La Roche-Posay
Biomedic Exfozyme
1.69 fl. oz. for $40
Category:Skin Care > Facial Masks > Moisturizing/Firming Masks
Last Updated:08.16.2011
Jar Packaging:False
Tested on animals:Yes

I don’t know why this mask is labeled “professional-quality” because there isn’t anything special or professional about it, and what constitutes a professional designation anyway? Perhaps it’s the fact that the product is sold only to aestheticians or physicians? Those decisions and distinctions are all about marketing, not special formulas.

This mask is meant to prepare skin for in-office cosmetic procedures such as peels. It contains a high amount of urea, an ingredient that is known as a keratolytic, which means that it softens/weakens dead skin cells to encourage shedding. Applying this pre-peel should net better results because the peel has less surface debris to get through and can have a greater impact on the lower layers of the epidermis, potentially influencing the dermis to produce new collagen. There isn’t much else to this mask and actually you could try using a urea-containing moisturizer from the drugstore before spending so much on this product. Examples of good options are Nutraplus Therapeutic Lotion with 10% Urea and Carmol 10 Total Body Lotion for Dry Skin, both of which are available online at www.drugstrore.com.

This professional-quality mask is ideal for preparing the skin for in-office aesthetic procedures. It gently exfoliates the skin, helping to diminish hyperpigmenation, smooth the skin's surface and prepare it for nutrient absorption. 10% activating protease factor stimulates the skin's exfoliation process while thermo-glycol aids in the penetration of active ingredients and helps to eliminate dead skin cells. In clinical studies, a 50% improvement was seen when used with a glycolic peel, as compared to the glycolic peel when used alone.
Peg-6, Aqua/Water, Urea, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Glycerin, Alcohol Denatured, Polyquaternium-10, Dimethyl Sulfone, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Methylparaben, Bht, Sodium Metabisulfite, Tetrasodium Edta, Propylparaben, Butylparaben
Brand Overview

La Roche-Posay At-A-Glance

Strengths: A few good cleansers; anti-aging formulas tend to be stably packaged to get the most out of the air/light-sensitive ingredients; many fragrance-free options; a unique lip moisturizer; some praiseworthy specialty products.

Weaknesses: Some problematic, overly irritating exfoliants; several ho-hum moisturizers and sunscreens; ineffective skin-lighteners; disappointing toner.

L'Oreal-owned La Roche-Posay has a pharmaceutical lineage based in France, and the company speaks of their thermal spring water as the cornerstone of their commitment to dermatological skin care. Sound familiar? L'Oreal-owned Biotherm makes similar claims for the water in their products, yet their marketing niche is spas, while La Roche-Posay caters to doctors and consumers interested in effective, no-frills skin care. Regardless of the source of their water, or how many minerals there may be in it, or the other benefits they assert it has, water is water and skin can't tell the difference. Even if the water were somehow "special," it takes a lot more than water to create and maintain healthy skin. This is something La Roche-Posay is aware of, because they do offer a fairly broad range of products to address the various needs of skin.

Their thermal spring water is said to be a rich source of selenium. Selenium is a nonmetallic element that has potent antioxidant ability. However, almost all of the research surrounding its benefits pertains to dietary or supplemental consumption, not to topical application. According to the research, selenium is absorbed into skin and helpful when applied topically only when applied as l-selenomethionine (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, July 2004, pages 149–155). It is unknown whether the water La Roche-Posay uses contains this form of selenium, but we wouldn't bank on it for a unique benefit.

For a dermatologist-oriented line like La Roche-Posay, most of the products are surprisingly devoid of state-of-the-art or other interesting ingredients. There are some standout products, such as those with retinol and stabilized vitamin C; however, most of them are one-note options that offer the help of their promoted ingredient but don't commingle it with anything else of value to skin. It's ironic that although there's not a jar package to be found in this line, most of the moisturizers lack light- or air-sensitive ingredients, so jar packaging actually wouldn't be a problem. In fact, most of the moisturizers are downright monotonous. For the money, these products will leave your skin wanting more.

If you steer your way to the well-formulated products La Roche-Posay offers, you will find some first-rate options. They're not as varied as what many other lines offer, but for a pragmatic, no-frills approach to serious skin care, they'll do just fine. In fact, among all of the L'Oreal-owned skin-care lines, La Roche-Posay comes closest to successfully competing with the best of the best. It's up to you to decide if "close" is good enough. However, if you need to avoid fragrance and a range of potentially irritating plant extracts prevalent in the products of many brands, this line may suit your skin to a T.

Note: La Roche-Posay is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although La Roche-Posay does not conduct animal testing for its 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 La Roche-Posay, owned by L'Oreal, call (888) 577-5226 or visit www.laroche-posay.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.

Member Comments

No members have written a review yet. Be the first!

Enter a title for your review
First Name, Last Initial
Email Address
How would you rate this product on the following:
500 characters left

Terms of Use

585623-IIS1 v1.0.0.369 3/2/2015 5:21:49 PM