The story behind Biotherm
Biotherm is one of the 500 brands owned by global beauty company L’Oreal, but the story behind Biotherm actually dates back to the early 20th century. During this time, the French doctor Jos Jullien discovered mineral thermal spring waters under Pyrenees mountain in the southern part of France. He discovered that these waters contained thermal plankton that could promote healthier skin, which is why he decided to use this unique ingredient to formulate skin care products. Today, thermal plankton is used in every single Biotherm skin care product.
What are the best selling Biotherm products?
Biotherm offers products for every step of your skin care routine, including cleansers, makeup removers, exfoliators, toners, serums, masks, moisturizers, eye and lip care, and more. Since there are too many products to cover in one review, we’ll be discussing three of the best selling Biotherm products below.
Biotherm Life Plankton Essence is concentrated like a serum, yet lightweight like a cosmetic water in order to improve absorption. It was created to be the first step of your skin care routine in order to facilitate the application of the subsequent skin care products.
Biotherm Aquasource Gel is a facial moisturizer with a gel texture that is said to replenish the skin’s natural moisture reserves to restore its natural ability to glow. It is claimed to visibly transform even the most dehydrated skin and dullest complexions.
Biotherm Lait Corporel Body Milk is an anti-drying body milk that is said to hydrate to help reduce flaky skin, restore the skin’s moisture barrier, and improve its elasticity. The texture is neither sticky or greasy, and the formula penetrates into the skin quickly.
What are the key Biotherm ingredients?
The key ingredient in all Biotherm skin care products is vitreoscilla ferment, aka Life Plankton. Derived from the french pyrenees hot springs, this microorganism is said to possess extraordinary regenerative properties. So is Life Plankton as beneficial as Biotherm claims it to be, or is this all just marketing hype? Let’s look at the research to find out.
First, you should know that vitreoscilla ferment is considered a probiotic. Probiotics include various strains of helpful bacteria that collaborate with your skin to restore the skin’s microbiome. The microbiome is a population of many types of bacteria (over 10,000 different species) that are both good and bad. When there’s more bad bacteria than good, skin conditions like acne, sensitive skin, and bumpy, uneven skin texture can develop. Thus, vitreoscilla ferment can help maintain healthy skin by keeping the microbiome balanced. Studies also show that vitreoscilla ferment may have antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and can help repair a damaged skin barrier. The highest concentration of vitreoscilla ferment can be found in the Biotherm Life Plankton Essence.
Unfortunately, the Biotherm Aquasource Gel formula is pretty disappointing, primarily because denatured alcohol is the third highest concentration ingredient (after only water and glycerin). The problem with this type of alcohol is that, at first, it seems like it’s benefitting the skin. Initially, alcohol gives products a quick-drying finish, immediately degreases the skin, and imparts a weightless feel. Plus, Biotherm combines alcohol with ingredients like glycerin and silicones to provide temporarily anti-aging benefits. You see, alcohol tightens the skin, glycerin hydrates the skin and thereby plumps skin, and silicones form a thin, invisible film that can help disguise signs of aging. However, these effects are temporary and will disappear once you wash off the product.
Aside from the fact that alcohol gives the illusion of skin benefits, high concentrations of denatured alcohol are well known to cause skin dryness, irritation, and even disruption of the skin barrier. In fact, alcohol can dry out the skin so much that the skin will produce more oil over time to compensate for the dryness. This can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.
The Biotherm Lait Corporel Body Milk formula is pretty basic, containing high concentrations of glycerin (a humectant), olive oil, and dimethicone (a silicone). It’s important to note that this product contains very high concentrations of many different fragrance ingredients, such as triethanolamine, limonene, citrus essential oils, and many more. Sure, these ingredients make the Biotherm Lait Corporel Body Milk smell nice. But we’d like to point out that fragrance is not skin care. Fragrance ingredients (both natural and synthetic) are well known to cause skin irritation and damage. Even if you don’t have a full blown reaction to the fragrance ingredients, the damage may still be occurring every day. Ultimately, this can cause mild problems for your skin in the short term and worse problems over time.
Where is Biotherm sold?
Biotherm skin care products are sold on the brand’s website, as well as numerous third party sellers, such as Sephora, Walmart, CVS, Amazon, and more.
What is the Biotherm return policy?
The Biotherm return policy states that if you are not completely satisfied with your Biotherm purchase, you can contact their customer service and return the purchased products within thirty days of the delivery.
Is Biotherm cruelty free?
Biotherm is not cruelty free since the brand is owned by L’Oreal, a company that tests on animals. L’Oréal does not conduct animal testing on their products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law. Since L’Oréal products are sold in China, they must test their products on animals by law.
Biotherm reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive. Biotherm Life Plankton Essence has mostly 4 and 5 star ratings, with positive reviews for this product saying that it is very soothing, healing, refreshing and comforting. One very positive Biotherm review says, “I never used a product for more than 4 months because my skin always reacted so badly. But this essence calm my skin down, reduce redness and irritation. I am on my third bottle. Can’t even believe it! Highly recommend this product for your daily skincare routine.”
Biotherm reviews for the Aquasource Gel are a mix of positive and negative. Positive reviews mention that it helps the skin to feel hydrated and soft. One positive review says, “My skin was fatigued, dry in the winter, acne filled, with an uneven tone. I hesitated buying this product because of the price. Worth it! I saw results in just 2 to 3 days.” Most of the negative reviews for this product are from customers who experienced breakouts after using it. For example, one reviewer says, “Never had a problem with breaking out till I tried this product, after a few days of using the product I broke out everywhere and immediately stopped using it to find that my skin cleared up right away.”
Biotherm Lait Corporel Body Milk has received mostly 5 star reviews, with many customers appreciating the smell and that the product is lightweight and moisturizes the skin well. Since this product has been on the market since 1972, there are several reviews from long term users who say that this is the only body lotion they will ever use and that they love how their skin looks and feels.
What are some alternatives to Biotherm?
Overall, we think vitreoscilla ferment (Life Plankton) is really the only unique ingredient in Biotherm skin care products. The rest of the product formulas consists of very basic ingredients, and some even contain harmful ingredients like denatured alcohol and fragrance. If you’d like to avoid putting these ingredients on your skin, we’d like to suggest an alternative for you to consider: Formulyst
One Formulyst product we recommend is the Advanced Repair Serum. This potent anti-aging serum contains ingredients to keep your skin moisturized, while also providing skin with active ingredients such as a Peptide Complex, Stem Cell Complex, and Microbiome repair complex. The Advanced Repair Serum naturally comforts and calms the skin while helping to optimize skin hydration, increase firmness, and smooth the appearance of wrinkles.
There’s no need to compromise when it comes to finding skincare that is effective and safe. Carrot & Stick takes a tough love approach to skincare, perfectly balancing the power of plants with cutting edge science. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skin care products.