Photoderm After Sun

by Bioderma  
Price:
$18.95 - 200 ml
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Category:
Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Sun Products > After-Sun Care
Last Updated:
10/18/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This is a standard emollient body lotion for dry skin. It has no special ability to nourish skin after too much sun exposure; if anything, the oil in this product might trap heat beneath the skin's surface, potentially making sunburn worse.

Other than making skin feel smoother and softer, this body lotion cannot prepare skin for further sun exposure—what a disingenuous claim to make, as if all you need after too much time in the sun is an overnight with this lotion and, voilá, your skin is ready for another assault from UV rays—don't believe it, it's not true!

Any product to treat skin that has become dried out by environmental exposure should contain a far better mix of skin-repairing and soothing agents, should have a lighter texture, and should be fragrance-free (the last thing environmentally damaged skin needs is more fragrance).

This is an OK body lotion for dry skin, but is easily replaced by more impressive options on our list of Best Body-Care Products.

Pros:
  • Contains ingredients to smooth and soften skin.
Cons:
  • Cannot optimize skin for further exposure to UV rays.
  • The fragrance this contains isn't what sun-exposed, dry skin needs.
  • Could trap heat from a sunburn beneath the skin's surface, leading to a deeper burn.

Photoderm After-sun intensely rehydrates skin dried out by the skin, prepares it for further exposure and thereby optimizes its natural anti-UV protection.

Water (Aqua), Cyclomethicone, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Glycerin, Sorbitan Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Phenyl Trimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Allantoin, Ectoin, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum).

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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About the Experts

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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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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