Skip to main content
She's so Cult

She’s So Cult: BeautyBio’s Jamie O’Banion

Emmie Thornhill
Writer and expert5 years ago
View Emmie Thornhill's profile

After working with her father in their family's renowned cosmetics lab and becoming fluent in 'beauty speak' and the transformative results of microneedling technology, Jamie O’Banion founded BeautyBio in 2011.

With the aim of creating a bestselling and results-driven range that is not only highly efficacious, but formula-honest, Jamie successfully pulled back the curtain on the industry, democratised clinical skin care and shared must-have insider secrets.

Launching the world’s first at-home patented microneedling tool in 2016, each product within her stunning line enables users to access in-office treatments and visible results from their own homes and at a fraction of the cost - prepare yourselves for for high-quality products, mind-blowing results and some of the loveliest formulations around!

Ahead of {BeautyBio}'s launch we sat down with Jamie and asked all the questions you could possibly want to know about her, the brand and the hi-tech tool that you're going to be adding to your basket, stat!

{Cult Beauty} Hi Jamie! For those unfamiliar with microneedling, could you explain how it works please?

{Jamie O'Banion} Microneedling is the process of rolling surgical-grade needles over the skin to stimulate skin’s natural regeneration process. It’s built upon the idea that wounded skin makes new skin; these intentional microscopic injuries created from microneedling prompt cellular renewal and the creation of new, younger-looking skin.

This process is clinically proven to reduce the signs of ageing, reverse visible acne-scarring and smooth out uneven skin tone and texture all over the body. The process can be done in-office by a professional or at-home with handheld devices (and shorter needles).

{CB} So, what sets BeautyBio apart from the industry?

{JO} BeautyBio holds the patent for at-home microneedling and introduced this methodology to the clinical space 15 years ago before creating a version appropriate for effective, at-home use. BeautyBio has democratised clinical skin care so we can use performance products at home. {GloPRO} is currently the number one selling tool in the US and the final piece to our three-part recipe for glowing skin. Our topical skin care business is as large as our tool business as truly healthy skin is approached holistically by using vitamin C in the morning, vitamin A (retinol) in the evening and GloPRO times a week. Easy, breezy and proven.

{CB} A lot of people assume microneedling is very painful, could you explain how it feels?

{JO} I can’t speak for any of the knock-off devices that have started to emerge, but {GloPRO} feels like using a facial scrub, such a light sensation. The most common response we get is, “it feels like it’s working!” If waxing is a “10” on the pain scale from 1-10, GloPRO is a “2”. If it’s uncomfortable, you are pressing too hard. Let the weight of the tool do its work.

{CB} Phew! Can you share what the key benefits of microneedling are too?

{JO} Microneedling stimulates skin’s natural regeneration response to give you new, bouncy, younger-looking skin. While it’s working its regenerative magic, the micro-injuries it creates act as pathways for topicals to access deeper layers of the skin. Microneedling has been shown to improve topical skin care absorption by 200 times! Think of it like “aerating” you garden and then “planting” your skin care seeds.

{CB} Are there any risks? Or is there a limit to how much you should practice it?

{JO} With {GloPRO}, we recommend at least three times per week. Many GloGetters use GloPRO nightly. There’s a slight flushing of the skin associated with usage, so we like to GloPRO during our nightly routine and then sleep off the flush, which also gives our skin time to naturally repair during sleep and aligns with our reparative circadian rhythms.

{CB} What results should people expect – and how long do they usually take to manifest? And is there an age bracket or skin type that particularly stands to benefit?

{JO} Most people start to see desired results within the first 30 days with use three times a week. The wonderful thing is that GloPRO is preventative and corrective, so we have a ton of 20 year olds that use it as well as men and women aged 70+. A lot of customers report seeing an immediate difference in skin’s glow, firmness and pore size. All of our clinical before and after photos show remarkable difference in only 30 days. Our collagen production starts to slow down 1% a year after the age of 18. Eek! Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with GloPRO.

{CB} Do you have techniques or application tips for those new to microneedling?

