Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Take on Bio-Oil

Many of my patients ask me about Bio-Oil.  It is a skin product that has been very effectively marketed to the point where some people describe it as practically magic.  It is even sold at Costco.

I would like to look together at the ingredients and tell you my thoughts.  You can see that there are multiple fragrances, many of which are known contact dermatitis allergens, which I would recommend avoiding if you have sensitive, eczema-prone, or allergic skin problems.  So, I would not recommend Bio-Oil for my patients with sensitive skin problems.  The botanical oils are calming, anti-inflammatory so for other people they not only moisturize but can be soothing to the skin.  Other than these calming and moisturizing oils which are found in many good skin products, the Bio-Oil product is not that unique or special in my opinion.  If I bought Bio-Oil I would use it for dry skin or dry hair, and avoid acne-prone areas.

In addition, the claims that are made about Bio-Oil being helpful for scars, stretch marks are unsubstantiated by controlled scientific studies.  However, botanical oils and other moisturizers will temporarily diminish the appearance of skin texture irregularities including scars and stretch marks. In addition, studies have shown that massaging scars and striae with an emollient can result in modest improvement, though it is unclear if it is the product alone or the massage/rubbing that is most effective or both.

Here are the published ingredients which I found on the company's website:

Botanicals

Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract (Calendula Oil)
Lavandula Angustifolia Oil (Lavender Oil)
Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil (Rosemary Oil)
Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil (Chamomile Oil)

Vitamins

Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)
Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)

Oil base

Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum)
Triisononanoin
Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate
Isopropyl Myristate
Glycine Soja Oil
Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil
BHT
Bisabolol

Fragrance (Rose)

Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone
Amyl Cinnamal
Benzyl Salicylate
Citronellol
Coumarin
Eugenol
Farnesol
Geraniol
Hydroxycitronellal
Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde
Limonene
Linalool

Color (Orange)

D&C Red No.17 (CI26100)

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