28 Mar 2017

Beauty from the Deep: An Overview of 10 Biotherm Products

Biotherm used to be one of the higher-end cosmetic brands that I thought I will only start venturing into in my 30s. I guess I won't be interested in the brand if not for the Life Plankton Essence, which is their closest resemblance to SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. I am obsessed with anything treatment essence so I knew I had to give it a try somehow. And that's how I start picking up a lot of Biotherm products.

Biotherm is a French high-end cosmetic company owned by the L'Oreal Group. It was founded in 1952 by Jeanine Marissal and acquired by L'Oreal in 1970. Unlike a lot of French cosmetics which focus on organic and plant-based ingredients, Biotherm is inspired by the miracle power of mineral water. Women in the Middle Ages tend to bath themselves in spring water as they found that it will make their skin softer, younger-looking and smoother. Gallo-Roman warriors are also believed to bath themselves in the spring water of French Pyrenees after battles to promote wound-healing. The mythical power of spring water is taken to a new level when scientist Dr. Jos Jullien discovered a substance called life plankton on the surface of the baths. He subsequently met young cosmetician Jeanine Marissal and together they found the enormous potential of life plankton as a skincare ingredient, of which Biotherm is born.

In Malaysia, Biotherm is a high-end brand only located in selected SASA outlets and departmental stores. They rarely do promotional activities or discounts, so you normally won't find a lot of customers clouding around Biotherm. But if you do pick up one or two of their products, you'll be deeply attracted by its fragrance (overpowering fragrance, so you either love it or just get turned off immediately) and beautiful packaging. But skincare is not meant for decoration, so in this review, I will look into the efficacy of each Biotherm product I use in the past few months and comment on their performance as a skincare ingredient.

Biotherm Biosource Fresh Foam Hydra-Toning Cleanser

This is a foam cleanser that can be lathered into soft and silky mousse. It's pretty hydrating, non-stripping with a healthy pH level of 5.0-5.5. Actually I only use a small sample of this so I cannot really comment on its efficacy, basically it is a nice foaming cleanser that is kinda refreshing like the toning lotion. I enjoy using this but am not sure will I purchase the full size bottle given its price.

Biotherm Aquasource Toning Lotion

This is a hydrating and skin balancing toner designed for normal, oily and combination skin. I love this toner! The one that I used is the 30ml miniature size but I use it everyday that I finished it within a week! It is a clear, watery, non-viscous liquid that feels almost like spring water. It gets absorbed into the skin quickly without leaving any residues, only making it plumper and softer. My skin drinks it like a thirsty person craving for water! I adore this toner and will definitely purchase the full size!

Biotherm Life Plankton Essence

This is a treatment essence, but just like Kiehl's Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence, this is something you use after a toner and before a serum therefore does not qualify as a first essence. In fact, if I use this without a toner, it will leave an unpleasant tackiness on my skin that I do not enjoy. This comes out after essence makes a big hit in the beauty industry. A lot of Western brands like Estee Lauder, Kiehl's and Biotherm are coming up with their own essences. Biotherm Life Plankton Essence is formulated with high concentration of life plankton (5%), the highest among its other products. It claims that you can see improvements in your skin texture within 8 days! Your skin will be plumper, softer, smoother, and younger-looking with the active ingredients inside. I have used this product but haven't used it enough to give you guys an informed opinion. Basically, it is an essence with high concentration of active ingredients to make your skin plumper, softer and brighter. However, it feels a bit hot and tacky on the skin so I need to use it further to comment on its claimed benefits.

Biotherm Aquasource Deep Serum

This is a moisturizing serum that condenses everything nutritious from the spring water into a small, beautiful bottle. It is infused with 35 nutrients and life plankton extract to regenerate, impart radiance and nourish the skin. I used to be really interested in the serum and wanted to buy it when I was looking for a good moisturizing serum. I was a bit hesitated between this and the Laneige Water Bank Essence. Both are around the same price range, has beautiful packaging and good reputation. I ended up purchasing Laneige because I felt that the Biotherm Deep Serum is not very moisturizing if compared to Laneige having tried out a sample size of each. In fact, the Biotherm Aquasource Deep Serum can be a little drying since it contains alcohol and a bunch of fragrances...and sunscreen ingredients. In short, a slightly tacky, not-very-moisturizing, strongly fragranced serum that I will not repurchase in the future. 

Biotherm Aquasource Milky Lotion

This is a moisturizing and anti-aging emulsion that feels like a gel cream. It blends out smoothly on the skin leaving a fresh, velvety and non-sticky finish. The one I have is for normal and combination skin. I thought I would like this because it is kinda refreshing, non-sticky and moisturizing. But no... after using it for several times, I realize that it is still quite greasy, especially when my skin isn't feeling well or during the hot seasons. My skin doesn't feel calmed, hydrated or moisturized. The comfort when you just apply this lotion only stays for less than an hour and the skin is left unprotected and greasy again. Again, not something I would repurchase in the future.

