Does Bioderma Pigmentbio C-Concentrate have an identity crisis? It claims to be a “high security Vitamin C cure for intense pigmentation correction”, but to me, it’s more of an exfoliant with Vitamin C benefits. Am I just being picky? It’s true Vitamin C has skin-lightening properties – and so do exfoliants. But, do they have the intense pigmentation correction power Bioderma is talking about? Dark spots are stubbornly hard to fade away after all… Only one way to find. I’ve put it to the test to see how well it can fade away all types of hyperpigmentation:
Key Ingredients In Bioderma Pigmentbio C-Concentrate: What Makes It Work?
GLYCOLIC ACID TO EXFOLIATE SKIN
Glycolic acid is the smallest member of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) family. Size matters here. Because it’s so small, Glycolic Acid penetrates skin more easily. Translation: it works better and faster than other AHAs (like lactic and mandelic acids).
But what does Glycolic Acid do? It’s an exfoliant. It dissolves the glue that holds skin cells together, so they can slough off and reveal the smoother and brighter skin underneath.This trick makes skin softer to the touch, smooths out the look of wrinkles, AND reduces dark spots and hyperpigmentation. By removing the uppermost, darkest-toned layer of skin, you exposed the more even-toned ones underneath, so dark spots look less dark.
Bioderma Pigmentbio C-Concentrate contains around 8% Glycolic Acid. It’s not as powerful as the peels you can get at the derm’s office, but with regular use, it will fade away your discolourations. One more thing: Glycolic Acid hydrates skin, too. It works by attracting moisture from the air into your skin and binding it there. This makes it a wonderful choice for dry skin.
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SKIN-LIGHTENERS TO REDUCE DARK SPOTS AND HYPERPIGMENTATION
Bioderma Pigmentbio C-Concentrate is packed with actives that brighten skin and reduce dark spots:
- Ascorbyl Glucoside: A Vitamin C derivative that brightens skin and reduces dark discolourations. It’s not as effective as L-Ascorbic Acid at treating dark spots (and especially at this low concentration), but it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, too.
- Niacinamide: A form of Vitamin B3 that hydrates skin, fights wrinkles, soothes irritations, reduces sallowness, and yes fades away dark spots, too. It works even at small concentrations (between 2 and 5%).
- Azelaic Acid: Naturally produced by the good bacteria on your skin, it helps treat both acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation. But you need at least a 15% concentration for it to work.
- Licorice root extract: This natural extract contains glabridin, a substance that inhibits tyrosinase, the enzyme that’s necessary to produce melanin. Stop the excess production of melanin and dark spots slowly fade away.
The catch? All these skin-lighteners are present in tiny amount. With regular use, you’ll see a difference. But this serum can’t compete with a 15% Azelaic Acid serum or 2% Alpha Arbutin. If you have stubborn or old dark spots that won’t fade, those are still your best options.
The Rest Of The Formula & Ingredients
NOTE: The colours indicate the effectiveness of an ingredient. It is ILLEGAL to put toxic and harmful ingredients in skincare products.
- Green: It’s effective, proven to work, and helps the product do the best possible job for your skin.
- Yellow: There’s not much proof it works (at least, yet).
- Red: What is this doing here?!
- Aqua/Water/Eau: The base of the product, and the main solvent. It helps to dissolve other ingredients in the formula.
- Propanediol: It helps active ingredients penetrate your skin deeper, so they can work better and faster. Plus, it has moisturising properties.
- Glycerin: A humectant that draws moisture from the air into your skin, leaving it softer, suppler, and more dewy.
- Dipropylene Glycol: It enhances the texture of skincare products.
- Propylheptyl Caprylate: It’s primarily used as an emollient to make skin softer and suppler. It also helps to stabilise emulsions, so they don’t separate in their oily and watery parts.
- Sodium Hydroxide: It helps adjust the pH of skincare products.
- Salicylic Acid: An exfoliant that dissolves the glue that holds skin cells together, so they can slough off and brighten skin. Plus, it gets inside your pores, unclogging them from within.
- Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer: A film-former that also thickens formulas.
- Sorbitan Sesquioleate: An emulsifier that allows water-based and oil-based ingredients to blend together seamlessly, improving the texture of the formula.
- Pentylene Glycol: A humectant that draws moisture from the air to the skin to keep it hydrated. It also helps active ingredients to better penetrate skin.
- Tocopheryl Acetate: An antioxidant that fights free radicals before they can give you wrinkles.
- Xanthan Gum: A thickener that improves the texture of skincare products.
- Sodium Citrate: It helps to adjust the pH of skincare products.
- Lysine: An amino acid that hydrates skin and makes it softer and suppler.
- Mannitol: A type of sugar that hydrates skin and makes it softer and smoother.
- Xylitol: A natural sugar with moisturising properties. It hydrates skin and makes it softer to the touch.
- Sodium Metabisulfite: A preservative that makes your skincare products last longer by killing bacteria that get in it.
- Andrographis Paniculata Leaf Extract: A natural extract that moisturises and nourishes skin, helping it to stay soft and supple.
- Rhamnose: A natural sugar with humectant properties. It hydrates skin and makes it suppler.
- Saccharide Isomerate: A complex mixture of hydrating corn-derived sugars with hydrating properties. They draw moisture from the air into the skin to keep it hydrated.
- Tocopherol: Another form of Vitamin E. But, at this small concentration, this antioxidant is better at helping other ingredients last longer than fighting wrinkles.
- Fructooligosaccharides: They have humectants and antioxidant properties that hydrate skin and prevent wrinkles.
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: It’s an emollient that makes skin softer and smoother.
- Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract: A type of algae with moisture binding properties. It hydrates skin and keeps it softer.
