Alison Cutlan and Grace Fooden of Biophile

Grace Fooden & Alison CutlanBiophile

Grace Fooden (above left) is an experienced businesswoman. Alison Cutlan (above right) is an award-winning skincare scientist. Together, they created Biophile, a line of clean, effective skincare products that support the skin’s natural microbiome.

What drove you to start your own brand? I had been developing nature-based, innovative skincare for close to 20 years, so I have always been on the cusp of newness and scientific advancement. But when paradigm-shifting research on the skin microbiome emerged a decade or so ago, it rocked my world. We learned that the universe of microbes that live on and within our skin is responsible for its protection, nutrient absorption, immunity and barrier support. It was the life force of skin, but our modern skincare regimens (and dermatological treatments) were not designed with the microbiome in mind, and often weakened the microbial communities that are there to keep us healthy. So I set out to create a new generation of skincare that would work in symbiosis with the skin and its microbiome, using bio-fermentation. This living science creates formulas that not only speak the skin’s language, but that are sustainable, clean and highly effective.
I feel like entrepreneurship is in my DNA. I’m very independently minded (for better or for worse). My parents had their own businesses, and upon leaving grad school, I worked mainly as a consultant.
I come from the fashion industry, where I considered myself an entrepreneur; I led and developed new divisions within large corporations. I started Biophile with Alison after meeting her through a mutual friend. She told me about the new way she was approaching skincare, and I visited her lab, where I found a combination of science and creativity. That’s when I had that “aha moment” and realized that this was a brand that needed to be in the marketplace.
"Alison told me about the new way she was approaching skincare, and I visited her lab, where I found a combination of science and creativity."
—Grace Fooden

What’s your favorite product in the line? Our Bio-Shroom Rejuvenating Serum! This was the first product I created for Biophile, and it embodies the pure passion and vision with which we launched the brand. This serum takes a no-holds-barred approach to innovation and includes my most beloved ingredients for the skin. Medicinal mushrooms have been an obsession of mine for a very long time, and I chose my three favorites—chaga, reishi and tremella—to create our unique bio-fermented Shroom Biotic Broth, which is the base of this formula. The broth creation process took quite some time, and the unique “bio-made” (aka fermentation-centered) formulating strategy I used was a challenge; I have almost two giant lab books filled with this formula’s variations! But the results were well worth it. Upon launch, our Shroom Serum won the Indie Beauty Award for Best Serum! This is truly skin food. I love the texture, and how one drop is all I need to cover my face and neck.

What’s your morning and evening routine? I wake up and drink a glass of water while I make my coffee. Coffee in hand, I like to sit in silence and be with animals—this means listening to the birds and sitting with my cat. This is a meditation for me, tuning me into nature and grounding me for the day in Brooklyn.
At the end of the day, I take more time for my skin and may do a red-light treatment while I listen to a yoga nidra meditation. I love a good sleep-inducing CBD balm and a nice hand cream. I unplug from my phone a good 30 minutes or more before bed.
The first thing I do every morning is the same thing I do every night: I let my two dogs, Zsa Zsa and Pierre, out into the backyard. What would people be surprised to learn about you? I am a pilot and an avid motorcycle rider. I think people who know me as a businesswoman would be surprised to know that I have a BFA from Parsons School of Design. What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business? Do it! Go bravely in pursuit of your vision and surround yourself with people who support you. It’s never too late.
Biophile's Bio Barrier Nourishing Oil, Bio-Shroom Rejuvenating Serum, and Root Bionic Refining Essence
The Founders Series
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