Bioderma Sebium Global Intensive Purifying Care review

“Ouch! This baby stings like hell! But hey, if it can get rid of blackheads, I’ll take it,” I thought as I tried Bioderma Sebium Global Intensive Purifying Care for the first time.

It’s the first treatment that acts both on the causes and consequences of acne. Because zapping pimples once they’ve popped up is all well and good. But keeping them from popping up in the first place is even better.

Here are all the way this treatment helps you get rid of your acne – even before it appears:

What’s In Bioderma Sebium Global Intensive Purifying Care?


Salicylic acid is an exfoliant on steroids. It helps treat acne in three ways:

  1. Surface exfoliation: Salicylic acid dissolves the glue that holds skin cells together so they can slough off. Once they’re off your skin, they won’t accidentally fall into your pores and clog them up.
  2. Pore exfoliation: Salicylic acid is oil-soluble, so it easily penetrates the skin’s lipid barrier and gets inside the pores, removing all the gunk that’s clogging them up and giving you blackheads and pimples.
  3. Soothing: Salicylic Acid has anti-inflammatory properties that reduces the redness that always comes along with pimples.

If you’re dealing with blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples, this is the exfoliant to use.

Related: Why Salicylic Acid Is Key To Spot-Free Skin


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 of getting into your pores and giving you acne. But it’s weak. It peels skin only when you use A TON of it.

Citric Acid is the third ingredient in Bioderma Sebium Global Intensive Purifying Care, so it can do the job.

P.S. This stuff stings! If you have sensitive skin, I don’t recommend it.

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


Zinc gluconate is the zinc salt of gluconic acid, an acid made from glucose. Studies show it helps treat acne. It works by reducing inflammation in the skin.

Acne is an inflammatory diseases. The redness that comes along with it a symptom of this inflammation. By adding zinc gluconate to your skincare routine, you may be able to soothe this red beast and help your skin heal faster.

I say “may” because this research only looked into oral supplements. We don’t know yet if Zinc Gluconate does the same thing when applied to the skin, too.

Related: The Truth About Zinc: Does It Really Help Treat Acne?


You’ve probably heard about bakuchiol. Rumour has it, it’s a natural alternative to retinol.

I wouldn’t go that far. Bakuchiol doesn’t belong to the same family. But it does a lot of the same things. Like retinol, it fights free radicals, brightens skin and improves its texture.

Bakuchiol isn’t just for antiaging. It’s good for acne, too – and not just because it kills P. Acnes, the bacteria that’s giving you acne and making your life hell.

Bakuchiol reduces the formation of 5-α-reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT, triggering the overproduction of sebum. Once you get this enzyme under control, oil production will slow down.

Related: 3 Little Known Anti-Acne Ingredients For Clearer Skin

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that banishes shine, pimples, and blackheads? Download your FREE “Best Skincare Routine For Oily Skin” cheatsheet to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):


Lightweight, fast-absorbing texture that sinks immediately into the skin, without leaving a greasy residue behind.


Floral and subtle.

How To Use It

I use it every other and blackheads- and pimple-prone areas. If you can take the sting, you can use it every other night all over your face.

Performance & Personal Opinion

I apply Bioderma Sebium Global Intensive Purifying Care on my t-zone straight after cleansing. Blackheads like to gather on my nose, while my forehead loves nothing better than pump out too much oil and shine brighter than a diamond.

The treatment does a wonderful job at getting rid of blackheads. They pop up real quick if I don’t exfoliate every day, but this baby keeps them at bay. If one rears its ugly head, it’s gone in three days.

I tried applying the treatment all my over my face but boy, does this stuff sting! I have pretty resistant skin that easily tolerates high concentrations of retinol and glycolic acid. But citric acid never fails to make my upper cheeks sting like crazy.

If you can put up with it, it does make your skin tone smoother and brighter. Me? I’m keeping Bioderma Sebium Global Intensive Purifying Care as a t-zone treatment only and sticking to glycolic acid for the rest of my face.

I also noticed my t-zone didn’t get shiny as quickly as it usually does. I get an extra couple hours before the shine overwhelms it again.

If your skin’s prone to acne, Bioderma Sebium Global Intensive Purifying Care can help you keep the pimples and blackheads at bay. If it’s sensitive to boot, treat it as a spot treatment only. That citric acid is strong!

bioderma sebium global intensive purifying care review

Who Is This For?

Acne-prone skin.

Who Is This NOT For?

  • Dry skin
  • Sensitive skin


A white tube with green accents. It’s pretty and practical.

Does Bioderma Sebium Global Intensive Purifying Care Live Up To Its Claims?

The care which eliminates spots and prevents their recurrence. True.
Limits marks. By preventing pimples, you also prevent the dark spots they sometimes leave behind when they heal.
Moisturises. I didn’t find it particularly moisturising.
Good tolerance – Non-comedogenic – Can be used as make-up base. Mostly true, but it does sting a lot.

Price & Availability

£15.00 at Escentual and Feel Unique

Do You Need It?

It’s not a must-have, but it does the job.

Dupes & Alternatives

I don’t know of any exact dupes for this product.


Aqua/Water, C12-13 Alkyl Lactate, Citric Acid, Dipropylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Sodium Hydroxyde, Glycerin, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Zinc Gluconate, Salicylic Acid, Arachidyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Silica, Xanthan Gum, Arachidyl Glucoside, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Squalane, Bakuchiol, Sodium Metabisulfite, Xylitol, Propylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Isostearate, Fructooligosaccharides, Mannitol, Propyl Gallate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceide, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Rhamnose, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Fragrance [BI 673]