What exactly is Bio-Oil?
Created by German chemist and cosmetic scientist Dieter Beier in 1987, Bio-Oil came about as a result of the South African-based scientist's search for a solution to his own dry-skin dramas (haven't we all been there?).
Exploring oil as a secure, oxygen-free environment in which to suspend active ingredients without affecting their potency for an indefinite tie period, Dieter wanted to create a product that had the potency of an oil with the absorbency and lightness of a cream
And, voila: Bio-Oil.
Packed with skin-loving ingredients like calendula oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil, chamomile oil and vitamins A and E to renew and condition skin, the little orange and white bottle of goodness helps increase skin's elasticity, promote the formation of new collagen and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
While it is an oil, the formula is light, non-greasy and absorbs easily into skin.
Why is it so popular?
With more than 400 awards listed on its website – and counting – it's no surprise that Bio-Oil is a favourite amongst Hollywood's elite.
Kim, Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian, Priyanka Chopra, Natalie Portman and apparently even Kate Middleton all credit the wonder oil for fading scars, preventing stretch marks during pregnancy and keeping skin soft, supple and hydrated. “It prevents wrinkles around my eyes and stretch marks over my body,” Kim revealed in 2013.
According to one study from the proDERM Institute for Applied Dermatological Research in Hamburg, Germany, Bio-Oil was shown to improve the appearance of scars in 92 percent of subjects after eight weeks, and improve the appearance of stretch marks in 95 percent of subjects after two weeks.
Those are some big numbers – and people who've used Bio-Oil back them up.
"Bio-Oil is the BEST skin product on the market," says one of the nearly 5000 five-star reviews on Amazon. "I use it as a twice a day, morning and before I go to bed. Small lines have disappeared. My skin is very smooth and seems to glow."
What are the benefits of Bio-Oil?
Reducing the appearance of stretch marks and scars isn't all this little bottle of magic can do – although that's probably what the brand is best known for. According to the company's website, Bio-Oil is also great for ageing and dehydrated skin, as well as smoothing out uneven skin tone.
Bio-Oil helps make skin softer, smoother and more supple, and also moisturises, which improves the overall texture, tone and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also supplements the skin’s natural moisture-retaining oil layer, which can be stripped away as a result of hot showers, dry climate and air conditioning.
Speaking to Real Simple, dermatologist Dr Rita Linkner says Bio-Oil is good for anyone trying to combat dryness, but it particularly useful for expecting mums and those with eczema – and adds that Bio-Oil is great for massaging arthritic joints. "It works well for xerotic [abnormally dry] skin, especially of the lower legs where circulatory changes often affect the texture.”
Die-hard fans claim Bio-Oil can do everything from healing acne scars to taming flyaways, reducing a flaky scalp and refreshing puffy eyes. It's even been touted as a make-up remover!
Can I use Bio-Oil on my face?
Bio-Oil is perfectly safe to put on your face – and despite it being an oil, it's non-comedogenic, meaning it won't block your pores.
There's plenty of research to back up how great it is for complexion imperfections, too. For example, in one study of subjects with newly formed acne scars, 84 percent of participants noticed an improvement in the scars’ condition after using Bio-Oil twice a day for 10 weeks, and 90 percent found that improved the colour of the scars.
Another study saw 86 percent of participants report a “statistically significant improvement” in the appearance of uneven skin tone after using Bio-Oil twice a day for 12 weeks.
How do I use it?
It's pretty simple, really. Just massage Bio-Oil into your skin twice daily until it's absorbed. For best results on scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone, continue using two times a day for a minimum of three months. Use a couple of drops on your face, and more for larger areas.
You can use the wonder liquid anywhere on your body to reduce scars, stretch marks, pigmentation, uneven skin tone, or simply for some extra hydration – just be sure not to use it on scars until wounds are completely healed.