On vacation in France, young Americans stock up on tubes of Biafine and promote its daily use as a moisturizing face cream. A trend that worries dermatologists.
These are famous white and green tubes that perhaps remind you of a summer day spent a little too long in the sun. If the French are famous throughout the world for their luxury beauty products, it is however a much less high-end and much more ordinary product that has been dreaming recently: the tube of Biafine. Across the Atlantic, he is adored by TikTokeuses.
“La Biafine will change your life,” says @livvvmarkley, who makes beauty videos on the platform.
A daily day cream
The trend may surprise. If Biafine is widespread in France as a remedy for sunburn or minor burns, its use has been hijacked by some young Americans on the social network. As proof, the hashtag #biafine has more than 9.8 million views.
Beauty “influencers” explain that the first thing they do when they arrive on vacation in Paris is to go to a pharmacy to buy Biafine. They advocate its use as a day cream and even recommend daily application to the face.
“It only costs 4 euros”, explains @glowwithava, followed by 1.4 million people, showing the several tubes she just bought.
A “french skincare”
“It’s perfect for moisturizing the skin, I’ve been using it every day for a month (…). My skin is super soft and clean”, continues another Internet user on TikTok. According to her, it is a “French skincare”, to understand that all the French brush their face with Biafine every morning.
These TikTokeuses particularly welcome the presence of avocado oil in the composition of the cream and its “multifunctional moisturizer” aspect. Some even film themselves leaving a French pharmacy, tubes in hand, or offer their community to help them win some.
“It’s true that Biafine is only sold on prescription in the United States and it’s very expensive, when they come to France it’s not uncommon for them to buy a few tubes of it”, explains to BFMTV.com a pharmacy in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.
“Too many ingredients to have only beneficial aspects”
However, this trend worries, especially among dermatologists. First of all, Biafine is a medicine and not a cosmetic product, so it is only sold in pharmacies and not in parapharmacies. In addition, it is intended for temporary use. “It should also not be used as a care cream on healthy skin. Its regular and repeated application can weaken the skin”, can we read on the notice.
Biafine “contains 16 ingredients and dermatologists don’t like that very much, there are far too many ingredients to have only beneficial aspects”, says dermatologist Marie Jourdan in a TikTok video.
Multiple risks far from a “miracle cure”
First, the main active ingredient, trolamine, can be “irritating to the mucous membranes”, she explains while some Internet users advocate the use of Biafine on the lips, especially after botox injections. Trolamine is also a potentially carcinogenic allergen, while the preservatives – parabens – present in Biafine are suspected of being endocrine disruptors.
Then, this extremely oily cream will “allow a burn not to become dehydrated, but on normal skin it’s so oily that it can cause acne”, explains Marie Jourdan, going against the grain of the desired effect. so.
Finally, Biafine is composed of 18 molecules including many essential oils, which makes it photosensitizing. “This can cause indelible marks in the sun,” adds the dermatologist.
“If the cream can act as a moisturizer, it is in any case not the miracle cure advocated”, concludes a Parisian pharmacy.