Sometimes stars really are just like us. During lockdown, Reese Witherspoon went for a walk through her hometown. She wandered into Sephora and picked up a few Biossance products. “I ended up trying them because I was looking for a clean beauty solution for my skincare needs, and I was just crazy about them,” Witherspoon recalls. She called her rep to ask her to put her in touch with the Biossance team so she could answer all her burning questions about the brand, from who makes the products and how to where they’re made.
Fast forward and Witherspoon is now a global brand ambassador for Biossance, with a rare five-year partnership with the brand. “For us, it was truly from the beginning recognizing that Reese has always embraced education and empowerment, specifically for females, whether it’s a female author, leader or an actress, and that has inspired us for years,” says Catherine Gore, President of Biossance. “[We are dedicated to] bringing intellect and science to Biossance. Helping to tell that story, we felt that there was no better partner than Reese.”
A phrase that Gore says often and is the philosophy of Biossance is “the nerdy side of science and the charming side of beauty can coexist.” The brand is dedicated to introducing biotechnology into the beauty industry and taking age old science to the next level. That explains their dedication to using sugarcane fermentation to create plant-based alternative ingredients that replicated their DNA, like squalane. What really sets them apart is they sell that technology to their competitors, making the ingredients available to all, in the interest of a healthier planet. “[Biotechnology] is the future of everything,” Gore says. “Consumers are smart. It’s not just about wanting a product that’s beautifully packaged; it’s actually about is it effective? How is it made? Who’s making it? Who’s making money off of that?”
Learning about that process was part of Witherspoon’s deep dive into clean beauty when she joined Biossance. “I didn’t realize how many ingredients were being harvested in unethical ways until I started seeing the data they had,” Witherspoon says. “Shark liver oil was being harvested by killing tons of sharks and disrupting the oceans. They were finding biotech solutions to these problems and creating sustainable products in very ethical ways by using sugarcane and not harming the environment. So, women haven’t always been at the forefront of talking about how products are made. Seeing this company that was so female forward and so environmentally forward was really encouraging and I was excited to be part of the Biossance family because of it.”
Witherspoon compares Biossance sharing their technology with her approach to working in Hollywood. “Being able to sell squalane and give it to other beauty companies is incredibly open door and open sourcing in a way that I really hadn’t heard of in a beauty company, letting their best ingredient go out into the world and going to competitors, ” she says. “But it’s the same way I feel about Hollywood. You can’t just protect your best asset—you have to share if you want to create a better, more equitable world, in this case an environmentally friendly world.”
Whether Witherspoon is in front of or behind the cameras, taking care of her skin is important to her and she has the dedicated routine to prove it. “Skincare has been a huge part of my life for 30 years, being on camera so much and making sure that I have a good base for makeup,” she says. “Cameras are sometimes about five inches from my face. How the texture of my skin looks and taking care of it is so important, so it’s really a process for me.”
Every morning Witherspoon washes her face and applies the Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream, followed by the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil, topped off with the Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30. “The sunscreen is really great,” she says . “It’s thick enough that you know you’re getting the right kind of coverage because I have a tendency to get brown spots, but it’s light enough that it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a white zinc mask.” At night, Witherspoon takes off all her makeup with the Squalane + Elderberry Jelly Cleanser. Next is the Squalane + 10% Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum underneath the Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream.
“My number one thing is the Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream,” Witherspoon says. “It’s what I use the most. It’s what I have to have every morning and every night. It’s very moisturizing, but it’s not greasy or slick. It creates a perfect base for makeup but it’s also enough that it can be a great night cream. I also really like the 100% Sugarcane Squalane Oil. I use it after every shower; it’s a dry oil that’s deeply moisturizing. I love the Squalane + Rose Vegan Lip Balm, too. I didn’t realize how much lip balm I used in my life. I have one for the car, my bed, my purse, on set in the trailer.”
Being able to test all of the new Biossance products before they go to market is one of Witherspoon’s favorite perks of the job, but it goes so much deeper than that. “It’s great to be part of something that feels so mission aligned with what I’m trying to accomplish at [my media company] Hello Sunshine, lifting women up and putting women in front and also being conscious and thoughtful about what we put into the world,” she says.
Female empowerment has always been at the forefront of Biossance. “For organizations and companies, it makes sense for leadership and teams overall to reflect what’s in the natural world, which is 50% female and 50% male,” Gore says. “A balanced team and leadership is extremely healthy for companies overall. Hence why helped our scientists are female, with an incredibly diverse group to boot. It’s really about replicating what’s there in the natural world, too.” At Biossance, that goes for what’s inside the bottle as well.