White Objective Active Cream

by Bioderma  
Price:
$42.95 - 30 ml
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Category:
Skin Care > Retinol Products > Lighteners Without Hydroquinone
Last Updated:
12/6/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

White Objective Active Cream is a skin-lightening product that contains sunscreen ingredients, although they aren't listed as active and there is no SPF rating on the product. If there is no SPF rating, you have no idea if you are getting an SPF of 2 or 4 or more, so you should absolutely not rely on it for sun protection. Interestingly, the picture of this product on Bioderma's site doesn't show any SPF rating, but some people who've purchased this product claim it states SPF 27.

Beyond the sunscreen ingredients, this skin lightener contains a mix of ingredients that stand a good chance of improving dark spots and an uneven skin tone. These include a form of vitamin C known as ascorbyl glucoside, niacinamide, and licorice root extract. Even combined, the amounts of these ingredients may not be enough to result in a lot of improvement, but this is a potentially helpful, fragrance-free option that's suitable for normal to dry or combination skin.

One more comment: Contrary to the claim that this product is "specially formulated to respect the most sensitive skins," the truth is that the large amount of synthetic sunscreen ingredients this contains can, in fact, be sensitizing. Not everyone's skin will react to them, but if sensitive skin is a concern, mineral sunscreen ingredients—titanium dioxide and zinc oxide—are preferred.

Pros:
  • Fragrance-free formula.
  • Contains ingredients that have research showing they can lighten dark spots.
  • Moisturizes as it works to lighten discolorations.
Cons:
  • Contains sunscreen ingredients, but lacks an SPF rating, so it cannot be relied on for sun protection.
  • The specific sunscreen ingredients this contains aren't the best bet for "the most sensitive skin."

White Objective Active cream with patented W.O.® complex, clears, evens and enhances the complexion. It helps to eliminate brown spots and prevents their reappearance. White Objective Active cream is specially formulated to respect the most sensitive skins.

Water (Aqua), Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Octocrylene, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Dimethicone, Dipropylene Glycol, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, PTFE, Arachidyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Niacinamide, Andrographis Paniculata Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Lysine Azelate, Hexapeptide-2, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Arachidyl Glucoside, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Metabisulfite, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben.

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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