Sensibio AR
40 ml for $28.95
Last Updated:11.26.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This mineral oil–based moisturizer is the best one of Bioderma's Sensibio line. It maintains the fragrance-free, gentle status of the others while also offering dry, sensitive skin a more complete formula that's rich in skin-repairing ingredients, antioxidants, and emollients to significantly improve dryness.

The company's claims are over the top for its Sensibio AR Rosactiv complex (the Rosactiv we assume is their clever reference to the skin disorder rosacea), stating it "acts directly on the factor responsible for the dilation and weakening of skin capillaries." It doesn't.

Although the formula contains some very good sources of anti-inflammatory fatty acids and anti-irritants that can reduce redness, this product alone cannot stop the capillary damage that's part of having rosacea or other types of persistent redness.

The claims make this moisturizer sound like it's a cure for the redness caused by rosacea, but that's not the case. It absolutely does contain ingredients that are likely to reduce the redness, but it cannot repair distended or broken capillaries. The underlying factors that cause rosacea are not related to inflammation alone. Depending on the severity of rosacea, skin-care products alone will not be of much help. Truly controlling rosacea is beyond the reach of even the best skin-care ingredients.

If you have rosacea accompanied by broken capillaries, using skin-care products loaded with soothing agents is important, but you'll also want to consult a dermatologist for prescription topical medications and/or light-emitting treatments that really can eliminate broken capillaries and significantly improve the appearance of rosacea-affected skin.

Capillary-reducing claims aside, this moisturizer is definitely worth considering if you have dry skin. Given its somewhat greasy texture, though, it's best to use it at night rather than under makeup during the day.

Note: This product is also known as Crealine AR.

  • Fragrance-free, gentle formula.
  • Contains a very good mix of skin-repairing, soothing, and anti-irritant ingredients.
  • This Sensibio formula contains a broader range of proven antioxidants than the others.
  • Wonderfully restorative for uncomfortably dry skin.
  • The texture and finish are on the greasy side, so this doesn't work well under makeup.
  • Won't get rid of surfaced capillaries as claimed.

Sensibio AR instantly soothes, reduces the intensity of redness and prevents it appearing and getting worse. The patented Sensibio AR Rosactiv® complex acts directly on the factor responsible for the dilation and weakening of skin capillaries (sources of permanent redness).


Water (Aqua), Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Glycerin, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil Unsaponifiables, Arachidyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycol Distearate, Ozokerite, PEG-100 Stearate, Sodium PCA, Canola Oil, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Germ Extract, Allantoin, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polyacrylamide, Arachidyl Glucoside, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Disodium EDTA, Laureth-7, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben.

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.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Fantastic, Not greasy

Love this! Very hydrating (I use the PC 1% retinol so I need that), smooth, not shiny (greasy skin here!) and feels comfortable all day.

Reviewed by
Sandrina Z

This cream is lightweight, absorbs into the skin nicely but... I did have some reaction to it :( This cream didn't soothe the redness as claimed, my skin was itchy :( Will not repurchase this again!

Reviewed by
Works for me! great après skiing

I've been using this product at night for about 18 months now. It works great for me, even after a day of skiing in -30 weather. I have sensitive skin with seborrehic dermatitis, which can cause extremely red , itchy skin. Using this moisturizer has helped cut down on my flare ups. I'll continue to buy it.

Reviewed by
Natalie Q.
Not greasy at all

I prefer this over Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask and Moisturizer as it truly hydrates dry skin and makes it feel like silk. A little goes a long way. And it's perfect under makeup. I'm not a fan of foundation because I find it drying; this moisturizer fixes that problem for me. I don't know why the review say's it's too greasy; it's not.

Reviewed by
Janice J.
Pleasantly surprised!

I have very dry, sensitive skin with a touch of roseacea which gets even worse in the winter. At first I was quite surprised by how light this cream is but it does keep my face decently moisturized for the whole day. It's not emollient but I don't get my usual flaking using this cream. Contrary to Paula's review, I have not experienced any issues with makeup application. In fact, my makeup has been staying on longer! It's a bit expensive for a small tube but it has worked for me.

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