After many months of struggle and waiting, I was finally able to buy my own bottle of Bioderma Sensibio H2O. This is a journey full of struggles huhuhu. 

This is because in general, Bioderma is still not a very known brand in the Philippines that there aren't many store resellers of this product. There are online resellers, but the price is too expensive for me (at the usual Php1250-1350) when I know that stores in Hong Kong sell this product for less than Php1000.  

Back then, as in like three or four years ago, I already encountered this in SaSa in Hong Kong. The salesladies were pointing to this as I was about to buy a bottle of Bifesta Cleansing Express. Unfortunately, since they seemed to only speak in Cantonese and I cannot speak in the said language, I didn't really understand what they were trying to say about it. I thought that they were saying that it was a toner or astringent, which is of course not what it is after all. I just had an idea that it must be a good product as they were all smiles and cheerful. And since at that time I was looking for a watery makeup remover slash facial cleanser and not a toner, I didn't really mind it.

Only very recently that it's gotten relatively more popular and after I've read descriptions of it in English did I understand that this is the kind of miracle product I needed in my life. 

Which is why I was so happy to find out that Watsons and SM Department Stores have already started to stock up on this product. The struggle was in the fact that I had to visit at least three watsons branches before I was able to buy this. I finally found this available in the department store of SM North Edsa. 

I got it for Php799. The most annoying part about this is that you have to buy a BYS product to be able to buy this. Not that I don't like BYS products (because I love their false eyelash selection to bits), but why should I have to make a hastily decided purchase just to get this item? I would much prefer to go to BYS some other day and make a good selection of what I want to buy instead of randomly yank an item I might not even use in the end. Thankfully, the saleslady allowed me to not buy it with a BYS product anymore as we were really in a rush and I had no time to make a good selection anymore. 

So this is Bioderma's Micelle Solution for Senstive skin. Bioderma is a French brand slowly dominating the world with this product alone. 
As the label promises, it's supposed to cleanse the face and remove the makeup in a no rinse setting. It's also fragrance free. 

(In case the words are too small!) The additional promises on the label say: 
A Bioderma innovation, Sensibio H2O gently cleanses and removes make-up from face and eyes. The micelles contained in its formula effectively micro-emulsify impurities while maintaining the cutaneous balance. Soothing active ingredients prevent the skin feeling irritated. Excellent cutaneous and ocular tolerance. 

And usage directions say that: 
Soak a cotton pad, cleanse/remove make-up and dry gently. 

The ingredients are (from the website): 
To kind of give a simplified explanation, micelles are the things behind how soap is able to cleanse, just as how it is behind this product (which is soap free!). In water, micelles are like small spheres with outer surfaces that love water and inner cores that hate water, and in the most simplified sense, they like suck in the dirt and oils inside the spheres. So when you wipe it off (in this case) or wash it off (for the case of soap), the dirt and oils get washed off as they're trapped in these baby spehres. 

What makes this product special is that it is able to do all that magic without having soap, which can dry out the skin on the face, and in a no rinse setting, which makes things way more convenient. 

Another improvement I appreciated is that there is a plastic seal on the lid now, something that was not there years back when the ladies in the SaSa store were showing this product to me. It was just the lid itself, and you can lift it up in the store. In fact, the saleslady spilled quite a material amount when she accidentally squeezed the bottle while opening it. This feature of course protects the consumer's safety and helps to avoid spills and product wastage while in store or in transit. The whole cap is also snap-on and not screw on, so in general it's really hard to open this in the store without getting unwanted attention or making a mess. 

Initially, I just tested for how well it can remove make up off. Like any other watery makeup remover, I was not expecting it to be able to remove waterproof mascara. However, I knew that it had to be able to remove eyeshadow well. 

I think this photo sums it up. With just one swipe of the cotton ball I had doused with this product, that much makeup came off. I was impressed as these were swatches off my Urban Decay Vice 2 palette, and Urban Decay's eyeshadows really last long and are not easily removed by other makeup removers. 

My next concern was if it had the same problems as Bifesta's Cleansing Express. Cleansing express is cheaper and more efficient in removing makeup in general (it can remove non-waterproof mascara and erase the remnants of waterproof mascara, which Bioderma cannot do), but the problem is that I get a lot of friction burns when I use it repeatedly in a day. Bifesta's cleansing express is a really good product when you're about to go to bed and you're so lazy because it removes makeup quickly and acts as toner and serum, but the bad part is when I am blogging or demonstrating three or more makeup looks in a day it has this tendency to cause friction burns or a burning sensation on the eyelid area when I am already wiping off my third or fourth look. 

So this is what impressed me further about this product-- since it's a bit thicker than water (like contact lens fluid), it's able to feel refreshing on the face without causing friction burns. I was able to wipe all the makeup on my eye area repeatedly without feeling a burning sensation.

And from the usual 5-6 cotton balls with my other cleansers, I was able to remove everything on my second cotton ball! Much wow, many cleansing, very Bioderma! 

Like Bifesta, the best thing about this product is that once you use it, you're straight to bed. This is because it's so watery and refreshing in texture and because it's a cleanser at the same time that it feels like you washed your face already even if all you've been doing is using this product. This is definitely great for travel, and for nights when you're just so tired you just want to go to sleep. And in general, this is also good as a spot corrector as you'd be able to remove what you want to remove with much precision and without smudging the other makeup on your face. This is of course not possible if you were to use an oil or cream based makeup remover. 

I realized that this may only be slightly more expensive than my Bifesta Cleansing Express which is Php420 for a 300mL bottle (Php1.4/mL) because this Bioderma bottle is Php800 for 500mL (Php1.6/mL). This is hypoallergenic like Bifesta's, but the difference is that it REALLY is suited for sensitive skin. 

My mom has really sensitive skin, and like years ago I already tried to convince her to use Bifesta, but what happened was that her skin got irritated and she didn't want to use it anymore. 

More recently, mama encountered an accident which caused a laceration on the right area of her chin. When she was changing the dressings, this was the only product she could use to remove dirt around the wound (like the leftover stickiness from the tape and whatnot). When the sutures were removed and the wound was closed, this was the only product she could use that did not irritate her skin. She was not allowed to use Betadine by her doctor as it has a tendency to stain the skin and it would make the scar look worse, and of course alcohol and peroxide were overkill for a 2 inch laceration that required 15 stitches.  She could use soap and water and all, but we were afraid that it may dry her skin up too much or the soap residue may get stuck in the crevices of the wound which is why we decided that this was the best way to cleanse it. After using this, she'd then put a thin layer of her antibiotic ointments which were prescribed by the doctor. 

She did not have any reactions with this product. 

 This is not my medical advice to you, but more of if you have a wound that is already nearing complete healing and you need a cleanser for it, this may be of help. But do not expect this to replace medically recommended cleansers for wounds, ask your doctor before doing this... 

I know it looks small here on the blog but in real life it's a really big bottle. And given how little you have to use each time, this bottle will definitely last you a long time. This will now be my go-to product for my clients with sensitive skin and when I am removing the third or fourth makeup look on my face for the day. But in general, I still will be using Bifesta more often as it's easier to find in malls and is better than Bioderma in getting makeup off. 

EDIT (as of July 2014): Looks like I'll be using this and Bifesta equally from now on as they are now busy with mass distribution and you'd be able to find this in all PCX and Watsons and dermatological offices in due time. Yipee!  

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