Bioelements

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.

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