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.

Who’s right? Let’s find out:

What’s In Bioderma Pigmentbio Foaming Cream?


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 and Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, two 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.


Pearlescent. Creamy. Slightly foamy. Infused with microbeads that feel a little gritty if you use too much.


Clean. A little soapy. Subtle.

How To Use It

You can use it 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.

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

Related: 5 Skincare Treatments That Damage Skin If Abused

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

Who Is This For?

If you like exfoliating cleansers, this is a good option to consider.

Who Is This NOT For?

  • Sensitive skin
  • It won’t do much for hyperpigmentation


A big white and grey tube. It’s practical and releases just the right amount of product you need.

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

£15.00 at Look Fantastic

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


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.