I don't know about you, but by the time the seasons change my skin needs some TLC. This hasn't been a terribly cold winter by Ottawa standards but my skin has been dry and irritable after months of indoor heating, temperature swings, cold wind... so I went hunting for some new skincare to set things right.
We're spoiled to have so many great skincare options here in Canada, including oodles of French pharmacy brands our American cousins can only dream about. Many of these brands have reached cult status because their products work and are well-priced. And at the top of that list: Bioderma.
Bioderma has been popular in its native France since the 1970s, and with good reason: the brand uses a science-first approach, avoids flashy marketing (no celebrity ads here), and creates products that deliver on what they promise. Simple as that. They focus on targeted formulas with few ingredients so you're only using what you need and you can avoid any fluff or fillers. Which is especially welcome news for sensitive types, since there's less for the skin to react to.
I'd never tried (or really even heard of) Bioderma until a couple of years ago when my friend Angela (hi Smange!) told me about their Sensibo H20 Micellar Water, which she said was a staple in her skincare stash. I spotted it on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart, grabbed a bottle, and it's been part of my beauty regime ever since. Somehow I never got around to trying anything else by this lovely brand, possbily because there are so very many options available. Hands up if you get overwhelmed by choice in the skincare aisles of Shoppers and Sephora (not to mention Nordstrom and a slew of online retailers). I know I do.
But recently the Bioderma folks reached out and offered to provide me with some product to try, and I couldn't say no to that. They asked me a few questions about my skin, my skin's issues, and my routines (so thoughtful!), and generously set me up with everything you see below:
Clockwise from the top left:
-Hydrabio H20 Micellar Water
-Sensibio H20 Micellar Water
-Sensibio AR AntiRedness Moisturizer
-Sensibio H20 Make-up Removing Wipes
-Hydrabio Sérum Moisturizing Concentrate
I've been test-driving the entire regime for about a month and I'm ready to give you lovely readers the scoop. Here we go!
bioderma sensibio h2o micellar water
Every five seconds someone buys a bottle of Bioderma Sensibio H20. Worldwide. That's how ubiquitous this stuff is. First launched back in 1995, this unassuming cleanser quickly became the world's favourite, and it's stayed that way ever since. It's free of scent (great if you're sensitive), doesn't need to be rinsed (no soap for your skin, thank you very much!), and can even remove eye make-up if you're in a pinch (squirt some extra onto a cotton pad add press onto the eye area). I keep one in my beauty drawer, one in my travel bag, and a back-up in my medicine cabinet. I will never be without. It also doubles as a an alcohol-free toner and preps the skin beautifully for moisturizer. $19.95/250ml bottle.
bioderma hydrabio h2o micellar water
This is Sensibio H20's sister: it has that family resemblance but it's a little different. Just like Sensibio, the Hydrabio H20 forumla is incredibly gentle, and I'd say it's equally good for sensitive folks (scent-free and alcohol-free). But it does an even better job of locking in moisture and preventing any moisture from escaping, so if you've been zapped by dryness this little bottle will really help you out. Every bit as good as its sister formula. $18.95/250ml bottle.
bioderma sensibio h2o wipes
I don't use Sensibio H20 wipes every day, but they're my "ugh it's late and I'm lazy" cleanser. It's these guys that'll keep you from flopping into bed with a face full of makeup (I know we've all done it but it's so, so bad). In just a swipe or two I can take the day off then crawl into be feeling like a better person because I washed my face. Now, these wipes are *extremely* gentle. They're scent-free just like the original bottled formula, and they didn't cause my redness-prone cheeks to react. That said, because they're so gentle they weren't quite as adept at removing my stubborn eye makeup, but I don't really fault them for that because my Kat von D liquid liner is heavy duty. I gave my wipe an extra squirt of micellar water and everything came off in a jiffy.
The only thing I'd change about this product? The packaging. I wish Bioderma used a clicking plastic lid, since those do a better job of preventing the wipes from drying out. Even value brands like Boots, Olay Fresh Effects, and Balea have taken care of that, so I was surprised that Bioderma uses a simple peel-back package. $14.95/25 wipes.
hydrabio sérum hydrating concentrate
I *loved* this serum. Hydrabio Sérum is no nonsense and did exactly what it promised: made my skin soft and smooth pretty much instantly. It almost felt like a protective barrier on my skin, helping my moisturizer do a better job and keeping dryness at bay. Scent-free and without a hint of grease, it did some heavy lifting to get my skin back into shape -- and quickly. Within just a few days my skin looked and felt smoother, more even, and it felt all-round more comfrotable. A single pump was plenty to spread over my entire face and down my neck, so one bottle should last you for months. And I love that the pump means the product remains sanitary and isn't exposed to a ton of air or bacteria. Great packaging on this one, Bioderma! $42.95/40ml pump.
sensibio AR anti-redness moisturizer
Oh boy. This one I really fell for. I have mild rosacea in my cheeks so I'm hyper aware of any extra redness in my complexion -- I think it's why I've avoided blush for years, even now. There are OODLES of anti-redness lotions on the market that promise all sorts of things: I've tried heaps of them and most don't do anything at all. But this one? LOVE. Bioderma's Sensibio AR Anti-Redness Moisturizer glides over the skin and I really did feel it reduced the redness in my cheeks -- and maybe diminished my purply eyelids too? Other anti-redness creams I've tried have been poor overall moisturizers, but not so with the AR cream. It provided plenty of moisture for my dry skin without a hint of greasiness. And used in tandem with the Hydrabio Sérum it was a dream. As with all the other Bioderma products I tried, I didn't detect any scent, so I'd say the product developers truly are keeping sensitive folks in mind. If you're sensitive and prone to redness or irritation from rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, and the like, you may want to give this one a try. I know everybody's different but it worked like a charm for me. $27.95/40ml tube
where to buy
One of the best things about Bioderma -- aside from how well it works -- is how easy it is to find. Bioderma is widely available at Shoppers Drug Mart (watch for Optimum bonuses!), Rexall, Jean Coutu, London Drugs, and Murale (though that chain is rapidly disappearing, replaced by much nicer Beauty Boutiques across Canada). Prices will vary by retailer but keep an eye out for sales and value sets.
win some bioderma!
I enjoyed this line so much that I want you to give it a go. So I'm giving away a Bioderma skincare collection of all the same products I tried! If your skin's been feeling dry or irritable, you'll want to get in on this.
Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below and I'll announce a winner next week!