bioderma pigmentbio foaming cream review

Can an exfoliating cleanser reduce hyperpigmentation and fade away dark spots? Bioderma Pigmentbio Foaming Cream swears to do just that. I’m sceptical and am calling its bluff. I know that’s harsh but, cleansers stay on the skin only for a couple of minutes before you rinse them off down the drain. How much can they do in such a short space of time? Not as much as you think. FYI, I’m not saying this is a bad cleanser. I’m just curious to see how it does the job – and so I put it to the test. Let’s find out what it can really do, shall we?

Key Ingredients In Bioderma Pigmentbio Foaming Cream: What Makes It Work?


Citric acid is a member of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) family. Yep, the same family as glycolic acid. Citric isn’t as famous because it’s not as powerful. It does the same job: dissolve the glue that holds skin cells together so they can slough off your face instead than getting into your pores and give you acne.

But it’s weak. It peels skin only when you use A TON of it. That’s when you leave it on the skin for hours. If you rinse off down the drain, it won’t have much time to exfoliate anything. Bummer!

Related: BHA VS AHAs: Which One Should YOU Use?


Rememeber when Polyethylene (PE) beads were banned because they harm the environment? Cellulose Acetate is their replacement. It’s a bioplastic that looks like a white exfoliating powder. It has the same abrasiveness as Polyethylene, but it’s biodegradable. That’s good for the planet. But is it good for your skin?

Like all physical exfoliants, Cellulose Acetate manually removes the dead cells on the surface of your skin to reveal the brighter and smoother skin underneath. Unlike Citric Acid, this type of exfoliation works in a cleanser too. It’s immediate. But I’m not a fan of it. While Cellulose Acetate is fairly gentle, it can still feel gritty and irritating if you use too much product.

Plus, physical exfoliants don’t fade away hyperpigmentation as well as leave-on exfoliants like Glycolic Acid. I’d rather use that and stick to a basic, non-exfoliating cleanser.

Related: Physical VS Chemical Exfoliation: What’s The Difference?

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Bioderma Pigmentbio Foaming Cream is first and foremost a cleanser. A gentle one. It uses Magnesium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate and Coco-Glucoside, three gentle surfactants that help water mix with oil and dirt, so they can be rinsed away.

Unlike Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (the bad apple the gave all surfactants a bad name), these two are very gentle and don’t dry out skin. The trade-off? The gentler a surfactant is, the less crap it removes. These two easily remove dirt and impurities, but struggle with makeup.

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/Eu: The main solvent, it helps to dissolve other ingredients too.
  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil: Derived from shea butter, it deeply moisturises skin during the cleansing process.
  • Sodium Hydroxide: It helps to adjust the pH of skincare products.
  • Methylpropanediol: It enhances the penetration of active ingredients into your skin.
  • Acrylates/C 10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer: It enhances the texture of skincare products, so that it’s a pleasure to use.
  • Glyceryl Oleate: It thickens the texture of skincare products.
  • Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate: A mild cleansing agent derived from coconut oil. It helps water mix with oil and dirt so they can be rinsed away.
  • Xanthan Gum: It thickens the texture of skincare products.
  • Sodium Citrate: It helps to adjust the pH of skincare products.
  • Benzoic Acid: It’s a pH adjuster and preservative that helps your skincare products last longer.
  • Propanediol: It attracts and binds water to the skin, helping it to stay hydrated for longer.
  • Acrylates/Vinyl Isodecanoate Crosspolymer: It helps to stabilise formulations and create a pleasant formula.
  • Mannitol: A type of sugar that attracts and binds water from the air into your skin, to keep it hydrated for longer.
  • Xylitol: Another sugar with humectant properties, i.e. the ability to attract and bind water from the air into your skin and keep it moisturised for longer.
  • Rhamnose: Another type of sugar that increases hydration levels in the skin (it does this by attracting water from the air into your skin). It makes it softer and plumper.
  • Tocopherol: A form of Vitamin E with antioxidant properties. It also helps the formula last longer.
  • Helianthus Annuss (Sunflower) Seed Oil: Derived from sunflowers, this oil deeply moisturises skin during the cleansing process.
  • Lysine: An amino acid that hydrates skin and makes it softer and suppler.
  • Azelaic Acid: A skin-lightener that fades away dark spots. But there’s not enough in here to do the job. And that’s the only reason why it gets a red rating. It’s a wonderful ingredient I recommend to clients who want to fade away dark spots, but Bioderma added it just so it can say the cleanser can do that job when it can’t.
  • Andrographis Paniculata Leaf Extract: It strengthens the skin’s protective barrier. It also has anti-microbial activity.
  • Fructooligosaccharides: A humectant that draws and binds water from the air into your skin, keeping it hydrated and suppler-looking for longer.
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: An emollient that makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate: A moisturiser that makes skin softer and smoother.
  • Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract: A type of algae with hydrating properties for skin.
  • Fragrance: It makes the product smell good, but it can irritate sensitive skin.


This cleanser is pearlescent. Creamy. Slightly foamy. Infused with microbeads that feel a little gritty if you use too much.


I’m not a fan of fragrance in skincare because it can irritate sensitive skin. But if it must be in a skincare product, it better be subtle. This is subtle. It also smells clean and a little soapy. Sort of like you’d expect a cleanser to smell like.

How To Use It

You can use this cleanser in two ways:

  • Cleanser: Morning and/or evening, it’s the first step of your skincare routine.
  • Mask: Twice a week, apply a thick layer for 5 minutes, moisten, lather and rinse thoroughly. I’m not a fan of this use. 5 minutes is still not enough for Azelaic Acid to reduce dark spots AND the exfoliating particles may irritate skin, especially if it’s sensitive.

However you use it, be careful. You should NOT exfoliate every day.

