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Bioderma Brand Review: Are They Clean & Conscious?

Better Goods

Mar 23, 2022

Bioderma is a French brand specializing in skincare founded in 1977. Their ironic micellar cleansing water is their most popular product, and the brand can be found in drugstores across the globe.

With a name like Bioderma, you might be inclined to believe that they incorporate eco-conscious practices into the production of their products.

But is this actually the case?

We took a deep dive into the brand to find out if they're actually clean or conscious.

Our Methodology

At Better Goods, we rank brands on our three pillars: ingredients, sustainability, and animal welfare.

Brands are rated on the three pillars as follows.

Best  – This ranking is for the best of the best. Only exemplary brands will receive a ranking of best for any category.

Good – This ranking is for brands that are typically quite good, but don’t go above and beyond like our best choices.

Iffy – This ranking is for when we find something we find iffy. Not a good sign.

Bad – This ranking is reserved for the worst of the worst.

Ingredients (Rating: Avoid)

We looked at the most popular Bioderma products and analyzed their ingredients. We found some ingredients of concern. The below is not an exhaustive list, but it gives an idea of what to expect.

Fragrance - This common ingredient is a big issue, and at Better Goods we never recommend products with undisclosed chemical fragrance. Fragrance can contain a large number of potentially harmful ingredients, none of which need to be disclosed due to "trade secret" protection laws for manufacturers. Fragrance can be found in many products from Bioderma.

Chemical sunscreen - Bioderma sunscreens use chemical UV absorbers like octocrylene and avobenzone as active ingredients. These ingredients are not only toxic to our marine life but have been found to actively absorb and accumulate in the bloodstream, leading to currently unknown health impacts.

Dimethicone (silicone) - This ingredient is commonly found in moisturizers. It makes the product glide on smoothly and feel as though it's moisturizing, but it can block pores and lead to breakouts. Dimethicone is derived from petroleum, making it decidedly a non-eco-friendly ingredient.

Cyclopentasiloxane - This controversial ingredient has come under fire for its potential health and ecological risks. In 2018, the European Union introduced restrictions on cyclopentasiloxane in products that are washed off. The EU's study found that concentrations above 0.1% have a risk of accumulating in the water supply.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate - This ingredient is a synthetic surfactant, according to the American Cancer Society. Sodium Laureth Sulfate has been associated with eye and skin irritations, neurotoxicity in animals, and ecotoxicological effects on aquatic organisms.

Cyclopentasiloxane - May be associated with environmental toxicity.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O MIcellar Water

Because Bioderma's micellar water is their flagship product, we closely looked at its ingredients. It turns out that the ingredient list looks just okay.

Unlike some BIoderma products, there is no fragrance to be found. It includes a few ingredients we would consider Iffy, like cetrimonium bromide, PEG-6 caprylic glycerides, and propylene glycol.

We would recommend a better makeup cleanser with cleaner ingredients for these reasons. Check out our full in-depth overview and ranking of 19+ natural makeup removers to find a better alternative.

Sustainability (Rating: Avoid)

Bioderma is a brand that doesn't seem to be transparent about their initiatives to become more eco-friendly or sustainable.

All Bioderma products are sold in plastic containers. Because we could find no information on the material makeup of the packaging, it's safe to assume that it's made from virgin PET plastic.

Not Quite Reef-Safe

From Bioderma.ie, their Irish website:

They claim that their "Photoderm" line of sun protection products is formulated to be eco-friendly and safe for our environment. However, it appears that these products are only available in Europe. The other sun protection products they carry all have chemical sunscreen, damaging our coral reefs.

Animal Welfare (Rating: Avoid)

Cruelty-Free

Bioderma is not a cruelty-free brand because its products are available for sale in China, where animal testing is required by law for foreign cosmetics. These animal tests are required to be funded by the brand itself.

For this reason, we give them a ranking of Avoid for their cruelty-free status.

Vegan

Bioderma incorporates several non-vegan ingredients in its formulations. For this reason, we give them a ranking of Avoid here as well.

Brand Ratings

Our rating scale ranges from "Best" (for having the best practices) to "Bad" (for having unacceptable practices). We rated Bioderma as follows.

INGREDIENTSAvoid - Bioderma uses several ingredients we recommend avoiding. Some individual products may contain acceptable ingredients.
SUSTAINABILITYAvoid - Sustainability and environment is not a priority for this brand. Most products are packed in plastic, and few meaningful initiatives are in place.
ANIMAL WELFAREAvoid - The brand sells products where animal testing is required by law, and is not a vegan brand.

Overall Rating: Avoid

Bioderma is a brand that many people think of as environmentally friendly and sustainable. However, our research found that this is not the case. Their ingredients are not all eco-friendly, and they are not transparent about their sustainability initiatives. Additionally, they are not a cruelty-free brand because their products are available for sale in China, where animal testing is required by law.

For this reason, we give them a ranking of Avoid.

Better Alternatives to Bioderma

Check out our full in-depth overview of natural makeup removers if you're looking for a cleaner alternative to Bioderma's micellar water. We looked at the individual ingredients of 19+ different makeup remover products and ranked them based on the formulation's safety.

 
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