With alcohol as the third ingredient and plenty of fragrance ingredients, this is far from being “super” and has limited appeal as a moisturizer. It also contains the irritating menthol derivative menthoxypropanediol, whose strong tingle is your skin telling you it’s being irritated. See More Info for details on why alcohol, fragrance, and irritating ingredients are a problem for all skin types.
If the formula weren’t bad enough, the claims are over the top! The story is that Biotherm’s biologists captured thousands of liters of thermal spring water, said to be a rich source of minerals—but, in a skin-care product the minerals are removed as part of the necessary purification process all water goes thorough before being mixed into a cosmetic formula. Then they combined this allegedly special water with pink sea salt from millions of years ago. There is no research showing any of this is good for skin; the story doesn’t even make sense.
The entire concept is ridiculous because minerals in water don’t penetrate skin (their molecular structure is too large) and salt is drying (think of how your skin feels after you’ve been swimming in the ocean or how much salt hurts if you get it in an open wound). Regardless of the story, and regardless of the source of the water and salt, there is no research proving they can “insulate skin from environmental harm.” If anything, the combination of saltwater and alcohol impairs skin’s barrier function, leaving its surface wide open to environmental damage. And it’s certain this combination cannot protect skin from sunlight, which is its biggest environmental threat.
Ultimately, this serum is a poor choice for all skin types. Although it contains some beneficial ingredients, they’re intermixed with problematic ingredients, and your skin deserves only the good ingredients, preferably without hokey claims.
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.
- 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.
- The special water and pink salt claims are not supported by research and absolutely not helpful for your skin.
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.)