Monday, 4 February 2013

Bio-Oil (review)

Bio-Oil 200 ml
I’m confused. I’ve been looking in the mirror again, trying to figure out whether yet another treatment I’ve been using is making any difference. It has a nice smell, and a nice texture, and I don’t think my skin is any worse. But I don’t think it is any better. Can I really justify the hefty price tag for a pretty smell? Actually, probably not. It’s hard to find products that make a difference--a big difference, that is. I’ve come across one that does make a big difference, though, but you shouldn’t be surprised--it has won over 85 awards, after all. 

The thing with a product like Bio-Oil is that it has such a grand reputation. That it would live up to it I wasn't sure. However, it really, really did. I’ve been using it for about two months on and around an old surgery scar. The scar didn’t particularly bother me, but I was given the product as a present and thought I’d try it because at the very least I’d get some material for a review. I didn’t expect the review to be such a commendation. 

Just before tapping out this review, I inspected the scar. It looks better--not questionably better, but really better. Bio Oil has left the scar, and the skin around it, softer and paler. It is more supple, elastic. Redness has softened and tiny but noticeable thread veins around it have disappeared. The skin is plumper and even-toned.

Bio-Oil’s packaging states that it tackles scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, ageing and dehydrated skin, which is precisely what I was hoping for. The bottle is a plastic one with a screw-cap lid that’s ideal for my gym bag. It doesn’t leak, but can eventually get sticky if I forget to wipe it down (but that’s nothing unusual for an oil product). To me, it all looks a little cheap, though, and the logo and font are bizarre. It is available in 60-, 125-, and 200-ml sizes, priced £9.99, £14.99 and £19.99 respectively. 

The ingredients list points towards a mixed bag. It contains lavender, calendula and chamomile oils which have a good reputation in the skincare industry and are used frequently by natural brands. It also contains parrafinum liquidum which I doubt anyone would class as a natural ingredient, and some people dislike, but it wins my seal of approval as a proven, tested and reliable moisturiser and skin softener. There are also doses of vitamins A and E. Oddly, Bio-Oil seems to have a reputation as a natural product, though it is anything but. 

Two things stood out when I first tried this product. First was the fragrance, which is relatively strong but nice. Perhaps a little too feminine. It makes the product a joy to use, however, and makes a nice change from the fragrance-free products I use on my body which can sometimes have a chemical aroma about them. Despite having incredibly sensitive skin, the fragrance hasn’t caused irritation, and nor has the colour (which is probably a little unnecessary). The second was the consistency. It has the light, oily consistency of a more expensive product. It contains oils and paraffinum liquidum but in this product it doesn’t sit on the skin. 

I haven’t tried Bio-Oil near my face, where I’m prone to spots, but I wouldn’t imagine that it would irritate my skin or cause breakouts. In fact, Bio-Oil quote that research by Peking University First Hospital (2012) in Bejing, China revealled that 84% of participants experienced an improvement in the overall condition of their acne scars whilst also finding that Bio-Oil did not aggravate acne or increase sebum production. The full results of this, and many other, studies can be found on the Bio-Oil website. For me, a product with such robust research behind it is a winner--as long as we consider that individual experience may differ. 

In my opinion, Bio-Oil is a great product. If you've tried it for yourself, let us know what you think.

Backed by research
Ugly packaging
Lovely smell


Really works


Ingredients: Parrafinum Liquidum, Triisononanoin, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Isopropyl Myristate, Retinyl Palmitate, Helianthus Annus Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil, Rosamarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil, Calendula Officinalis Extract, Glycine Soja Oil, BHT, Bisabolol, Parfum,Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Amyl Cinnimal, Benzyl Salicylate, Citranellol, Coumarin, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Linalool, CI 26100

Brand: Bio-Oil


Size: 200 ml
Price: £19.99 (£9.99/100 ml)

Manufactured: South Africa

Alternative: Holland & Barrett Certified Aloe Vera Gel


  1. I have a female friend who is 59 and has been using bio-oil for years and she has really great skin on her face and neck!

  2. I think if it can tackle scars, it can probably tackle anything! I see they're advertising it on television as a skin saviour now, too.