Friday, May 31, 2013

Bio-Oil®: Hype or Miracle?

There's been a lot of hype about Bio Oil® for a while now. At the same time, some people are saying that it's just a hype. Critics of Bio Oil® often base their opinions on the limited research/clinical trials behind the product as well as the list of ingredients that seem too typical (for these types of products) to produce miraculous results that are claimed. However, countless anecdotal evidence by consumers that swear Bio Oil® is miracle oil can't be easily discredited. So what does this mean? Does Bio Oil® really work or is it just a hype?

Bio Oil® is based on PurCellin Oil™which is a laboratory created version of duck preen oil; ducks secrete oil from their preen gland that helps them keep their feathers waterproof and flexible. Bio Oil® claims that this manufactured duck preen oil, PurCellin Oil™, increases spreadability of various other ingredients and also allow better absorption. Bio Oil® also contains mineral oil, various vitamins, essential oils, fragrant oils and etc... For list of ingredients with explanation of benefits, I found this site very helpful. 

I started using Bio Oil® to treat scars several years ago. And for the past three years, I've been using it more extensively for various other purposes. Bio Oil® is supposed to treat scars, stretch marks. uneven skintone, aging skin,  and dehydrated skin. I can attest to its effectiveness for the latter three effects, but as for treating stretch marks I can't say much since I haven't experienced stretch marks. But I have heard from ladies having used Bio Oil® before and after giving birth, that it's decently effective in preventing and reducing the looks of stretch
marks. And for me, it did help lessen the look of scars: but the claim that it will help treat old as well as new scars is questionable. I found that it helps to diminish looks of scars that are somewhat new; it speeds up the process compared to not using it. However, it didn't do anything for old scars. And this is true for both body and face scars.

As for treatment of uneven skintone, aging and dehydrated skin; I found Bio Oil® to produce satisfying results.  It feels like olive oil with thinned out consistency, but it spreads on the skin easier and gets absorbed much better than olive oil. However, you still need to massage it into the skin for at least few minutes for the oil to get absorbed and disappear. Bio Oil® does have a strong scent: it smells perfume-ish (it smells like my grandmother's old perfumes that she's had for long long time) which I'm not too particularly fond of but it's not repulsive either. If I wear Bio Oil® to bed, I wake up with soft glowing skin. It helped a lot with diminishing acne scars; it's effective for new but not old acne scars. Mineral oil is safe for the skin but can potentially clog pores and cause comedones (blackheads), and mineral oil just happens to be one of the top ingredients in Bio Oil®. So do use it on newly formed acne scars/discolorations but not on areas where you currently have breakouts, and also avoid applying it for prolonged periods of time if you are prone to clogged pores.  I've heard people saying that Bio Oil® can help treat dark circles; I've tried it for that purpose and it didn't do much else than just moisturize the under eye area. It did seem to slightly lessen the look of fine lines but nothing too noticeable.

I find that Bio Oil® itself is far from being a miracle oil; it has many beneficial ingredients for the skin, but the application method probably counts for more than half of the positive results people achieve. Comparable results could most likely be attained by using similar moisturizing oil products and diligently following the application instruction of massing it into skin in circular motion until product is absorbed. Without following the proper application method, Bio Oil® doesn't provide much more than heavy moisture to the skin.

My recently used up Bio Oil® bottle.
I love this stuff!!
All this said, will I repurchase this product? I just finished my fifth bottle of Bio Oil®, and, yes, I will be buying a new one! I will probably use it mostly on my body to get more even toned, well moisturized skin especially during dry winter months. It really helps to lock in the moisture once it's applied and massaged in. I will still use it on my face as massage oil when I have severely dehydrated skin, and also to treat newly formed discolorations and scars. But, I wouldn't use it as daily moisturizer, it's bit too heavy for that: even for dry skin. There are couple of things to keep in mind before using this product: despite the fact that Bio Oil® says it's hypo-allergenic, it does contain various fragrant oils that can potentially cause allergic reaction to the skin, so make sure you do a patch test first if you have sensitive skin. And never apply this to open wound/skin! Bio Oil® is only for external use. One thing I don't like about Bio Oil® is its packaging; outside of the bottle gets kind of oily after use... 

So, is Bio Oil® a hype or miracle? It's neither in my opinion. It contains PurCellin Oil™ that helps lock in moisture to keep it on the skin longer than other similar products out there. Other than that, the effectiveness of Bio Oil® (as well as many skincare products out there) depends highly on conscientious use of the product along with use of proper application method.


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