12.30.2014
1
34
Sebium Foaming Gel
Rating
200 ml for $19.95
Last Updated:12.30.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This is a very good water-soluble gel cleanser for normal, oily, or combination skin. It missed our top rating due to the inclusion of fragrance, but this is still worth consideration. Bioderma sells a similar but fragrance-free gel cleanser in their Sensibio line.

The formula is gentle overall, but removes all but the most tenacious types of makeup without leaving a greasy residue or making the skin feel tight and dry.

Contrary to claim, this cleanser, while capable of removing excess surface oil, cannot regulate oil production; that function is controlled by hormones, and cannot be affected by skin-care products. You can use skin-care products to control oily skin, but they cannot affect oil production. The exception? If you're using irritating products (which can make oily skin worse), switching to gentle products can bring oily skin back into balance.

Note: Sebium Foaming Gel is also sold in a 500 ml (16 ounce) size.

Pros:
  • Cleanses gently, removing most types of makeup.
  • Won't leave skin feeling dry or tight.
  • Keeps oily skin in check without triggering excess oil production via irritation.
Cons:
  • Cannot regulate oil flow, nor does it offer any special benefits for oily skin.
  • Contains fragrance, which isn't the best for sensitive skin, or any skin type for that matter.
Claims
Sébium Foaming gel reduces sebum secretion and purifies the epidermis thanks to the Fluidactiv® sebum-correcting complex. It also regulates sebum quality.
Ingredients
Aqua/Water/Eau, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, PEG-40 Glyceryl Cocoate, Disodium EDTA, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Citric Acid, Sodium Coceth Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Methylparaben, Sodium Propylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum).
Brand Overview

Strengths: Bioderma provides complete product ingredient lists on their site; some very good, fragrance-free facial cleansers; every sunscreen provides sufficient broad-spectrum protection, and most are fragrance-free; a few good mattifying products for oily skin; great prices.

Weaknesses: The endless array of moisturizers are ordinary; the claims don’t match what the formulas can actually do; repetitive sunscreen formulas; many of the sunscreens contain a potentially problematic amount of denatured alcohol; disappointing lightening products lacking ingredients that can lighten brown spots; the bronzing SPF products encourage tanning.

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.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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06.17.2015
Cleanses but stings

I have been using this product for over a month now. It gently cleans the entire face but does make your skin a bit dry and tight. After using this my blackheads have greatly reduced but the oil shine on my skin comes back after 8 hrs. Also, it stings the sensitive eyes and gives a feeling of somebody peeling an onion nearby.

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Tushar C.
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