Sebium H2O

by Bioderma  
Price:
$23 - 250 ml
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Category:
Skin Care > Sensitive Skin Products > Face/Body Cleansers
Last Updated:
10/23/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

Sebium H20 is a liquid cleanser that's positioned for those with oily skin. Although a water-based fluid, the second ingredient is a triglyceride that's not the best for those with oily or breakout-prone skin. That's not necessarily a deal-breaker but the issue lies with the misguided claim that this watery cleanser can somehow regulate the secretion of sebum (oil)—something it cannot do (no cleanser can).

At best, this is an OK but truly unimpressive cleanser for normal to combination skin. It does a so-so job of removing makeup, and contains some ingredients (including fragrance) that shouldn't be applied near the eyes.

Pros:
  • Moisturizes skin.
Cons:
  • Doesn't control oil production (no cleanser can do this).
  • A patented complex isn't proof said complex actually works, just that its patented.
  • So-so at removing makeup.

Enriched with purifying active ingredients, Sébium H2O cleanses the epidermis in depth and regulates secretion of sebum. The patented sebo-correcting complex, Fluidactiv®, normalises sebum quality.

Water (Aqua), PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Sodium Citrate , Zinc Gluconate, Copper Sulfate, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Cetrimonium Bromide, 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.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
Page of 1
  1. Jaclyn N
    Reviewed on Friday, January 03, 2014
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    Works as a toner and cleanser
    • I use it as a cleanser by itself if I didn't wear makeup during the day. If I wore makeup during the day and want to make my skin feel really clean I use it more of a toner. It's a really good toner if you use acne or retinol products, because it isn't harsh and doesn't dry out your skin. The excess drying of your skin causes your skin to produce more oil, which is where the claim it helps with oil production might lie. It makes me less oily and removes the dirt and makeup out of my pores.

  2. Elena P.
    Reviewed on Saturday, October 26, 2013
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    This is a great make up remover
    • Perhaps it can not control oil production, but it does a perfect job in removing even heavy makeup, including waterproof Urban Decay 24/7 eye pencils. I use it daily all over my face for more than 5 years and I think it's excellent and a good value. I gave up all other specialized make-up removing liquids such as Lancome Bi-facil eye make up remover, because Bioderma Sebium is all I really need.

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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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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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