Aquasource Skin Perfection 24h Moisturizer High Definition Perfecting Care, All Skin Types

by Biotherm (Canada)  Aquasource
Price:
$48 - 50 ml
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
12/14/2012
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This lightweight moisturizer is not appropriate for anyone’s skin because it lists alcohol as the third ingredient. Alcohol isn’t hydrating or skin-perfecting; rather, it causes free-radical damage. This also contains the irritating menthol derivative menthoxypropanediol. The tingle you experience upon application may feel refreshing, but it’s your skin telling you it is being irritated, and that’s not a good thing (see More Info for further details).

In addition to this lightweight moisturizer containing more alcohol than the kind of anti-aging ingredients all skin types need to look and act younger, it also contains several fragrance ingredients known to be irritating, which isn’t helpful for anyone’s skin. Please see More Info for details on the problems daily use of overly fragrant products can cause.

The “frosted texture” that is said to work like a “resurfacing glaze” is merely a fancy way to state this moisturizer contains shiny particles from the mineral pigment mica. That can be an attractive touch, but the effect is strictly cosmetic, not skin care. Plus, shine alone cannot blur imperfections or make an uneven skin tone look unified, it just makes it look shimmery, the same as thousands of other products.

Last, the smattering of good ingredients this contains won’t hold up for long after opening thanks to the jar packaging. We discuss why jar packaging is a problem in the More Info section.

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 definitely problematic.

Pros:
  • None.
Cons:
  • Expensive.
  • Formula lists alcohol as the third ingredient, and alcohol in skin care is pro-aging.
  • Contains fragrance ingredients known to cause irritation.
  • Contains irritating menthol derivative whose cooling sensation is a sign your skin is being damaged.

More Info:

Alcohol in Skin-Care Products:
Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin’s ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: “Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In,”Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).

Fragrance in Skin-Care Products:
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin’s ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (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).

Why Irritating Ingredients Are a Problem for Everyone’s Skin
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.)

Jar Packaging
The fact that it’s 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; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

The hydrating power of Aquasource meets skin perfection! With frosted cooling effect. For all skin types. INNOVATION: Biotherm creates the 1st 24h moisturizing high definition perfecting care, enriched with Aquakeep™ perfecting complex. The refreshing frosted texture works like a re-surfacing glaze to reduce skin irregularities and dull complexion.

Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dimethicone, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sodium Polyacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Titanium Dioxide, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Disodium Ethylene Dicocamide PEG-15 Disulfate, Mica, Limonene, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Serine, 2-Oleamido-1, 3-Octadecanediol, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Vitreoscilla Ferment, Citrulline, Menthoxypropanediol, Cholesterol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Manganese Gluconate, Maris Sal, Fructose Glucose, Linalool, Ceramide 3, Hydroxypalmitoyl Sphinganine Citral, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Benzyl Alcohol, Urea, Blue 1, Dextrin, Hexyl Nicotinate, Sucrose, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Alanine, Fragrance

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.

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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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