Codex Beauty is one of the latest skincare brands to come in strong with claims they are built on science but with natural ingredients. The label itself refers to the name for ancient manuscripts, which gives you a hint about the nature of the first launch. Founder Barbara Paldus comes from an unconventional beauty background – no, she’s not an ex-editor or marketing guru, she was an engineer before taking the leap into the competitive world of moisturisers and serums. Her motive was her newborn son, who had an allergic reaction to many of the common preservatives you’d find in beauty products. The solution was born, which focuses on plant-based rather than synthetic ones, with pharmaceutical-grade manufacturing processes. At the top of the list is sustainability and consumer transparency, following the growing market trend and consumer demand. Find out what the girls at Lionne London, the skincare analysis and product experts have to say about the Codex Beauty Bia skincare range after a month of testing.
The debut sees natural formulas originating from Ireland, hence the name bia, which translates to food. Herbal Scientist Tracey Ryan uses concepts dating back to the 8th century, where certain ailments were treated by plants found in the wild. You’ll see a lot of sea buckthorn, serrated wrack (seaweed) and calendula flower extracts.
This ultra light formula is ideal for combination skin and the perfect base for SPF, without leaving your face feel ‘heavy’. The moisturiser contains calendula, an anti-oxidant and hydrating ingredient. However, it has limitations – it’s not that quenching. Another thing to note is that this product does contain naturally occurring fragrance that also contains allergens, as almost all essential oils will.
This is a dry oil, which we love! It absorbs fast and feels breathable. This might not be a positive thing for those with young, delicate skin and overtime, the ingredients may irritate. I felt my skin tingle after just 10 minutes, which is a red flag when the range is tailored for sensitive types and I’m rocking a combo complexion.
For us, this is definitely the hero product of the range. It’s super nourishing and what’s not to love about a multi-purpose cream?Ksenia travelled with this for three weeks on her holiday and used it all over her body (elbows, knees, nails and face). It contains very hydrating ingredients, like coconut fruit and glycerin. Because of the flower extract, we would not advise this for sensitive skin.
The toning and polishing wash is far too intense as it contains a physical exfoliant alongside salicylic acid, as well as many essential oils. By now you’ll know that this signals irritation! It’s safe for infrequent use if you have mature skin, but not your daily routine. You might realise by now that this is not a range that suits every skin type, especially if you’re prone to breakouts – Megan used this once and suffered a flare up.
Our final thoughts on Codex is that we really like its philosophy and the sustainable direction that future products are likely to take. The packaging is slick and the plastic tubes made from plant-based green polyethylene (derived from sugarcane ethanol), which is more effective in reducing carbon footprint than a glass alternative. Even when it comes to transportation, Codex Beauty favours sea and land over air freight and works with suppliers that hold the same beliefs.
As it stands, the vegan branding and ethos outweigh the quality of the products. There were a few that we would continue to use beyond the trial but feel that they are individually suited for different skin types, rather than products in a range used together.
Words and images by @lionne.ldn