One of the biggest skincare misconceptions is that moisturisers can exacerbate acne. This could not be further from the truth. When skin is parched, your oil glands go into overdrive and produce more sebum, clogging pores and causing more breakouts. This explains why it’s so important to hydrate your skin. Keeping skin moisturised can soothe, counteract the drying effect of acne medication and even prevent acne. In a sea of a million moisturisers, how do you find one that works for acne-prone skin? 

Anyone with blemish-prone skin will tell you that it’s a struggle trying to find a formula that is light enough to prevent pores from getting clogged yet strong enough to feed even the most dehydrated skin. And for those who struggle with reactive and sensitive skin in addition to breakouts, finding a moisturiser can be confusing at best, and leave your complexion looking even more irritated than when you started, at worst.  

Bioderma Sebium Sensitive
Credit: Bioderma

That’s where Bioderma comes in: The French dermatological brand is changing the blemish-care moisturiser game with its new non-comedogenic Sebium Sensitive. This clever tube is specifically formulated to moisturise and soothe sensitive acne-prone skin with high quality ingredients such as glycerine and zinc. Its patented Seborestore Technology™ (combination of bakuchiol and Fluidactiv™) and Inflastop Complex™ work in tandem to rebalance skin’s moisture-sebum levels and reduce inflammation while evening out skin over time. 

We were excited to try it out to see firsthand its capabilities. Did the Bioderma Sebium Sensitive deliver what it promises? Keep reading to get our honest opinion.

The ingredients

Bakuchiol: The hero ingredient of Bioderma’s Sebium Sensitive is extracted from the seeds of the plant psoralea corylifolia. This buzzy ingredient zap zits in their tracks by fighting inflammation, hyperpigmentation and roughness. Perfect for those with dry, sensitive acne-prone skin, bakuchiol’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties not only encourages collagen production but is also oh-so-gentle on skin. 

Glycerin: A humectant that holds moisture in skin by drawing water from the inner layers of skin to the outer layer. 

Zinc: Suppresses over-zealous oil production, which can help calm angry acne lesions and combat shine.

Ginkgo biloba leaf extract: When paired with the active ingredient enoxolone, the medicinal herb calms and soothes skin by reducing inflammation. 

Mary Victor, 24, Makeup Artist 

Mary Victor
Credit: Mary Victor

About my skin

“I have oily, acne-prone skin and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I try to keep my skincare routine very minimal as my skin is sensitive and I believe that less is more. I keep to cleansing, weekly exfoliating, toner, anti-acne serum and moisturiser.”

The feel

“The scent is so subtle and not off-putting. Sebium Sensitive is also super lightweight and it absorbs within five seconds of application.” 

The results

I usually wake up with oily skin in the morning but after consistent use of Sebium Sensitive, my skin felt very balanced and there was a significantly less amount of oil on my face every morning, which was delightful. I also noticed that I barely had any heat rash and maskne breakouts. The product has definitely helped to lessen my acne.”

TL;DR

“100 per cent one of the most subtle and gentle products I’ve tried. The texture is actually very different and made my skin feel so healthy. If you have hypersensitive skin that is acne and oil-prone. This product is for you.”

Sandy Yeo, 28, UI/UX Designer

Sandy Yeo
Credit: Sandy Yeo

About my skin

“In my teenage years, I would get new spots every day and I couldn’t control picking at them. Unsurprisingly, this aggravated my skin condition. I started seeing a dermatologist who put me on accutane. Even though medication cleared my skin temporarily, the breakouts would come back the moment I stopped taking the pills. After much trial and error, I started to discover products that worked for my skin type. By switching to gentler skincare formulas, my skin started to clear up, slowly but surely. In the past, I would opt for harsh, oil control skincare. I now know that these skincare products dehydrated my skin and led to increased sensitivity. When it comes to skincare, most that are gentle enough for sensitive skin don’t typically control sebum and oil production. I’m looking for a moisturiser that can do both.” 

The feel

“I wasn’t expecting a fragrance but there was a light, masculine scent. I’ve used the Bioderma makeup remover which is fragrance-free so this was a change. I was initially a little concerned with the fragrance but it didn’t irritate my sensitive skin. The Sebium Sensitive has the texture of an emulsion and it absorbs quickly into skin. It’s also lightweight enough to wear under a face mask.” 

The results

“After three days of continuous use, my skin is less greasy. After two weeks, I’ve definitely seen a decrease in redness and breakouts. My friend even commented that my skin has gotten clearer!” 

TL;DR

“Sebium Sensitive does a stellar job of hydrating my sensitive, acne-prone skin without irritating it.”

Letty Seah, 29, Associate Beauty Editor 

Letty Seah
Credit: Bioderma

About my skin

“As a teenager, I was blessed with relatively clear skin. I’m a late bloomer, just like my acne. Two years ago, I found myself battling bouts of hormonal acne. While I’ve thankfully left the worst of it behind, my skin is still generally dry, sensitive and acne-prone. My dehydrated skin manifests in pesky spots, tightness, and dry patches so I’m always on the lookout for moisturisers that will impart that lit-from-within glow without wrecking havoc on my pores.”

The feel

“Sebium Sensitive is extremely lightweight and it melts into skin when you work the product in. Since it’s not sticky, it works really well under makeup. I recommend using it as a primer pre-makeup. It does have a light, clean fragrance, which I usually steer clear of when it comes to skincare but so far it hasn’t caused any irritation.”

bioderma sebium sensitive smear 2
Credit: Letty Seah

The results

The clarifying yet gentle formula left my skin with a light sheen sans greasiness. It didn’t irritate my sensitive, acne-prone skin and injected a surge of moisture to my thirsty skin. It also plays well with makeup, which makes it a great daytime moisturiser. Using this moisturiser religiously after toner at night has also allowed me to wake up to dewier skin (Without the moisturiser, I usually have to slather on a thick serum the night before to achieve this!).” 

TL;DR

“Sebium Sensitive hits all the right notes. It coddles skin without leaving a greasy film that clogs pores. If you’re looking for a fuss-free affordable moisturiser suitable for sensitive, acne-prone skin, I highly recommend this one from Bioderma.” 

How to use it 

There’s no real bells and whistles with the Sebium Sensitive. It can be used as a day and night moisturiser on cleansed and toned skin. When applying, take a pea-sized amount and gently work it into your face and neck. 

Before applying Sebium Sensitive, cleanse skin with an ultra-gentle purifying cleanser like Sebium Gel Moussant ($33.90, 200ml) . Suited for those with combination, acne-prone and oily skin, this soap-free formula contains zinc sulphate and copper sulphate to unclog pores and remove excess oils to reduce the appearance of shine and existing blemishes and prevent future breakouts. 

Sebium Gel moussant

After cleansing, follow up with a refreshing toner such as Bioderma’s Sebium Lotion ($33.90, 200ml). This toner calls upon glycerin, zinc and capryloyl glycine to rid acne-causing bacteria, hydrate skin and boost your glow. Sebium lotion also boasts salicylic acid to dissolve excess oil, prevent pore clogging and refine skin texture. The keratolytic action of salicylic acid also supercharges the efficacy Sebium Sensitive by making the ingredients in it work better than ever. The best part? It’s alcohol-free and non-comedogenic.

Bioderma’s Sébium lotion

Bioderma Sebium Sensitive retails for S$41.90 (30ml) and is available at Amazon, Guardian, Lazmall, Shopee, Unity, Watsons and Welcia BHG. Get your free sampling kit here.

Brought to you by Bioderma