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Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum

1.00 fl. oz. for $ 62.00
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Brand Overview

Biossance’s Squalane + Lactic Acid Resurfacing Night Serum has potential for being a good AHA exfoliant for all skin types – except for a couple of ingredients that do more harm than good.

Packaged in an opaque tube with a pump dispenser that protects its ingredients from light and air exposure, this treatment has a lightweight lotion texture. Upon application, it absorbs quickly without stickiness or greasiness, making skin look instantly refreshed and plumped.

The star ingredient here is 10% lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that research shows improves the look of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as sun damage and dehydration. It’s formulated here at a pH of 3.8 (within the optimal range of between 3-4), meaning it will successfully exfoliate skin for visible results.

Backing this up is squalane, an ingredient Biossance includes in all its skin care products. Squalane is a rich source of fatty acids and antioxidants, and is emollient without feeling heavy or occlusive.

The formula also includes Lespedeza capitata extract, a type of clover that Biossance claims can help balance skin. While there’s no specific evidence that’s the case, it does have antioxidant properties, as most plant extracts do. Besides, balancing skin is never about just one ingredient, it’s about a complete routine that works for your skin type and concerns.

Unfortunately, this also contains lavender oil and the fragrance ingredient linalool, both of which put skin at risk for irritation. They’re not in the highest amount here, but the lavender smell is apparent as soon as you pump out this treatment, and it lingers for some time after application.

It’s a shame, because otherwise this would have been a good option for gentle exfoliation. As it stands, you’re better off with one of the alternatives you’ll find on our list of best AHA exfoliants.

  • Lightweight lotion texture is ideal for all skin types.
  • Contains 10% lactic acid at a pH that is optimal for it to exfoliate.
  • Includes antioxidant-rich, hydrating squalane.
  • Contains antioxidant clover extract.
  • Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
  • Contains lavender oil and linalool, which put skin at risk for irritation.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

Gently powerful 10% vegan lactic acid serum boosts skin cell turnover, which slows down (a lot!) as we age. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that effectively exfoliates skin. We’ve completely reimagined ours. It’s vegan—made from sustainably sourced sugar. And we chose 10%, the amount proven to give powerful resurfacing results while still gentle enough to use nightly. This clean dream team’s addition of balancing clover and hydrating squalane will take your skin from dull to luminous in a single night. Get ready to wake up to wow with Biossance's vegan lactic acid serum.

Water/Aqua/Eau, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Lactic Acid, Squalane, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Cetearyl Olivate, Propanediol, Sorbitan Olivate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Lespedeza Capitata Leaf/Stem Extract, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Acacia Senegal Gum, Sodium Gluconate, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Linalool.

Biossance is the commercial beauty arm of biotechnology brand Amyris. Amyris manufactures plant sugars (like that from sugar cane) into specialty ingredients for use by other companies, but chose to center Biossance around one ingredient in particular: plant-based squalane.

Each Biossance product prominently features squalane; so much that it’s in the name of every offering. Squalane has its merits—it’s an excellent skin-conditioning ingredient and has antioxidant properties—but skin needs much more than one focused ingredient to feel, look, and perform its best.

Thankfully, Biossance includes other ingredients in many of its squalane-centric products and these are also impressive, particularly bakuchiol (which has many retinol-like properties), antioxidants, and peptides. Unfortunately, the brand also uses a number of fragrance ingredients in many of its products, and whether naturally-derived or not, fragrance is known to irritate skin—even if you don’t see or feel the damage taking place. For this reason, most of the brand’s offerings wind up being middle-of-the-road, though there are a couple of standouts.

For more on Biossance, visit the brand’s website at

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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