Frequently Asked Questions
How should I integrate Symbiome into my routine?
Our products are easily integrated into an existing regimen. Symbiome helps reduce the total number of synthetic ingredients applied to the skin, thereby reducing chances of irritation or cross-reactivity. To maximize absorption and results, apply your skincare products from thin to thick, or from water-based to oil-based products.
What do you recommend for sun protection (SPF)?
Our products do not contain SPF, although our product development team is actively working to change this. We advocate for sunscreen as a protective layer against UV radiation and recommend a mineral (Zinc or Titanium Oxide) based sunscreen. This may be applied over our product as the final step in your morning skincare routine.
Are your products safe for use while pregnant and breastfeeding?
Symbiome products are made from natural, non-GMO, non-irritating, non-sensitizing, and hypoallergenic ingredients, which have been identified as being safe for use in pregnancy by the USDA Organic, Made Safe and Leaping Bunny. Our own dedicated team of doctors, scientists, and microbiologists are continually engaged in ongoing clinical research to develop and validate our products as safe and effective - to ensure peace of mind for you. If you are pregnant or nursing, we recommend consulting your physician before starting any new products.
Do Symbiome products contain fragrance?
All Symbiome products have zero added fragrance. Our intentional ingredients have characteristic scent profiles that are of natural origin and design.
Can I use Symbiome products to treat my skin condition?
Symbiome products are tested in comprehensive safety and efficacy clinical trials to ensure all are safe for use and to validate our claims: that the products actually do what we say they do to improve the appearance of your skin. Our clinical trials are not intended for validation of therapeutic use and, as such, we do not promote the use of our products for the treatment of skin conditions. Please consult your dermatologist before using acne products or prescriptions concurrently.
What exactly is Stem Cell Conditioned Media?
The Stem Cell Conditioned Media in The Answer is a sterile, cell-free solution rich in signaling molecules (growth factors, peptides, cytokines, etc). Manufactured under strict pharmaceutical cGMP conditions at an FDA-compliant facility, healthy stem cells from an adult volunteer are suspended and cultured in liquid media. Once the media reaches a certain density, the cells are filtered off — leaving the beneficial compounds behind. When applied, the signaling molecules communicate directly with your skin encouraging cellular turnover and collagen production, resulting in proven anti-aging properties.
Are your products vegan?
With the exception of The Answer serum, all our products are vegan, organic, non-GMO, hypoallergenic, and are soy- and nut-free. We’ve crafted products with the precise balance of botanically derived ingredients needed to be safe, effective and self-stabilizing.
Are Symbiome products cruelty-free?
Absolutely. Symbiome has been certified by Leaping Bunny, which ensures that no animal testing was conducted for our products or ingredients in any phases of product development. Leaping Bunny is globally recognized as the gold standard for cruelty-free skincare aiming to end animal experimentation worldwide.
How should I store my products, and for how long?
In order to sustain the lifespan of the biologically self-preserving ingredients, we suggest keeping products out of extreme heat, direct sunlight or refrigerated environments when storing them. The shelf life for unopened cleansers, creams and serum is 12 months, and 2 years for oils. We recommend using products within 3-6 months after opening.
Do I need cream and face oil?
Our cream and oils can stand alone as moisturizers for your skin, but we often recommend layering The One and a Postbiomic™ oil if you are looking for extra hydration or are targeting a specific skin concern. If you are new to face oils, we recommend integrating a few drops at the end of your evening routine to get started!
What is fermentation?
Fermentation is a natural process by which microbes (bacteria and fungi) break down organic macromolecules into simpler ones. In the environment, this process composts organic matter into accessible nutrients. It is a constant and integral process of nature in cycling the building blocks of life — that we, humans, have learned to adapt and harvest. Think wine, beer, yogurt, kombucha and miso.
What are the benefits of ferments in skincare?
Fermentation is a natural way of unlocking and optimizing the bioavailability of vitamins, essential amino acids, various bioactive peptides, and antioxidants. Not all ferments are the same — the type of microbes and what you feed them determine the ferment's composition. Beneficial bioactives present in our fermented oils are derived collectively from the botanicals (some repackaged into a more bioavailable form and others that remain intact) and those produced by the microbes. When it comes to skin products, fermentation increases the nutrient density of the product, making it more potent.
What is oil cleansing, and what makes it so effective?
Oil is considered a more gentle way to cleanse without stripping the skin of moisture, while also being an effective way to remove sunscreen, makeup and mascara. Other cleansers, such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid cleansers are harsh on our skin since they remove sebum, our natural moisturizer, leaving skin feeling taut, dry, and sometimes irritated.
How are Symbiome oils different, and how will they benefit my skin?
Our oils are derived from Amazon native plants which are fermented by a unique blend of microbes. All of our Postbiomic oils mimic the natural composition of sebum - containing triglycerides with a balanced ratio of omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, naturally optimized for bioavailability and absorption. In other words, our oils are easily absorbed, non-greasy, and may help to normalize your skin’s natural oil production (sebum secretion). Symbiome’s Skin Health Concierge is here to help guide you through your oil selections and can recommend the combination of oils that might be best for you, your skin, and skin health goals.
Can I use multiple oils?
