As a beauty editor, my hunt for the very best skin care is never-ending, especially when it comes to products for my sensitive, rosacea-prone skin type. Luckily, new technology and formulas make that a very exciting hunt. This latest find is one of my favourites yet: the new Cultured Biome One Calm Cream (£60).
Cultured is a new skin-care brand on the block created by REN Clean Skincare founder Rob Calcraft earlier this year. Calcraft thought he'd "hung up his skin-care boots for good", until he discovered the world of microbiome two decades later. Calcraft's fascination with the microbiome came about after reading Ed Yong's book I Contain Multitudes, which explores the incredible role of the microbiome and bacteria. Lots of research later and Calcraft's idea of "biomecare" (skin care for the biome) was born. Cultured, which has a focus on skin barrier function and repair, has touched down at the perfect time; when skin barrier protection is at the top of people's beauty priority lists — including mine.
Adding to the line of three existing products (Biome One Serum (£55), Biome One Cleansing Balm (£32), and Biome One Mask (£48)) is the new Biome One Calm Cream, topping off the line to create a full skin barrier repairing routine.
To get sciencey for a second, the Biome One Calm Cream contains five key ingredients that set it apart from others on the market. The first is something called giroflin, a fermented mushroom extract that blocks the TRPV1 skin receptor (a very complex system that in layman's terms can desensitise inflammation) and gives skin a smoothing and calming effect that also combats redness. Next is piperopnyl glucos, a new molecule that visibly reduces temporary skin redness by inhibiting receptors and regulating blood vessel expansion — making it excellent for people with rosacea.
Finally is the impressive postbiotic lactococcus ferment, a lab-generated ingredient created from fermenting lactobacillus that helps increase the skin's production of key proteins and enzymes that in turn improve skin barrier function. It generally promotes a healthy microbiome and can soothe irritated skin. That's just a snippet of the science that goes into the pine-green dotted bottle. If you want to geek out on all of the impressive Cultured ingredients, there's plenty more information on the brand website.
I love this moisturiser for its simplicity, which is funny given how complex the formula is. It's creamy without being cold cream rich, it's nongreasy but leaves a nice hydrating film, and it doesn't have an offensively strong scent. It's an excellent hydrator, especially in my routine after applying prescription-strength azaleic acid, and it definitely calms my skin down. In the short time I've been using the Cultured Biome One Calm Cream, my skin has been less red and irritated, and I've experienced zero congestion-related breakouts — no easy feat.
The only drawback in my opinion is the price: £60 is a lot of money to spend on moisturiser, and I'm aware that for most people, it isn't an expense they can afford (honestly, me included). However, being at the forefront of such new science comes at a cost — these formulations take years and hundreds of iterations to perfect. Hopefully in the future, products focusing on the microbiome won't come at such a big price. Right now though, for skin as happy as mine is, that price tag wouldn't hold me back from picking up a replacement bottle.