{JO} Roll in all directions, vertical, diagonal and horizontal on your target area for 60 seconds. I find it easy to divide my face visually into quadrants. If I’m treating the face, I start near my left jawline and work my way around the face in a clockwise direction, spending about 15 seconds on each cheek, forehead then chin for a total of 60 sec. And you want to let the weight of the tool work its magic, no need to add any additional pressure. If it’s uncomfortable to use, you are pressing too hard.

{CB} BeautyBio have an incredible range of microneedling attachment heads, do you have a favourite?

{JO} That {BODY} attachment. I work 18 hour days and I have three kids; I don’t have time to work out, so you better believe I’m using that roller three to four times a week in order to feel and look good in my birthday suit and to maintain that firmness that gravity tries to take from us.

{CB} Also, how important is it to keep your microneedle device clean? Do you have any tips for this?

{JO} We ship GloPRO with an empty spritzer bottle because we can’t ship it filled with alcohol (flammable + electronic device is a no go!). We recommend filling that bottle with isopropyl alcohol 70% or higher and spritzing the {MicroTip Attachment Head} after each use, this disinfects the surgical-grade needles. The attachment heads should be replaced every three-four months with regular use. Think of it like switching out a razor, you wouldn’t use the same one forever, right?

{CB} So when did you first discover microneedling?

{JO} My father started working on the technology in 1999, when he was trying to help the incredible active ingredients we were developing penetrate and react in human skin the same way collagen activity was happening in a petri dish. We filed our patent in 2005 and it issued in 2013. We started microneedling first in medical offices and spas and then introduced at-home microneedling with a sellout success in 2016 in the US and globally in 2017.

{CB} BeautyBio has come to be a trusted authority on microneedling, could you tell us about your career background?

{JO} My family is an owner in one of the top clinical cosmetic labs in the US and I grew up at the lab with my father essentially learning beauty as my second language! We have developed products and raw materials for many of the world’s most prestigious brands and I’m a total science nerd who still loves the magic of clinical formulas.

It’s incredibly rewarding to see a raw material naturally stimulate the skin and achieve an end result - whether it’s evening skin tone or improving acne, I love the satisfying feeling of seeing visible improvement. After a series of disappointing moments seeing many incredible raw materials used in fairy dust amounts by brands in formulas, I knew I had to be a voice for truth in beauty. Never did I imagine we would grow into one of the fastest growing skin care brands globally with what started as a very personal pursuit.

{CB} So for those new to your range, which skin care products would you recommend they try?

{JO} Keep it simple. Everyone needs to clean their face, and everyone needs a moisturiser; start with {The Balance pH Balancing Facial Cleanser}, it’ll reset skin’s pH to the ideal 5.5 and then follow with {The Quench}, it’s a fast-acting recovery cream rich in moisture and repairs skin’s barrier function. And always, always, always use an SPF. Once adding in key actives, start with {The Daily} for Vitamin C, {The Nightly} and {R45} for Vitamin A and {GloPRO}.

{CB} Difficult question: Do you have a favourite product in the line?

{JO} Oh boy, it switches weekly depending on what my skin needs, but honestly, I’d say I have the biggest crush on {The Quench} right now. It’s our newest facial moisturiser designed to repair the cellular “mortar” in our skin; if we think of our skin like bricks and mortar, that “mortar” is comprised of lipids that keep skin looking plump and dewy.

I’m on a plane at least once a week and I selfishly developed The Quench to rebuild and rehydrate my skin that gets a lot of altitude and exposure to various weather and climates (not to mention stress of working and three kids!). It took two years to get the texture and formula just right and now I’m never without it, it’s my skin’s security blanket!

{CB} Now, what product was the hardest one to formulate/develop?

{JO} {R45 The Reversal} – it’s SO special and it was a labour of love. I myself couldn’t use prescriptive Retinol, but I knew the incredible benefits and set out on a mission. We knew the Retinol ingredients that existed weren’t good enough, so we literally created a new molecule and called her TriGLO®. She is the first ever complex to mimic the skin-smoothing benefits of clinical Retinol without the harsh side effects. After almost five years of testing and hundreds of revisions later, we created the first-ever high-performance Retinol every skin type can use.

{CB} That sounds incredible! On the subject of ingredients, what are your favourite skin care ingredients that consumers should be incorporating into their routine now?

