These two met in the dirtiest, worst possible place for your skin—on an airplane—but that didn't stop them from creating one of the cleanest skincare products on the market. Bonoff and Briant are the entrepreneurs behind LUMION, the brand that uses a totally unique formula made with Hypochlorous acid, the molecule created when lightning hits the ocean (seriously).
They have only two products in their range, a face mist and a serum, a rarity in today's beauty market where the goal is to spread yourself as thin as possible. That's because Hypochlorous acid works on everything; it prevents breakouts, treats eczema, reduces rosacea, and fights dryness. Not only that, it's free of alcohol, parabens, fragrance, sulfates, phthalates, and dye, so you can spray all day (Briant claims she goes through a bottle every week).
You guys have reviewed their products and swear they've completely changed your skin, so we asked the founders everything you need to know about what's being described as "botox in a bottle."
On how they started the brand:
Amy: My dad knew about Hypochlorous acid because that kind of solution was discovered in World War I, they were using it on soldiers wounds. It was reported to heal their wounds in half the time but they couldn’t stabilize it for more than 24 hours. It was made on the spot, they would put it on the wound to take care of the bacteria and allow the skin to heal.
So he hired a team of engineers and chemists to make the perfect solution, testing it a million times at different concentration levels for hospitals and for surgeries, wounds, everything on the medical side. Lisa and I met on a airplane years past, and then we bumped into each other at yoga and decided to meet with each other after. That’s when LUMION was born.
On the first time they tried their product:
Amy: I have fitness studios, and I was suffering very badly from breakouts. At that time my father was working with the stabilization of our formula, and he was telling me that he was getting results for acne and breakouts. A breakout is a wound, eczema is a wound, even pollution is a wound to your skin.
So he’s putting it on my face, and I come back to California after being home for a week and everyone at the studio is like “what are you using?” Not only were my breakouts gone, but the rest of my skin was improved too. The confidence you have when you don’t have to wear makeup to cover a pimple is huge, and I wanted to share that with everyone.
Amy in her pilates studio, Instagram @lumionskin
Lisa: A month or two after we met she gave me a sample of the serum that her dad was playing with. I had a little dry patch on my eyelid and I had no idea what it was. I was just putting Tata Harper moisturizer on it, and it just kept getting more and more irritated.
I was at a party and this doctor was like “you have eczema on your eyelid and you need a steroid cream.” I remember I was like wait, I think if I put the serum on this it’s going to help. Not joking, after 24 hours of continuously putting it on, it went away. I use the serum every morning and night since, and knock on wood, it hasn’t come back.
Lisa using LUMION face mist, Instagram @lumionskin
On who it works for:
Lisa: People have these aha moments; somebody will be like, “I had these massive breakouts and I sprayed the mist or put the serum on it and now it’s gone,” or somebody finds out that it works on eczema, or redness caused by rosacea.
Amy: A lot of the time with breakout products, the skin around it gets dried out. So even if you’re not suffering from breakouts, it’s amazing hydration for your skin because the oxygen in the molecule is actually helping its health all over. When you put it under your eyes, it’s smoothing and tightening, and that’s why it’s been called “botox in a bottle.” I’ve heard some people say it got rid of their crows feet, and others said it just firmed up their skin.
On using the product post workout:
Amy: I was breaking out because I was sweating all the time in the studio, my pores were open and sweat and toxins were sitting on my skin, then being absorbed into it. So immediately post workout, if you grab your bottle right away, the Hypochlorous acid, our main ingredient that is also present in our white blood cells, actively fights bacteria and the oxygen in the product hydrates the skin. If you wash your face with water that only moves the sweat around.
On expanding their line:
Lisa: Our product is so natural that you can’t add any scents, you pretty much can’t add any ingredient that will destabilize the formulation and make it inactive. We looked into making a body lotion, which would be wonderful, but the only ingredient that would work with it is something that we don't want to put in our product because it’s not natural and not good for you.
Amy: Lisa and I really subscribe to the idea that less is more, and we could easily expand our line and just include a lot of the other ingredients that other beauty brands do, but what allows us to stand apart is that we have Hypochlorous acid. No other beauty brand does, we were the first to market it and it’s hugely unique. I don’t think anybody else is going to be offering it at this price point ever, our mist is only $28 and our serum is only $42.
On giving back:
Lisa: We do 1 percent for the planet, so last year we donated to Reef Check, and this year we’ve partnered with a non profit called Kula Project. They help women in Rwanda start businesses—it’s not just charity that will get people out of poverty, it’s helping them start a business.
Amy: Donating food and water is a temporary problem solver. We really wanted to connect with other women too, because we’re a woman owned business.
On their skincare routines:
Lisa: I’m very minimal because I have sensitive skin and a lot of products don’t work for me. So my go-to products are LUMION serum morning and night, and then I use Sunday Riley Juno Oil when my skin is dehydrated in the winter.
Amy: I think I use the mist more than anybody has ever used the mist, I go through a bottle every week. I’m obsessed with making sure my skin is hydrated all the time because aging skin is mostly caused by dehydration. In the morning, I use our serum and sometimes I use Goop’s instant facial, I really think it’s a rare product that is worth the money. It really does feel like an instant facial. At night I put our serum on and I use a Gua Sha to really get it into my skin. I’m more into rituals than products. After that I use a Greek oil that isn’t a known brand name and I mix it myself.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.