I decided on my adventure of testing Western sunscreens, I would try a local brand of my current surroundings: Bioderma.
Bioderma was innovated by French pharmacist, Jean Noël Thorel, in the 1970’s & reached skincare noteriety by 1985. The company caters to a wide variety of skin types, they are well-known for hair & scalp treatments as well. The company became dedicated to socially conscious innovation in 2009, the first campaign was providing pharmaceutical aid in Cambodia & Vietnam.
This is a chemical sunscreen that offers UVA & UVB protection. It is strong enough for normal daily activities, but does not claim to be waterproof or sweat resistant. This product is designed for sensitive & problematic skin, specifically protecting scars & preventing hyperpigmentation like age spots.
This type of product is for AM routines only & it would be applied towards the end of a skincare routine. There is some debate whether chemical sunscreens should be applied before or after moisturizer, certain chemical sunscreen compounds are shown to be activated by skin contact & recommended to be applied before moisturizer.
My perspective with sunscreen, as well as most skincare: Do not get overwhelmed with routine order, it is probably better to have the product on your face than not at all. So this sunscreen will either be the last or 2nd to last step in your routine!
I was worried this sunscreen would be drying because the ingredient list contains a lot of alcohol, even though it is not advertised for any specific skin type. It feels like a very light cream & slightly oily so potentially good for dehydrated skin, though I apply this in thin layers otherwise it can feel thick on your skin.
Reference: My MAC shade is NC20
This leaves a slight, but noticeable white cast on my skin. It does dissipate with time, but it may not be ideal for deeper skin shades.
The scent is not strong at all, but it does smell like a typical chemical sunscreen.
The packaging is functional, the silicone tube makes it easy to squeeze out the product. One thing I did immediately notice was this packaging was much smaller than other sunscreens I have bought & this is not an optical illusion because this sunscreen contains about 0.5 – 1 ounce less than most cosmetic sunscreens I have used.
I am torn on this sunscreen because there are aspects I really like about this sunscreen, I consider it rather high maintenance. It is hydrating & creamy, but it can be thick & does not absorb extremely well. Application technique plays a huge factor in regards to how this product interacts with your face.
If you pour the proper amount for daily protection [1/4 tsp] into your hand & do the full applcation all at once, it will leave your face feeling greasy & looking shiny all day. Whenever you touch your face, you will the unabsorbed layer of product just sitting on your face & it caused my makeup to cake up. However, if you apply the sunscreen in thin layers & allow to dry, this product will absorb into your skin & leave your face feeling moisturized.
I have some eye sensitivities as well & this product does not bother my eyes after immediate application, but I notice if I am working on my covered balcony or lying on my side that this product can go into my eyes & it burns like hades. This product is not meant to be waterproof or sweat resistant so I was not expecting it to last through vigorous activity, but I had higher expectations of the performance.
The Makeup Test
I test all my facial sunscreens to see how they layer under foundation. For my purposes, I purchase facial sunscreen for cosmetic reasons & if it doesn’t layer with makeup then I might as well be putting regular ol’ sunscreen on my face.
My method is to apply a swatch of sunscreen on my arm & allow it to dry for 10 minutes before applying foundation with my fingers. I am currently using Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation in shade 2.0. I have been using this foundation for over 9 months so it is not something new to me.
I do have some minor pilling issues with this sunscreen, I find pilling tends to happen if a sunscreen contains a lot of silicons or does not absorb in to the skin. This is not part of the experiment, but I do use a setting powder in my regular makeup routine & I find this solidifies the pill clumps enough that I can pick them off easily. The whitecast does not show through at all, which is a problem I have had with other sunscreens.
Again, how you apply this sunscreen will really effect how your makeup wears throughout the day. This sunscreen is slightly oily & at least doesn’t absorb on my skin extremely well so I sometimes feel like my makeup is sliding around my face all day due to this. I just always make sure to apply this sunscreen in thin layers & allow time to dry between each layer.
There are no acne triggers & 1 irritant according to CosDNA.
|Water (Aqua), Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Octocrylene, Methylene Bis- Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Cyclomethicone, Alcohol Denat., C20-22 Alkyl Phosphate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, C20-22 Alcohols, PTFE, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ectoin, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Fructooligosaccharides, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Decyl Glucoside, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben|
Octocrylene [UVB]: Chemical sunscreen that helps stabilize UVA sunscreen components
Methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol [UVA & UVB]: Not yet approved in the US, but has been approved in EY countries for decades. It considered a great sunscreen since it protects against the full UVA range.
Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane [UVA]: Most popular sunscreen agent in Western skincare, protects against full UVA spectrum
Bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine [UVA & UVB]: Not yet approved in the US, but has been approved in EY countries for decades. It considered a great sunscreen since it protects against the full UVA range.
This ingredient can potentially assist product absorption, but this is the one irritant in this product. It can cause skin dryness & damage the outter skin barrier in high enough doses.
A potent antioxidant that evens skin tone & soothes sensitive skin, has shown some evidence as an anticarcinogenic
Product Price: €13.99 EUR / 1.0oz
If you are in France, then French cosmetics will be cheaper. The same logic is true all European drugstores so German cosmetics are cheaper where I live. There is typically only a few Euros difference if you buy cosmetics not in their country of origin, but I found this product was around €20.00 EUR in non-Germanic countries.
This product is easily accessible at any Austrian drugstore by where I live, it is also wide available online to Western countries. This is a fairly cheap cosmetic if you purchase within Austria, or at least on-par with what I would pay for an Eastern brand sunscreen in Europe.
Rating: 3 / 5
The main positive I can say for this product it does have strong UVA & UVB protection, also does not leave a strong white cast. However, it pills horribly under makeup & the product itself does not apply easly on the skin. It is not a terrible product, but I would not repurchase because there are better sunscreens on the maket.