{JO} It’s all about vitamin C and vitamin A and training our customers to protect in the morning (with vitamin C) and repair at night (with vitamin A). But, the catch is finding stable and safe forms of each. Most people don’t know that raw ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is super volatile and loses efficacy once it comes into contact with the skin, so when you’re scanning ingredient decks, don’t look for “vitamin C,” your skin needs the stable water-soluble forms like Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate.

It’s the same idea with retinol, we’re all aware of the clinically proven benefits, but most retinols are harsh on skin and there’s that “getting used to it” phase, so the trick is something we developed at BeautyBio called Titration Therapy, which means gradually increasing concentrations of this powerful active over a three-phase system so that skin can experience the benefits with zero side effects.

{CB} Do you have any advice for layering skin care effectively?

{JO} Yes. Always start with your thinnest or most “viscous” products first (like a serum) then layer on your heavier creams. Your SPF should be the last skin care product you put on your skin in the morning.

{CB} If you could go back and give your younger self any piece of advice, what would it be?

{JO} No assumptions! Don’t assume that everyone around you knows some of the skin care basics that you happened to be privy to and seem common sense. Don’t assume that you know exactly what everyone will want, listen to your customer. Don’t assume that your inventory cleared customs as your freight supplier committed it would be! Hah! We don’t use the words “I’m sure” in our office - we say “I have verified”. Over communicate, never assume and always have a backup plan.

{CB} If you could advise one treatment people should be incorporating into their wider routine, what would it be?

{JO} I’m biased, but GloPRO. It’s so easily integrated into any skin care routine and enhances any products you apply afterward. We all spend so much money on our topicals, GloPRO actually helps them reach their target cells (your fibroblasts that make collagen live deep in the skin). Your skin care topicals absorb faster and work 200 times better. It's really hard to pass on that kind of skin care assistance.

{CB} When it comes to caring for complexions, are there any myths you’re constantly debunking? What are the most common misconceptions about skin care?

{JO} Everyone thinks they have sensitive skin when in reality a lot of the individual skin concerns we face are a direct result of care. I’m strictly talking about the great debate of oily, combo, normal, dry and sensitive skin types. For example, those who identify as oily skin types can benefit from a topical oil to lock in hydration (I know, it seems blasphemous), because without them, skin gets dry and then overproduces oil resulting in breakouts that were attributed to “oily skin.”

The products we tell ourselves to stay away from can end up being the thing our skin needs, it can just feel counterintuitive, but it’s not. I’m often asked if you can use vitamin C with vitamin A. Yes absolutely. And SPF always, everyday not matter what. Sun damage is the number one cause of ageing.

{CB} Are there any bad skin care habits you repeatedly encounter? What are they (and how are they best avoided)?

{JO} Sleeping in make up. Wash your face, take two minutes and just do it otherwise the repercussions will haunt you for weeks. And secondly, waiting until you see damage to wear SPF. Get an SPF into your routine as early as you can, no one is immune to UVA and UVB rays. And don’t go thinking that you can skip it on cloudy days, those are just as damaging as clear skies. As previously stated, sun damage is the number one cause of ageing.

{CB} ‘Anti-ageing’ as a phrase is growing dated, with more and more women embracing their years and aiming instead to look good as opposed to looking young. Do you think this shift is here to stay and how can those with more mature complexions keep things looking luminous?

{JO} Yes! I hope so! I personally hate the phrase “anti-ageing.” I really love thinking about healthy skin versus just “young” skin. The trends I’m seeing in the industry where more and more brands are positioning their products as enhancements to the skin we’re in rather than total altercations we’re supposed to embrace in the name of looking forever 20.

{CB} Finally, what’s next for BeautyBio?

{JO} We have a very exciting back half of the year ahead with a new product launching that I’ve been developing for the past three years (I’m a bit of an OCD formula snob! It has to be perfect), and in 2020 we’re taking some really exciting new directions. Can’t spill any secrets, but it’s going to be a huge year for both our skin care topicals and {GloPRO} tool.


Emmie Thornhill
Writer and expert
View Emmie Thornhill's profile