. I think about the ingredients as whole plants first—where are they grown, by who, how are they grown, harvested, processed, etc. That level of detail and attention to the source of the plants means you start with very active and pure ingredients. We also get to dictate the processing or extraction methods used. This is where I love to see old tried and tested extraction techniques being utilized.
How does living in Ireland play a role in working with the best natural ingredients? What are some of the regional ingredients used to formulate the unique The Bia Collection?
Living in Ireland and sourcing natural ingredients here means access to an unpolluted landscape, raw ingredients, and a small but thriving community of growers. Our position on the far west coast of Europe and our low population gives us our pristine section of the Atlantic Ocean where our seaweeds are harvested from. Our seaweed is hand harvested by a small local company who have been harvesting in that area for generations. As well as being pure and pristine, our seaweed is rich and full of incredible oils and trace minerals. Its certainly not bleached by the sun in our cold and dark waters! We source Bog Myrtle from the ancient bogs of the midlands, that were laid down during the Ice Age!
Give those new to Codex Beauty Labs a few fun facts about The Bia Collection?
The bog myrtle used in our Facial Oil was also used to flavor beer before hops became widely available. It has a wonderful warm resinous scent. In addition to smelling beautiful, it has anti-inflammatory and balancing effects on our skin.
Seaweed baths are common practice on the west coast of Ireland. We use the Serrated Wrack which is found in our Facial Oil and add handfuls of it to a bath of very hot salty water. The oils are released into the bath and coat the hair and skin making the most beautiful treatment for dry skin and hair.
Bia is the Irish word for food. Irish is an ancient language but is still our official language and taught to all children in school. I chose the word Bia because I wanted to create a range that nourished and hydrated the skin.
All who have tried the patented BiaComplex™ formula rave about the results. Please give our readers the inside scoop on Bia Skin Superfood and why it is uniquely formulated to deliver scientific results on all skin types?
Bia Skin Superfood contains BiaComplex which is a patented blend of 5 native Irish plants that all hydrate the skin in different, but complimentary ways.
Immortelle keeps the skin covered with a protective film to trap in moisture, Comfrey has keratolytic properties that help shed the drier, outer layers of the epidermis, Heartsease contains polysaccharides that boost the skin’s capacity to retain water by improving osmotic function, Marshmallow helps moisturize and protect the skin, Calendula provides soothing for dry, cracked or itchy skin.
So rather than being a heavy cream that seals in moisture Skin Superfood helps the skin hold onto moisture at a deeper layer.
Based on our extensive efficacy testing, we know that our Skin Superfood can provide both comfort and protection. Our efficacy trials have shown that after 28 days of use: it provided a 42.5% hydration increase in 90% of subjects tested, a highly significant improvement in skin barrier function as evidenced by a 13.4% reduction in trans-epidermal water-loss in 77% of subjects tested, and a 40.5% decrease in skin flakiness in 100% of subjects.
What are your three favorite holy grail products from The Bia Collection and why?
I love Wash Off Cleansing Oil because it feels so luxurious and works so well. I’m a big fan of oil cleansing and this one is so easy to use. We’ve added a natural emulsifier, so the oil turns to milk once you introduce water to it.
Superfood, of course! It has so many uses! I love gardening so I use it every night on my hands to soothe and repair them. I wear it as a moisturizer when I’m hiking to prevent windburn, and I always take it with me when I travel to wear during a flight, to use as after-sun and to soothe bites, etc.
My oldest son is 10 and has started to get oily skin. He now uses our Exfoliating Wash every morning and it has done wonders for his skin. It’s a cream cleanser with natural jojoba grains which give the gentlest exfoliation, so it really is suitable for everyday use and I’m happy knowing he is using something gentle and effective on his skin.
Please give our readers some tips and tricks to using The Bia Collection for combating flaky, dry, and irritated skin?
Living in Ireland I am so used to being outdoors in cold, wet, or windy weather. My trick is to layer products. I use Skin Superfood as a daily moisturizer in the coldest months here and if I’m going out doors I like to wear the Facial Oil over Skin Superfood for extra protection from the elements. I also like to layer the two together at night for a great overnight hydration boost! And of course, an important step for dry and flaky skin is to exfoliate regularly. Gentle exfoliation is best, either our Exfoliating Wash or even just using a washcloth on your face to gently exfoliate.
Any tips when setting up daily rituals for beautiful skin? Especially for our skin minimalists out there?
This is where Wash Off Cleansing Oil really works for me. I apply it as a mask sometimes in the morning. I massage it all over my face and leave it there while I brush my teeth. Some mornings I use a jade roller to give my face a massage while having the Wash Off Oil on. The oils we selected for this product are quite short and dry and super nutritious, so some of those oils will absorb into the top layers of the skin like a good facial oil. Then I splash my face with water to remove the surplus oil, it turns to milk and is super easy to rinse away. My skin feels soft and hydrated after using it.