Having a standard "morning " oil and a "nighttime" oil is a perfect way to maximize your minimalist routine. With such low ingredient footprints, our Postbiomic™ oils can fit into different times of day without exposing skin to a whole plethora of new ingredients.
Recommended A.M. oils: Rebalance001 or Recharge002 Recommended P.M. oils: Rewind003 or Respond004
Essential oils vs. Symbiome oils?
Of all the ingredients we use (of which there are only 22 — total!), the only essential oils include Alecrim Pimenta and Geranium Leaf Oil. Both are present in The Reset cleanser, while The Answer contains some geranium. We suggest avoiding these two products if you have known sensitivities, or patch testing on the forearm prior to application to face.
Otherwise, the majority of our oils are derived from trees or shrubs (plants, in general) which are fermented and cold pressed. For example, Sanoma oil is a fermented oil derived from a shrub native to the Amazon — it's not an essential oil. There isn't much information about the oil because it hasn't been used in commercial skin care thus far, but it has been used for thousands of years by people native to the region.
Can you explain your emulsion process?
We use natural bio-emulsifiers — produced during fermentation by our proprietary blend of Lactobacillus species — to mix the aqueous (water based) and oily ingredients. When they are whipped together they form a stable creamy emulsion. Unlike other synthetic cosmetic emulsions, ours do not require a heating step. This saves on unnecessary energy consumption and keeps the bioactives intact.
Retinol. Do I need one? Can I use one with The Answer?
Anti-aging compounds — retinol and Stem Cell Conditioned Media — collectively work to prevent the accelerated signs of aging we are subject to while living in an urban environment. Retinoids facilitate the production of collagen and are essential to preventing fine lines, evening out skin tone, preventing acne, and increasing cell turnover for bright and vibrant skin. Stem cell conditioned media — key active ingredient in the Answer — contains the cytokines and growth factors to stimulate new collagen, elastin, and vascular growth to accelerate wound healing and skin rejuvenation. Simply apply your Answer serum twice daily (after cleansing), and any prescription retinoid products (as recommended by your dermatologist) in the evening.
What does a normal adjustment period look like?
It takes time to assimilate to a new product! In the words of our dermatologist: "There’s always an adjustment period. It can take up to 4-6 weeks for your skin to rebalance with a new product, based on how your skin was producing sebum before, what the pH of your skin is, & what the microbiome on your skin is doing. After 4 weeks is when you should really be assessing the state of your skin."
When introducing products: Think about cross-reactivity. Be mindful about why you're putting a product on your skin and ask, "What are each of these ingredients actually doing? What is the intended effect? Is it safe, and is it working?" Leverage your own dermatologist to find out what ingredients are safe and functional for products with extensive labels.
What is Symbiome’s stance on sustainability?
At Symbiome we understand that to be truly sustainable, we must consume less. Through a deeper understanding of what our skin has lost, we are able to intentionally base our decisions on science and avoid unnecessary products. Using supercharged ingredients that are rich in vitamins, nutrients and other natural compounds, means that little needs to be added or manufactured in a lab. We source our ingredients from an organic farm that adheres to sustainable farming practices. By using fewer ingredients from fewer sources, we inherently place less pressure on our supply chain processing needs and shipping.
Our goal is to have the smallest carbon footprint possible. We use packaging that is recyclable and made from recycled materials. We are exploring innovative materials that reuse other waste products to create alternative packaging options and are committed to consciously evolving.
Where can you ship to?
We ship to the continental United States, Washington DC, Alaska, and Hawaii. We are unable to send products to territories, Virgin Islands, or military / armed forces locations, and do not ship to P.O. boxes. We apologize for any inconvenience — we’re working to expand shipping ASAP.
Does Symbiome ship internationally?
Symbiome offers international shipping through FedEx to Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Where available, you will be able to select your preferred shipping method and duties and taxes will be pre-paid and collected during checkout. Orders are typically processed in 2-3 days and should arrive within 15 business days. Note that while these estimated times reflect the vast majority of shipments, due to uncontrollable local customs clearance processes and inspections, these estimated times could take longer. Orders are traceable and your shipping confirmation will include tracking information. Please allow 48 hours for tracking information to update once you receive a tracking number. If you have additional questions, please contact customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org. An important note for our UK customers: Due to new regulations regarding VAT, Symbiome requires a minimum order of at least £135 for all UK orders.
What about my personal information?
Are all Symbiome products eligible for return?
Every purchase comes with the unrelenting promise of real support and your peace of mind. That’s why we accept domestic returns on our complete collection within 30 days of receipt of purchase! For more information, please navigate to our returns portal.
Please note that we’re unable to support international returns, nor are we able to accept refund requests in the event of customs delays or holds beyond our control. If you'd like to know more, simply email email@example.com – our team would be happy to hear from you.
What payment methods do you accept?
We happily accept payment from most major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, and Discover. Additional payment methods include PayPal, ShopPay, ApplePay, and Google Pay.
All transactions on Symbiome.com are processed using Shopify’s secure online payment gateway which is designed to encrypt card details. We will never have direct access to any of your payment details.
How do I use Shop Pay Installments?
With Shop Pay Installments, you can shop your Symbiome essentials and pay for them later. Try that new product you’ve been eyeing or add all your favorites to the cart. Select Shop Pay and checkout with a valid debit or credit card, paying in 4 interest-free installments. Begin the regimen your skin deserves, right now.