03.19.2014
0
Bioelements
LightPlex MegaWatt Skin Brightener
Rating
1.5 fl. oz. for $65
Category:Skin Care > Retinol Products > Skin Lighteners
Last Updated:03.19.2014
Jar Packaging:False
pH:
Tested on animals:No
Overview

This skin-lightening product stands a very good chance of being mega-irritating due to the numerous fragrant plant extracts and oils it contains. In an ironic twist, which we don't find the least bit funny, several of the included citrus oils can actually trigger brown spots when skin is exposed to sunlight without sun protection. They are considered photo-toxic; that is, when applied to the skin and then exposed to sunlight, they cause skin-damaging problems. What was Bioelements thinking?

The formula also contains a high amount of plant extracts that are not often present in skin-care products, and it's not surprising they're rarely used because none of them have any documented benefit for skin, although some of them do have astringent qualities that pose further risk of irritation (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com).

It's a shame this product contains so many problematic ingredients because it also contains some potentially helpful ingredients for dark spots, including alpha-arbutin, uva ursi leaf, and numerous antioxidants. But alcohol is in the mix, too, which causes free-radical damage, the exact opposite of what you want. This formula's theme seems to be one of one step forward, two steps back, and so on.

In the end, this isn't a skin-lightening product we can recommend, as the risk of irritation is just too great (see More Info for details). You will find several superior skin-lightening options on our list of Best Skin-Lightening Products.

Pros:
  • Contains some ingredients with research showing they can improve dark spots.
  • The mix of antioxidants will benefit skin.
Cons:
  • Formula contains several irritating plant extracts and fragrant oils, and some of the fragrant oils can actually cause brown discolorations when skin is exposed to sunlight without sun protection.
  • Overly fragrant, but fragrance isn't skin care.
More Info:

Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For these reasons, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).

Claims

An antioxidant skin brightening cream that brightens and evens all over for luminous, hydrated skin.

Ingredients

Water (Aqua, Eau), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Stearic Acid, Myristic Acid, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanyl Palmitate, Alpha Arbutin, Ergothioneine, Glycerin, Panthenol (Vitamin B-5), Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, SDA Alcohol 40-A, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Extract, Morus Alba Leaf Extract, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Leaf Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Limonene, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Sage) Oil, Allantoin, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tromethamine

Brand Overview

Bioelements At-A-Glance

Strengths: Nothing of note beyond an elegantly formulated eye cream and one benzoyl peroxide product.

Weaknesses: Expensive; consistent use of irritating essential oils with no established benefit for skin; problematic anti-acne products, scrubs, and sunscreens.

Bioelements is a spa-and-salon sold skin-care line that was founded in 1991 by makeup artist turned aesthetician, Barbara Salomone. An interview with Salomone in the January/February 2006 issue of Renew magazine had statements from her indicating that aestheticians will soon be recognized as true skin-care professionals and her advice to newcomers is to get as much education as you can. To that end, Bioelements has seven education centers across the United States. However, if they're teaching established and upcoming aestheticians about Bioelements products, we are worried. Few spa lines subject skin to the irritating ingredients dispersed through well over half of the products this line offers. If that isn't bad enough, Bioelements ignores some fundamental aspects of skin care. That means no well-formulated AHA or BHA products (it's not a good formula if it subjects skin to needless irritation), and sunscreens rated below the standard SPF 15 recommendation (sun protection products are vastly outnumbered in this line by moisturizers and serums), not to mention the need to keep light- and air-sensitive ingredients, such as retinol, stable.

Company literature states that at Bioelements "We mean what we say. No gimmicks, no hype, and no false promises. We're professional skin care experts dedicated to keeping skin clean, clear, calm, and younger-looking." That sounds great but barely a word of it is true. This line definitely has its share of hype and false promises, from claiming that probiotics are a youth elixir, to regular references to what the line refers to as "Bioelements Adaptogens" and aromatherapist oils.

It's those very oils that causes havoc for skin, though in a spa experience their aroma can be pleasant. Skin-care experts would know better than to use any of Bioelements' numerous problem products, especially since, with so many irritants in most of the products, clear, calm skin is far from becoming a reality. Any company can establish its own education center, but what's key is the type of education provided and how the information is discussed. We have received countless letters from disheartened aestheticians bemoaning the "education" and classes they sit through, only to be spoon-fed information about skin-care products and practices they know are unhelpful and untrue. They ask me where to turn because they have a sincere interest in helping people take the best possible care of their skin, and are conscientious about the products they recommend. I hope this book helps such aestheticians, because Bioelements and many other spa-oriented lines are not creating products that epitomize state-of-the-art skin care, though they'd love for you to believe otherwise.

For more information about Bioelements, call 800.433.6650 or visit www.bioelements.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia 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 Begoun herself.

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