My editor friends will probably laugh at me for
being impressed by this: I got the usual press folder,
and in lieu of the accompanying CD/DVDs of
product info and images, this time there was
a bowl of USB sticks one could dip into.

Speaking of my affinity for many things European, I recently went to the US launch of BioEffect at The Library in the superposh SoHo House New York. The Iceland-bred “magic” serum is touted as “a next-generation serum that improves the appearance and health of your skin by encouraging the the skin to repair its own cells.”

Now, having been a full-time beauty editor, I’ve gone to countless beauty events. Hence, exactly why these days, I tend to shy away from parties and nighttime shenanigans (and why you’ll never get me to go to Happy Hour anywhere and for whatever reason). I’d much rather hop on the train home straight from work, or head to yoga class and find an excuse to indulge in a bowl of Japanese ramen post-session.

Anyway, back to this new skincare find, I did manage to RSVP for BioEffect, without knowing that the publicists were based in London and that the phenomenal product took 10 years to develop in Iceland. What sets the serum apart from others in the market are the following two key points:

EGF is grown inside barley seeds—planted in pure volcanic pumice—
in this geothermal-energy-powered greenhouse.

1) The active ingredient is Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), “a substance which occurs naturally in human skin and has the ability to speed up the rate of cell turnover.” Now, before you get totally freaked—like I tend to with certain products, for example, that have the word “placenta” in them (not this one though)—the EGF in BioEffect is developed inside and extracted from barley seeds in state-of-the-art greenhouses. According to the brand’s press release, “Producing EGF in plants, rather than in bacteria or animal cells, is very important to get an active, clean, and stable EGF [that is] suitable for a highly effective skincare product.”

“Barley seeds act like mini-factories for the production of human-like EGF cellular activators.”

2) The tiny bottle of potent serum contains only nine ingredients: glycerine, aqua, sodium hyaluronate, tromethamine, alcohol (less than 0.9%), calcium chloride, sodium chlodride, Hordeum Vulgare seed extract, EGF (transgenic barley SH-Oligopeptide-1—all clearly labeled in the packaging. This is great news if you’re looking to streamline and simplify your beauty routine. And, when using BioEffect, all you need are two to four drops for the face, eye area, and neck.

The only possible drawback is the price tag: $210 (which includes the cost of shipping to the U.S.). Is it worth the investment? Ask me in a month’s time. For now, if you’d like to read up further on the brand and this product, check out and

This photo (of the greenhouse) makes me want to go to Iceland.
The country currently has a population of about  318,452!