Icelandic Beauty

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As you fly high above the Icelandic landscape over the numerous fjords, volcanoes and other tectonic activity, visible through the aeroplane portal there’s another act of nature taking place — but this time, it’s part man-made

Words: Andrew Riley

Visible by air as you fly into Reykjavik airport, a huge greenhouse (the size of a football pitch) stands in splendid isolation amongst the stunning Icelandic countryside. There, growing in precisely organised rows, is barley, cultivated in 2000-year-old volcanic pumice. Barley is the most prominent ingredient used to manufacture one of Iceland’s most successful exports, BioEFFECT — a range of anti-ageing products that have taken the world by storm.

And, the hype surrounding this product isn’t all hot (sulphuric) air, it has proven scientific results. We talk to Professor Björn Örvar, founder of BioEFFECT about how this product has become an Icelandic success story:

BIOEFFECT-EGF-eye-serum-BOX-and-BOTTLE_whiteWhat’s unique about BioEFFECT?

The secret ingredient is EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor), which you have to produce in cells, and is normally achieved using bacteria or animal cells. We developed a new system to produce EGF in the seeds of barley. It took us quite a number of years to develop this system as it’s so difficult to produce these proteins. We can see this by their price, they are probably one of the most expensive proteins which are not only used in BioEFFECT, but for medical treatments and research across the world. The BioEFFECT range is a very much a bi-product of our global production and supply of EGF for its medical and research properties.

How does it work?

EGF is naturally produced within skin cells for skin renewal, and as we age, its production reduces. Our products react to the skins natural ability to produce EGF resulting in an anti-ageing effect. Scientifically we can’t yet assert why the product does work, but we’ve published extensive human trial research that demonstrate how effective our product is.

Is this product unique?

No, there’re many EGF products available in the US and Korea, however what makes BioEFFECT so unique and successful, is that the EGF isn’t manufactured via human or animal matter but from barley grown in extremely fertile Icelandic conditions. Our product is so pure in fact, you could safely drink it.

How’s the barley produced?

In our greenhouse which is lit 24 hours a day and is green-powered by geothermal energy from hot springs, plays the first part of the product process. It is here where thousands of barley shoots are grown in conditions that fully utilise the perfect climate and resources of the county – volcanic pumice for planting the seeds and watered with pure Icelandic spring water. We are the only company to develop a process that grows EGF naturally.

Want happens next?

In sterilised laboratory conditions, the EGF is extracted and mixed with only eight other ingredients; our 30 day treatment is the most potent and effective but works seamlessly with others within our range including a day cream and eye serum.

What’s your most significant proof of the products effectiveness?

During a four week clinical trial we used the product on the skin of a 52-year-old woman, and we were able to reduce her age by more than 10 years, giving her skin the density of a 40-year-old.

BIOEFFECT-DAYTIME---jarWhat’s next for BioEFFECT?

As well as advancing our EGF research and its anti-ageing properties, we will continue to develop our product range; we’ve recently added an EGF body lotion and day serum.

Some fans call it a miracle cream. Some call it the elixir of youth. It has caused a huge stir since it appeared on the market in 2010. Relying on word of mouth in an industry dominated by glossy advertising, the Icelandic firm’s product has won thousands of fans, including celebrities like Uma Thurman.

In Iceland, a third of women over 30 use it and it is the first product to top British Airways’ inflight sales that wasn’t cigarettes or alcohol. While some of the science baffles me, the results don’t and fans around the world are swearing by this magic formula that uses just nine ingredients. The product has now won a host of awards and the backing of experts such as Dr Ronald Moy, professor of dermatology at the University of California and former president of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The 30 day treatment priced at £125 for 15ml is not the cheapest, but compared to other big names on the market, which can cost anything from £350 – £1,000 it could be considered an absolute steal.

I’ve personally used the whole product range (30 day treatment, day cream and eye serum) as does my mother, both of us believe it certainly has the effect of giving the skin a much fresher, youthful and healthy glow – frankly we’re hooked.

BioEFFECT is available to buy in Selfridges, Bullring and at

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