Stretch marks, scars, nicks, cuts, and imperfections – we all have them. Chances are, if you do have them, you have heard of Bio-Oil.
You can find many Bio Oil reviews as it is the go to product for millions of people who feel embarrassed or ashamed of their skin imperfections.
So when we were asked to write a review about it, we certainly jumped on the occasion. We tried to check if it was really the ultimate weapon to get rid of those ugly stretch marks.
Before diving in, let’s check why we get those issues.
How Do You Get Stretch Marks, Scars?
We know that we often think of these signs of aging as a badge of honor – a sign that says “Look at me! I’ve lived a long life! I’ve had children! I’ve learned how to ride a bike (a few times), and I’ve eaten a good meal (or a few hundred).”
Still, why are these marks showing up on your skin?
Stretch marks appear whenever your body grows – weight gain, puberty, pregnancy, or even when you are trying to build muscle. It happens because our skin grows too fast for our body to build enough collagen. In fact, stretch marks are kind of scars formed underneath the skin.
Even though it seems like these tiger stripes only plague women, men can get them as well. They can appear anywhere: breasts, hips, thighs, legs, and butts. ( You probably know it too well..)
Do these marks go away on their own? While they will fade, these marks generally will not go away – even if you lose the weight.
There is no one walking this earth that is perfect. Scars are life’s little way of reminding us of that. Whether your scar is from learning how to ride a bike, shaving your legs with a cheap razor, or just because your feet forgot how to walk for a few seconds, they can be pretty ugly.
Most of the time, the only problem we really have with scars is a cosmetic problem. When we have a cut that is open, the body produces collagen at a much higher level in order to close the wound and protect our bodies. That collagen doesn’t have time to match the rest of our skin, therefore leaving a scar in its wake.
Do these marks go away on their own? Scars will fade over time, but very rarely will they go away all together, especially if the scar is large. Typically they come out more when you tan because the collagen that was used to weave your skin back together doesn’t tan nearly as well as the rest of your skin.
Benefits of Bio Oil
This famous oil is a solution for those 2 skincare problems – in an oil form! It has been designed to help with the marks that come with scaring, acne, stretch marks, blemishes and other skin problems. Many also use it to stop dry or aging skin. Most users are actually pregnant women and new moms, but many others have successfully used it as well.
Did you know this product was created by a german cosmetic scientist? It was Dieter Beir who thought that oil was the best medium to preserve the properties of some vitamins (such as vitamin A) and to nourish our skin.
That is why he clearly insisted on developing his “treatment” by using plant extracts and vitamins with an oil base. But the main issue was the greasiness….. So he added a key ingredient here called “PurCellin Oil” which is supposed to make it light like an oil, but not greasy like one.
Guess what? Purcellin Oil is a synthetic (man made) version of Duck preening gland Oil. (The Oil Ducks Rub on their feathers to keep them waterproof…. )
How to use it ?
You need to massage it in circular motion into the affected area twice a day (usually morning and before going to bed) and make sure your skin has fully absorbed the oil (especially if you don’t wan’t to stain your bed sheets or your clothes.)
The company recommends using the product daily for at least 3 months to get some results, so you know this treatment will require patience and dedication, like most beauty treatments ….
During pregnancy, they recommend to apply it from the start of the second trimester to any areas prone to stretch marks like the belly, breasts, hips, thighs and butt. Of course, feel free to ask your hubby to help you. The company claims that it will smooth your skin and make it more elastic so your skin will eventually be less affected by the overstretching of your skin.
Ingredients in Bio Oil
INCI list : Mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum), triisononanoin, cetearyl ethylhexanoate, isopropyl myristate, retinyl palmitate, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, tocopheryl acetate, anthemis nobilis flower oil, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf oil, calendula officinalis flower extract, glycine soja (soybean) oil, BHT, bisabolol, fragrance (parfum), alpha-isomethyl ionone, amyl cinnamal, benzyl salicylate, citrinellol, coumarin, eugenol, farnsel, geraniol, hydroxycitronellal, hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, limonene, linalool
The first ingredient is mineral oil. There are also some other oils in here and plant extracts, vitamin A( which will help with skin regeneration) vitamin E, PurCellin Oil and it contains no preservatives. (Which is normal as it not water based)
Our review of Bio Oil for stretch marks : does it work ?
The worlwide stretch mark and scar product on the market has to work – right? Well we certainly think Bio oil can help but don’t expect a miracle!
The product smells good with a lavender scent. (I know some of you don’t really like lavender but it is not too strong.)
The oil is quite light and it leaves an oily film until you work it into your skin. I find it a bit greasy but it is pretty normal from an oil-based product…
We have used it for 3 months as indicated on some scars and stretch marks.
Our Bio-Oil results? In fact, we noticed some ok results, not awesome ones like the ones we heard about but still noticeable results.
- The scars (3 years old) did not disappear but it definitely faded to a lighter shade. Some of them were acne scars.
- All the recent stretch marks (which are more red or pink in color) showed the most significant improvement. They have lightened up and are much less noticeable.
- On the other hand, the oldest stretch marks did not change really; they were still visible and white in color.
- One of our testers who was pregnant was even more excited about it because all the areas where her skin was stretched were itchy, you know how that can drive someone nuts, so she desperately needed something. She started using it daily on those areas and after 2 days, the itchiness was gone…
So, it won’t do much for old stretch marks. However, it can work on fresh scars and stretch marks and also to prevent them because this product mainly works by improving the elasticity in skin, which means that stretch marks and scars have a harder time to form, and the existing marks will fade away.
If we have a look at the ingredients list (above), we were somehow disappointed to find such a high proportion of mineral oil, which is known to clog pores and could potentially lead to break outs. This product is not non-comedogenic. That explains why some reviewers complained about zits and breakouts when using on face skin. That also explains the greasyness; mineral oil kinda sits on your skin and feels oily even after it “dries”.
We also did not find their patented purcellin oil in the ingredient list. So we wonder if it is not a marketing trick? Whatever….
We were also disappointed by the presence of BHT, an antioxydant used to slow down the oil oxydation rate. It helps to prevent oils from becoming rancid. The issue is that BHT can be linked to allergies and some toxicity. Yet, fortunately, It is safe to use it in the low concentrations but the company could have probably used another antioxydant.
This product can also be problematic for people with sensitive skin as you can find there many allergens (a substance that can induce an allergy or rashes etc..) from the fragrance or the essential oils.
The 2 good points are the price (it is pretty cheap, which is norml for mineral oil) and the long lasting bottle (yeah after 3 months, the bottle was still half full).
Keep in mind, stretch marks are permanent in nature, and even if this oil is formulated to help improve their appearance, it can never remove them. So stay realistic with your expectations.
Still, like any other product, results can and will vary due to different skin types, lifestyles, and preferences. Some of us can be really picky with what we deem a “success,” after all.
So to the question: does bio oil work ? Our answer is: it is definitely not a miracle product but you will get some results with new scars, acne scars, new stretch marks, or to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
As for old stretch marks, you will probably be disappointed… It just won’t have any significant effect on very old stretch marks and scars, beyond simply moisturizing the skin.
Yet, we think there are better alternatives out there (both in efficacy and ingredient composition).