- Fragrance: The most irritating ingredient in skincare, it makes the product smell good but can cause irritations.
The serum has a lightweight, gel-like texture that sinks in quickly into your skin without leaving a greasy residue behind.
I don’t like fragranced products. Fragrance is the most irritating ingredient in skincare. Sure, if your skin is resilient, you can use scented products without any problems. But if you have sensitive skin or allergies, fragrance can give you a rash… or worse. I rarely use fragranced products for this reason – even though I have every resilient skin. If you don’t have sensitive skin and you like your products to smell good, you may enjoy the scent. It’s clean and subtle, so it doesn’t stay around long. I’d say it’s there more to cover up the unpleasant scent of some of the ingredients than to make the serum smell amazing.
How To Use It
This serum has exfoliating properties, so use it as you would any other exfoliant: every other night, after cleansing (exfoliating too often irritates skin). Here’s how:
- The first time you use it, press firmly with both thumbs on the pack’s cap to release the Vitamin C powder into the bottle.
- Screw on the dropper applicator and give the powder a good shake for 10 seconds.
- Apply 5 drops every evening to face and neck.
I honestly don’t get why the Vitamin C powder comes separate. It’s true L-Ascorbic Acid is highly unstable and goes bad quickly. Adding it in right before you start using the product ensures freshness and keeps it effective for longer. But this serum doesn’t contain L-Ascorbic Acid. It has Ascorbyl Glucoside, a derivative that’s much more stable. You don’t have to add it last minute for it to work its best. This is just extra work for the consumer. Me no likey.
The serum comes in a white bottle with grey accents that evokes the feel of luminosity. The dropper applicator is practical, too. The only thing I don’t like is the size. The bottle is small. You only get 15ml.
Performance & Personal Opinion
As I mentioned above, Bioderma Pigmentbio C-Concentrate is more of an exfoliant than a Vitamin C serum. Why? Just look at the ingredient list. This baby contains 8% Glycolic Acid and only 2% Vitamin C. Guess what’s really gonna fade away your dark spots?
Glycolic Acid is also the reason why you need to use this at night. I like to layer Vitamin C under sunscreen to boost sun protection, but exfoliating during the day is a no-no. It can make skin more prone to sun damage.
Does it work? I can’t vouch for its ability to fade away dark spots because I have none (lucky, I know). But I can tell you this: I’d totally use this to fade away dark spots left behind by pimples. It’ll take a while to get rid of them completely, but it gets the job done.
If you’re dealing with melasma or other forms of stubborn hyperpigmentation, this alone isn’t enough. Exfoliation must be a part of your routine (and this serum is a good way to get your fix). But, you also need something stonger like 20% Azelaic Acid, 2% Alpha Arbutin or prescription Hydroquinone.
Either way, this serum is slightly hydrating. Plus, it makes skin softer, smoother, and a little radiant. When you remove old dead cells, light can reflect better off your skin, giving it a dewy glow.
What I Like About Bioderma Pigmentbio C-Concentrate
- Hydrating, makes skin softer and plumper.
- Exfoliates skin, which has a smoothing and brightening effect.
- Lightweight, fast-absorbing texture.
- Can fade away new dark spots, especially those caused by pimples.
- Practical packaging.
What I DON’T Like About Bioderma Pigmentbio C-Concentrate
- Has a light fragrance, which can irritate sensitive skin.
- Doesn’t have what it takes to reduce stubborn dark spots. It may lighten them a bit, but it’s not the intense cure Bioderma makes it out to be.
Who Should Use This?
- Dry, sun-damaged skin (glycolic acid is a great exfoliant for this skin type)
- New dark spots (especially those left behind by pimples)
Does Bioderma Pigmentbio C-Concentrate Live Up To Its Claims?
|Reduces the intensity and size of existing dark spots.
|With regular use, it helps reduce them.
|Prevents the appearance of new pigmentation spots.
|It helps a little, but only if you wear sunscreen religiously (that’s the #1 cause of dark spots).
|Smoothes and refines skin texture for a better light reflexion.
|Evens out and brightens complexion (skin radiance is restored).
|Hydrates for 8 hours.
|It’s a little hydrating, but I’m not sure its powers last for 8 hours.
|Light and enveloping gel-cream texture – Fast absorption.
Price & Availability
The Verdict: Should You Buy It?
If you’re looking for an exfoliant to brighten and smoothen skin, this is a good option to consider. Just be aware, there’s only so little it can do to treat dark spots. Exfoliation does help to lighten them up, but it needs to be used together with other lightening treatments for better and faster results.
Dupes & Alternatives
- It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Glycolic Acid Serum ($35.00): A glycolic acid exfoliant with Ascorbyl Glucoside (Vitamin C). It’s more hydrating than Bioderma, but won’t do much for pores (neither will Bioderma). Available at Cult Beauty, IT Cosmetics, Sephora, SpaceNK, and Ulta.
- Murad Vitamin C Glycolic Brightening Serum ($88.00): This is more expensive, but it has two forms of Vitamin C, including the pure form (Ascorbic Acid). So it does a better job at brightening skin. Available at Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic, Murad, Sephora, and Ulta.
- Pacifica Glow Baby Vitamin C Booster Serum ($18.00): This glycolic acid exfoliant uses Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a form of Vitamin C that’s better suited for oily and acne-prone skin. Available at Pacifica and Ulta.
Aqua, Propanediol, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Sodium Hydroxide, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Niacinamide, Salicylic Acid, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Citrate, Lysine, Azelaic Acid, Mannitol, Xylitol, Sodium Metabisulfite, Andrographis Paniculata Leaf Extract, Rhamnose, Saccharide Isomerate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Tocopherol, Fructooligosaccharides, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Fragrance