The “problem” with some skincare is in how they can deliver all sorts of lovely positive results to your skin and yet when it comes down to the crunch, you’d never repurchase or even consider repurchasing it because you just can’t stand the artificial fragrance it’s infused with.
Ladies and gents, meet my love-hate-and-hate-again relationship with the very popular Biotherm Life Plankton Essence which has received a lot of raves. The thing is, I can understand the raves, because this liquid lotion does do what it promises to do – leave skin more hydrated, softer and smoother.
Biotherm says this effect can be seen in as little as 8 days. 8 days! Well, if you’ve never used a similar sort of hydrating lotion/essence then yes, you will see a marked difference. But if you are already using a similar sort of essence or lotion then no, you won’t see a thing in 8 days, but over 2-3 weeks you may notice a positive effect on your skin.
The Biotherm Life Plankton Essence is an essence. It’s not a toner, and it’s not a serum. It’s a lotion that contains high concentrations of active ingredients (in this case, life plankton, a micro-organism that has regenerative properties) in a medium that is as liquid as a toner. By now, most of us will be familiar with textures like these.
But if you’re new to using a product like this one, think of it like the very popular SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. Products like these are a common inclusion in Asian (Japanese and Korean) skincare regimens. They’re less common in Western brand skincare but they’re catching on.
You can use this after cleansing and before your serum and moisturiser, or after cleansing, acid tone, hydrating mist and then this essence (which is how I use it).
You have to shake up the bottle beforehand. I noticed that if you don’t, and allow the product to settle, there is a sediment at the bottom. Shaking it up mixes up everything and the liquid that is dispensed is more cloudy than if you didn’t shake it up.
I like to just dispense 2-3 drops in the palm of my hand and then apply/pat it onto my skin. It is just like water, and it absorbs very quickly into the skin without any hint of greasiness or stickiness. It isn’t messy as some people will lead you to believe and I’d prefer not to use a cotton pad with products like these, because I feel that you waste product. But do whatever makes you happy :)
And as a skincare product that promises to renew my skin and make it softer and smoother and more hydrated, it ticks all the boxes. I noticed a result in 3 weeks. Not in 8 days as claimed, but then I have been taking care of my skin so 8 days isn’t something I’d actually believe would show any result for me. If you’ve not used a similar product or don’t place a lot of emphasis on hydrating serums or lotions, then you may notice a difference to your skin more quickly.
My skin does feel softer and smooth and is definitely hydrated. If this was any other product, I’d be keeping it as a staple. But my biggest bugbear is the fragrance.
I’m perfectly fine with natural scents or even if it’s a bit smelly, if it was natural. The problem however, is that Biotherm has chosen to infuse this with a strong, powdery perfume that to my nose, stinks. As I always say, scent is a personal thing so I’d not judge this product too harshly by my standards, if I were you, but because it is so strong, I’d caution those with sensitive skin to proceed with caution. Fragrance is a known irritant of skin and sensitive skin is naturally more prone to irritation.
But seriously, fragrance like this has no place in skincare in my view, and every time I use it, which is twice a day, I physically choke a little. Yes, melodramatic, but true. I absolutely detest the scent with every fibre of my being and this is why although this product does work well for my skin, and I might even finish this bottle, I’d not go anywhere near it again with a 10 ft pole. Just sayin’
IN A NUTSHELL
The Biotherm Life Plankton Essence is a liquid lotion that primarily promises to regenerate and hydrate your skin. With regular use, I can attest to this benefit. My skin does look and feel better with regular use. However, my problem with this product is the strong powdery fragrance it is infused with. That is, I feel, unnecessary and spoils what is otherwise a decent product.
Usage: Cleansing -> 2-3 drops of Biotherm Life Plankton Essence patted on with hands -> serum -> moisturiser
PROS: Not sticky or greasy, Absorbs easily into skin, With regular long term use, skin feels and looks more hydrated and smoother
CONS: Very strong powdery fragrance, Not portable as the bottle is heavy glass
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who isn’t sensitive to strong fragrances in skincare and who want a product that addresses hydration in skin
For those interested, here is the ingredient list for this Biotherm Life Plankton Essence.
This isn’t a new product so I’m sure many of you have given it a go. You don’t have to agree with me naturally, but I’d like to know what you think of it :)
Have you tried this essence lotion? Do strong fragrances deter you from using or continuing with a product that works?
The thing is that if this was a smelly product (You don’t know smelly till you’ve tried Perricone Cold Plasma, I swear!) I might actually be able to handle it. This doesn’t smell of the salty sea air. It smells of a garden of heady night blooms by the sea that lie around your head like a fog. Now that, I can’t handle :P
Biotherm Life Plankton Essence Price: RM190 / 125ml Availability: Biotherm counters