Related: 5 Skincare Treatments That Damage Skin If Abused


This cleanser comes in big white and grey tube. It’s practical and releases just the right amount of product you need. Plus, it lasts for a long time.

Performance & Personal Opinion

I admit I’m a little biased: I DON’T like exfoliating cleansers. Exfoliation can help you fade away dark spots, but ONLY when exfoliating acids stay on the skin for a while. In a cleanser, they don’t work as well. Period.

I also don’t have dark spots (seriously, why am I even writing this review?!). But I can tell you, if I had, I wouldn’t waste my money on an exfoliating cleanser. I’d go straight to Azelaic Acid or a powerful skin-lightener like that.

But if you’re into exfoliating cleansers, here’s what you can expect from Bioderma Pigmentbio Foaming Cream. The cleanser has a creamy texture that foams slightly when you mix it with water. You only need a very small amount. If you go overboard, those microbeads will feel a little gritty and scratchy on the skin. That’s NOT what you want.

I use it only a couple of times a week. I don’t care what brands say, you should NOT exfoliate every day. Dead cells are there for a reason: to protect the younger skin underneath that’s not ready to come to the surface yet. You want to remove the excess that’s robbing your skin of its glow and softness, not all the layers. That just leads straight to irritation.

I usually use it on the nights I don’t have makeup on. The cleanser does a good job at removing dirt, impurities, and dead cells, but it struggles with makeup. I wouldn’t call it hydrating, but it’s not drying either. After a good, gentle cleanse, my skin is both clean, soft, and brighter.

One more thing: Bioderma says you can use it as a leave-on mask. Again, not a fan. Leaving it on for 5 minutes will give Citric Acid more time to work its exfoliating magic, but it still doesn’t work as well as a leave-on glycolic acid exfoliant. I also don’t like the idea of leaving microbeads on my skin for 5 minutes. There’s no scientific explanation for this. It’s just a pet peeve of mine.

bioderma pigmentbio foaming cream

How Does Bioderma Pigmentbio Foaming Cream Compare To Other Bioderma Cleansers?

Bioderma Pigmentbio Foaming Cream is a bit gimmicky, but does the job. But is it the best option for you? Bioderma has other cleansers that may be a better fit – and are less gimmicky. Let’s see which one is right for you, shall we?

  • Bioderma Sebium Gel Moussant (£18.00): A gentle foaming cleanser for oily and acne-prone skin. It removes makeup, impurities, and excess oil without drying out skin. Available at Adore Beauty and Look Fantastic.
  • Bioderma Sebium Gel Moussant Actif (£13.00): This exfoliating cleanser for oily skin uses acids, like salicylic and glycolic, to dissolve dead cells before they fall into your pores and clog them up. But these acids work better when they stay on the skin for hours than in a cleanser that’s rinsed off down the drain. Available at Boots, Look Fantastic, and Sephora.
  • Bioderma Sensibio DS+ Gel nettoyant (£16.00): A gentle foaming cleanser for oily and acne-prone skin. But it can’t soothe irritated skin or reduce redness. Available at Look Fantastic and Sephora.
  • Bioderma Sensibio Gel Moussant (£20.00): I’m not a fan of foaming cleansers for dry and sensitive skin, but this is so gentle it removes impurities without drying out skin. But it’s not strong enough to remove stubborn makeup. Available at Sephora.
  • Bioderma Micellar Cleansing Oil (£19.50): An oil cleanser that cleanses and moisturises skin at the same time. It removes even the most stubborn of makeup without drying out skin. Available at Boots and Look Fantastic.

What I Like About Bioderma Pigmentbio Foaming Cream

  • Cleanses and exfoliates skin at the same time
  • Removes makeup and impurities from skin
  • Doesn’t dry out skin
  • Removes dead cells, leaving your skin looking brighter
  • Easy-to-use tube

What I DON’T Like About Bioderma Pigmentbio Foaming Cream

  • Creamy texture can feel gritty
  • Fragrance may irritate sensitive skin
  • Can’t lighten dark spots
  • Not hydrating
  • Physical exfoliation can irritate skin, if you’re not gentle enough

Who Should Use This?

If you like exfoliating cleansers, this is a good option to consider, especially if you have dry skin. Just don’t expect it to lighten your dark spots.

Does Bioderma Pigmentbio Foaming Cream Live Up To Its Claims?

Exfoliating cleanser for brighened skin right from the shower. True.
Helps reduce existing dark spots. It doesn’t stay on the skin long enough to do this.
Prevents the appearance of new pigmentation spots. Sunscreens do this, not cleansers.
Gently cleanses and eliminates imperfections to unify and brighten complexion. I’m not sure what they mean with eliminating imperfections. This gentle cleanser can remove dirt and impurities, but not dark spots.
Hydrates and leaves the skin soft. True.
Creamy foam texture. True.

Price & Availability

£16.00 at Look Fantastic and Sephora

Do You Need It?

No one needs an exfoliating cleanser. A basic cleanser and a separate exfoliant always give you better results. But if you’re a fan of exfoliating cleansers, this is a gentle option to consider.

Dupes & Alternatives

I don’t recommend exfoliating cleansers. You’ll get better results if you use exfoliating acids and let them stay on your skin for hours.


Aqua/Water/Eu, Citric Acid, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Oil, Magnesium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Hydroxide, Cellulose Acetate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Methylpropanediol, Acrylates/C 10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Xanthann Gum, Sodium Citrate, Benzoic Acid, Propanediol, Acrylates/Vinyl Isodecanoate Crosspolymer, Mannitol, Xylitol, Rhamnose, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuss (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Lysine, Azelaic Acid, Andrographis Paniculata Leaf Extract, Fructooligosaccharides, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Fragrance.