Photoderm AKN Mat SPF 30

by Bioderma  
Price:
$25.95 - 40 ml
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Category:
Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Sun Products > SPF 30-49 Sunscreen
Last Updated:
10/18/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

Photoderm AKN Mat SPF is very similar to Bioderma's Photoderm AKN Spray SPF 30. The main difference is the addition of an absorbent polymer that helps keep shine in check, at least to a modest degree (you'll still need your mattifying product); otherwise, the same review applies.

This water-resistant sunscreen lotion provides broad-spectrum protection from its mix of avobenzone (listed as butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane) and Tinosorb (listed as methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenyl). Tinosorb is a UVA-protecting sunscreen ingredient approved for use throughout Europe, but not yet in the United States—although why it's not approved in the United States is a good question, as it's been safely used for years in many other parts of the world. Technically, Bioderma shouldn't sell it in the United States, but, in this case, flying under the radar isn't a bad thing for your skin. Keep in mind that even though this is water resistant and has a high SPF number, you still must reapply every two hours if you get wet from water or if you're sweating.

This is one of only a few Bioderma sunscreens that contain fragrance, and although that might please your nose, it's not to your skin's benefit—at least the fragrance is subtle.

This contains a lackluster mix of antioxidants, but its light lotion texture hydrates skin as it protects from sun damage. It's best for normal to slightly dry or combination skin and shouldn't aggravate breakout-prone skin.

Pros:
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Doesn't feel slick or greasy.
Cons:
  • Contains fragrance, while most of the other Bioderma sunscreens are fragrance-free.
  • Formula lacks an impressive array of skin-restoring ingredients.

The high anti-UVB efficacy and unmatched anti-UVA performance of Photoderm AKN Mat safely protect against sunburn.

Water (Aqua), Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Octocrylene, Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, PTFE, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, C20-22 Alkyl Phosphate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Silica, Tridecyl Salicylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ectoin, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Glycolic Acid, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract , Citric Acid, Dodecyl Gallate, C20-22 Alcohols, Decyl Glucoside, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance.

Bioderma is a European brand based in France and sold in 70 countries around the world, which explains why we get so many requests to review the brand!

According to information on their website, the team at Bioderma has been collaborating with dermatologists and “renowned international research centers” for over 20 years, all to bring you products that are “the most frequently prescribed by French dermatologists.” Sounds impressive, but the proof is in the products, not the posturing!

Because Bioderma sells skin-care products, not pharmaceutical drug products, there’s no “prescribing” involved—anyone can easily obtain Bioderma products, in stores or online, no doctor visit needed. The fact that French dermatologists recommend these products isn’t proof of anything; lots of dermatologists around the world recommend products with problematic ingredients, sometimes because they simply don’t know any better or are just as susceptible to the hype as anyone else, and sometimes because they are paid by the company to promote their products.

The Bioderma range is huge, but also hugely repetitive. Few brands offer as many cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreens as Bioderma, yet the onslaught creates a lot of confusion, and the differences between many of these formulas are subtle to indistinguishable. There are some good products, but overall the formulas are lackluster. When shopping this line, you really have to choose carefully and not get too hung up on the various names and claims because often virtually the same product formula comes with different benefits on the label, again and again. And again.

Many people with sensitive skin ask us about Bioderma, perhaps because the company frequently mentions that their products are hypoallergenic. That term—“hypoallergenic”— is misleading, as explained below.

There are no accepted testing methods, ingredient restrictions, regulations, guidelines, rules, or procedures of any kind, anywhere in the world, for determining whether or not a product qualifies as being hypoallergenic. So, any company can label any product “hypoallergenic” because there is no regulation that says they can’t, no matter what so-called evidence they may use to make their point—and what proof can they provide given there is no standard against which to measure?

Given that there are no regulations governing hypoallergenic products, we know there are plenty of products labeled “hypoallergenic” that actually contain problematic ingredients and that can indeed trigger allergic reactions, even for those with no previous history of skin sensitivity—and that’s certainly true for many Bioderma products. We wish that weren’t the case, but the word “hypoallergenic” gives you no reliable understanding of what you are or aren’t putting on your skin (Sources: www.fda.gov; Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, May 2004, pages 325–327; and Ostomy and Wound Management, March 2003, pages 20–21).

That being said, we applaud Bioderma for avoiding the use of known sensitizing ingredients like peppermint, lavender, menthol, and all types of citrus, which unfortunately are rampant in the world of skin care. Many Bioderma products are also fragrance-free and in that sense are absolutely worth a look, whether sensitive skin is an issue or not. (Fragrance-free is best for all skin types.)

Despite the huge number of products, there are some surprising holes in the Bioderma line. For example, this isn’t a line to shop if you’re struggling with breakouts, there are no effective AHA or BHA exfoliants, the skin-lightening products have drawbacks that don’t make them worth considering over better options, and you won’t find advanced anti-aging formulations of any kind. You’re in luck if you want lots of choices in cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreens, but as mentioned above, there’s a lot to wade through, and much of it is repetitive. We’re all for brands offering choices for different skin types, concerns, and textures (such as gel versus lotion), but Bioderma’s range simply isn’t as varied as it is large. A large mix of relatively wishy-washy formulations is really not a plus for your skin.

For more information about Bioderma, visit www.bioderma.com.

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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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