Biotherm Aquasource Gel

This is a moisturizing and skin balancing gel cream that is suitable for oily and combination skin. Its unique "Aquasource" formula with life plankton and mannose are claimed to have moisture-retention ability of up to 7 hours. A jar like this is said to equate to 6,000 litres of spa water. Sounds cool, right? I've got high hope on this moisturizer but it turns out to be a sole disappointment. It is very greasy, not hydrating enough and its strong scent gives me a lot of headaches. In addition, its ingredients are also far from being impressive with a lot of fragrances, pigments and preservatives. I've ranted about its ingredient in this comparison review before, so I am not gonna elaborate further. Basically, for a high-end cream like this, its ingredients and performance are far below my expectation and standard. Will not repurchase.

Biotherm Life Plankton Mask

Biotherm came out with a Life Plankton Mask after its Life Plankton Essence made quite a hit in the beauty industry. This mask claims to revitalize, moisturize, soothe, and repair your skin. It has a jello-consistency that feels really soft and smooth on the skin. It gets absorbed easily like gel cream but you will feel a thin layer of moisture wrap formed around your skin to treat and nourish it. Having used it for about 2 weeks, I must say that this is a delightful moisturizing mask. I enjoy using it as a cooling, calming and hydrating all-in-one remedy in the late afternoon when it is too early to start my night routine. Sometimes your skin can get irritated and dry from the afternoon sun so this will be a good cooling treatment for those conditions. It is not as greasy as the Aquasource Gel so I find it easier to absorb by the skin. However, it is still not something I would repurchase given its price. At RM 215, I have other better choices at much delightful consistency without the strong fragrance.
Biotherm Aquasource Night SPA

This was an impulse buy. I purchased this Aquasource Night SPA from Biotherm without thinking twice after testing it out at the counter. Well, it is an understandable decision. The packaging looks absolutely adorable, the consistency is velvety soft (it is blue!) and the product smells awesome. But sometimes, appearance can be deceiving. The tragedy occurs when I try to use this on my face. It is kinda oily, has overwhelming scent and is not-really-moisturizing when I actually put it on my face. So I have to leave it for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it off because I dislike having it on my face thorough the night. This mask claims to be a night balm with triple SPA effect to replenish, recover and resource your skin overnight. It is the first sleeping mask that is launched by Biotherm (the Life Plankton Mask came in later). And it is infused with a fancy-sounding fermented ingredient marine organism extract crafted from Polynesian mud. But... until you start putting it on your face, then you'll know how it feels like to go from "wooahhh" to "meh". 

Biotherm UV Supreme SPF50 PA+++

And finally... the sunscreen. This sunscreen is actually really lightweight like my beloved Biore Watery Essence. However, it has really weird fruity scent that I dislike. And just like all other Biotherm gel-type products, this sunscreen makes my skin kinda greasy after long hours of applying. I am not sure why, but it seems that my skin doesn't appreciate the texture of Biotherm products.


I was brought into this brand after I saw Pony using it. You know, Pony used to be one of the beauty icon in my kbeauty journey. I watched a lot of her makeup tutorials and was really curious about how she manages to maintain her almost flawless complexion given how much makeup she puts on her face everyday. So, when I came across her makeup removing tutorial featuring Biotherm Life Plankton Essence and Clarisonic, I knew I had to at least give these products a try. I guess that's why a lot of cosmetic companies are giving out press samples to celebrities because they know ordinary consumers like us cannot resist the temptation to try them out!

Anyhow, like what I have shared, I actually have negative comments on most of Biotherm products. Their consistency, despite its lightweightness, has made my skin very greasy and uncomfortable for some reasons. And the ingredients list is also far from being impressive. It contains a bunch of preservatives, alcohol, fragrance, and pigments. I normally don't mind having alcohol in my skincare but I realize that the alcohol here actually makes the products kinda drying on the skin. And the scent often gives me headache. In short, I must say that, except for the Life Plankton Essence which I want to try out further before giving any comment, most Biotherm products do not get along with my skin. Of course, YMMV hence these might be your holy grail skincare items and I apologize in advance if my comments offence you. Like I said, it is very important to try these products on yourself before buying. Who knows maybe you will fall in love for them?

That's all for Biotherm. I will see you guys in my next post! Good luck finding your skincare besties!

You can get this from: Biotherm Malaysia | Hermo | selected SASA outlets
[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Products are purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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