02.18.2013
0
Biotherm
Age Fitness Power 2 Active Smoothing Care, Dry Skin
Rating
50 ml for $60
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:02.18.2013
Jar Packaging:True
pH:
Tested on animals:Yes
Overview

This is a rich, emollient moisturizer best for dry skin. Although it contains olive-derived antioxidant ingredients as claimed, they will not be able to provide anti-aging benefits because this product is packaged in a jar, which won’t keep these important ingredients stable after the container is opened. Please see More Info to learn why jar packaging is a problem.

In better packaging, this would be worth considering, although you don’t need to spend this much to get a well-formulated moisturizer. It’s also worth mentioning that although fragrance isn’t a major player in the formula, it does contain several fragrance ingredients (albeit in small amounts) known to cause irritation. This moisturizer will feel good over dry skin, but given that its anti-aging benefits will be squandered due to the jar packaging, it comes down to a “why bother?”

One more point, Biotherm’s claims and advertised ingredients would lead you to believe their products are all about natural formulations, and that is absolutely not the case. These products are steeped in synthetics, some that are great for skin but also some that are definitelyproblematic.

Pros:
  • Rich, smoothing texture will feel great over dry to very dry skin.
Cons:
  • Expensive.
  • Jar packaging won’t keep the olive-derived antioxidants stable during use.
  • Contains several fragrance ingredients (albeit in small amounts) known to cause irritation.

More Info:

The fact that this moisturizer is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; and Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

Claims

From the heart of the olive tree, Biotherm draws 2 anti-oxidant powers, protective and reparative, to fight the 1st signs of aging. Skin is instantly hydrated, smoother and more luminous. The skin rediscovers its youth.

Ingredients

Water, Butyrospermum Parkii/Shea Butter, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Octyldodecanol, C30-45 Alkyl Dimethicone, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, PEG-20 Stearate, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Hydrogenated Myristyl Olive Esters, Stearyl Alcohol, Olea Europaea/Olive Fruit Oil, Olea Europaea/Olive Leaf Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Adenosine, Vitreoscilla Ferment, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Panthenol, Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Linoleate, Glyceryl Linoleate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Silica Polyperfluoromethylisopropyl Ether, Tocopherol, Glycine Soja/Soybean Oil, Dimethiconol, Polyacrylamide C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Isopropyl Myristate, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, BHT, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Fragrance, Citronellol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citral, Linalool, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional

Brand Overview

Biotherm At-A-Glance

Strengths: Sunscreens now include the right UVA-protecting ingredients; some good cleansers and makeup removers.

Weaknesses: Redundancy, especially within the moisturizer category where there are far too many products whose differences are more tied to name and claims than formula; overuse of alcohol in the moisturizers (the drying kind, not benign fatty alcohols such as cetyl or stearyl); jar packaging; bland toners; ineffective AHA/BHA, and skin-lightening products; overly fragrant products make this brand a poor choice for those with rosacea or sensitive skin.

Biotherm is one of the many companies owned by L'Oreal USA, and has a vast array of products, with many redundancies. It was founded in 1952 by a French biologist who discovered, as the story goes, a mineral-rich element in mountain spring water. Flash-forward to a slick lab where white-coated scientists supposedly figured out a way to capture this element (called vitreoscilla ferment) in its active form, and that's essentially the story behind Biotherm, now sold in 70 countries. The company announced in 2007 that Biotherm would not be sold in any U.S. or Canadian department stores anymore yet would be sold online. But as of 2009, it seems the company changed plans, at least in terms of its Canadian distribution. The brand is sold in most Canadian department stores as well as Shoppers Drug Mart.

Biotherm's claims are wrapped around the effect their special ingredient (vitreoscilla ferment) has on skin, and how it helps skin reactivate its own natural biological processes. We weren't even partway through reviewing these products before noticing the products are far from unique or specially formulated. A major reason for that is the inclusion of problematic ingredients in many products, notably alcohol, lots of fragrance, and menthol derivatives.

But is there anything to Biotherm's fervent belief in and pervasive use of vitreoscilla ferment? This gram-negative bacteria can help cells utilize oxygen better in vitro (Source: Journal of Biotechnology, January 2001, pages 57–66). But whether that effect can be translated to benefit skin cells via a cosmetic formulation is unknown, and there are no studies supporting the use of this ingredient for skin care. Therefore, you're left to take Biotherm's word for it, even though they don't bother to explain why they avoided so many well-researched antioxidants, or use minuscule amounts of intriguing ingredients that in greater amounts can positively affect skin's structure and healthy functioning. Plus you have to wonder, if this is such a great ingredient for skin, why don't the other L'Oreal companies such as Lancome, Kiehl's, La Roche-Posay, or even L'Oreal use it?

Biotherm is also big on minerals, specifically the gluconate forms of magnesium, copper, and zinc. All of these have some research indicating their merit for skin, but mostly in terms of wound healing or being mildly antibacterial. That's not the way they're showcased in Biotherm's products, of course, because anti-wrinkle and anti-aging claims are what sell products. Although they link minerals with anti-aging prowess, a wrinkle is not a wound. Moreover, the tiny amounts of these minerals found throughout the Biotherm lineup only nullifies their already limited effectiveness as part of a comprehensive skin-care routine. There are some gems to be found in this line, but proceed with caution because most of it is downright boring or just plain bad for your skin.

Note: Biotherm is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Biotherm does not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law." Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

For more information about Biotherm, call (888) BIOTHERM or visit www.biotherm-usa.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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