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BiON for Treating Acne

By Megan Griffith

Reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr. Jaggi Rao,
MD, FRCPC Double board-certified dermatologist

BiON is an American manufacturer of professional skin care products for use by aestheticians, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons. Their products are available through skin care professionals and at spas throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, and Finland, but these are not sold to the general public. This article can tell you what to expect from BiON products, and what to request from your skin care professional.

Bion Acne Products
Because of the concentrations and possible side effects of the Bion products, they can only be used under professional supervision.


  • BiON products are typically more concentrated and more effective than comparable products available over the counter. Because these products can also cause more side effects, they are only used under professional supervision.
  • No professional will offer every BiON product to every client or patient. Professional-strength products have to be matched to skin types and the client or patient’s individual skin care needs.

BiON Glycolic Acid Peel

Glycolic acid is a plant acid used to exfoliate1, or strip away, tiny amounts of dry skin. The BiON Glycolic Acid Peel contains 30%2 glycolic acid, so much that it cannot be left on the skin for more than 3 minutes. BiON will not sell this product to any spa without proof of insurance.

The problem with most over-the-counter glycolic acid products is that to make sure they do not cause burning by being left on the skin too long, they are formulated at a pH of 5 to even 7, too high to do the skin any good. BiON Glycolic Acid Peel has a pH of 4, which is 1,000 times stronger than a product with a pH of 7. Not only is the BiON product up to 1,000 times more acidic, at a 30% strength, it contains up to 15 times more glycolic acid than some equally expensive products you can use at home without a prescription. It is so strong it will change your skin, but if it is left on too long the change will not be for the better.

Glycolic acid peels are not for everyone. Some people with acne, however, get a very good response to glycolic acid3. Prime candidates for this exfoliant therapy include people who cannot use benzoyl peroxide to control pimples, such as people who have rosacea. If you are lax about your sunscreen use, however, watch out: A glycolic acid peel makes skin much more sensitive to sunlight.

BiON 35% Lactic Acid Peel

Lactic acid is a milk acid also used to exfoliate4 dry, sun-damaged or acne-scarred skin5. It is most often used to treat enlarged pores left behind by blackheads, shrinking them back to their normal, invisible size. The Egyptian Empress Cleopatra was famed for bathing in tubs of milk to rejuvenate her skin, and antebellum belles of the American South bathed their faces in buttermilk to remove age spots. Her lactic acid “peel,” however, was about 0.2% lactic acid, not 35%.

Lactic acid peels are used to remove the brown spots that acne can leave6 behind, especially on darker skin. It is also used to treat atrophic acne scars that are aggravated in aging skin. These are pitted scars left behind by pimples. Lactic acid is also used to treat active acne, sometimes removing 100% of acne from facial skin, the full effects visible after two to six months.

Some people who are “stingers” should not receive lactic acid peels. If you get a stinging reaction from household products, KY Jelly, or vaginal yeast infection products (which can also cause a stinging sensation for men during sexual intercourse), then you probably should not get a BiON Lactic Acid Peel. You should also not get a lactic acid peel if you are sensitive to glycolic acid or other alpha-hydroxy acids7, benzoic acid, bronopol, cinnamic acid, cinnamon oil, Dowicil 200, formaldehyde, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, or sorbic acid.

Softening Repair Mask

BiON also makes a softening repair mask that is a combination of glycerin and herbs8. The glycerin concentrates water on the skin that can be absorbed into pores to loosen hardened waxes and oils. The glycerin also dissolves tannins in herbs that can “tan” the skin, cross-linking proteins to stop oozing and exudation.

Topical Calcium Capsules

BiON Topical Calcium Capsules contain a highly concentrated form of calcium with vitamin D. The company claims that these capsules are essential after microdermabrasion or peels to promote rapid cell growth that prevents dryness and scarring9. The capsules are ground up, mixed with titanium dioxide or moisturizer, and applied to the skin at the end of a facial. BiON recommends the calcium treatment for patients who have rosacea but not for patients who have other forms of acne.

BiON Refreshing Toner

Cucumber-scented BiON Refreshing Toner is used after blackhead extractions or microdermabrasion to provide enzymes to the surface of the skin to break up debris that can be removed through the normal daily cleansing. Usually clients or patients are sent home with a small bottle of the spray to use every day after their treatment sessions. The company claims that the toner increases the water content of the upper layers of the skin and fights bacterial infection.

BiON also offers cleansers for use in professional offices and for patients and clients to take home.

  • Antibacterial cleanser relies on cinnamon extract to stop the action of 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that activates testosterone in the skin. The pores produce less sebum and “starve” acne bacteria. BiON cautions that about 1% of the population has a severe allergic reaction to cinnamon, which causes redness and swelling.
  • Bacteriostat Cleanser uses turmeric10 and marjoram11  also to stop the action of 5-alpha reductase to keep pores open. These herbs appear in many traditional Ayurvedic skin formulas designed for use by people who have “kapha” constitutions, tending toward mucus production and easy weight gain.
  • Cucumber Cleanser contains a very acidic solution (pH of 3.3) of glycolic acid mixed with jojoba beads to scrub the face. It removes dead skin and kills bacteria.
  • Fruit Enzyme Scrub contains bromelain from pineapple to break up dead skin and tough skin covering blackheads. If you are allergic to pineapple, guava, or papaya, you should not use this product.
  • While the scientists at BiON might not appreciate the comparison, Mineral Crème Cleanser is a sophisticated version of Lava soap, designed to “scrub” the skin through foaming action rather than rubbing a bar of soap across the face.
  • Normal Skin Cleanser is an acidic solution for removing makeup and excess oil.

BiON provides training manuals for professionals to learn how to use most of its products. “Do not try this at home” could be the company motto. BiON products are strong and get good results fast, but used incorrectly almost of all of them can cause serious damage to the skin.


  1. Sharad J. Glycolic acid peel therapy – a current review. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2013 Nov 11;6:281-8.
  2. Puri N. Comparative study of 15% TCA peel versus 35% glycolic acid peel for the treatment of melasma. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2012 May-Aug;3(2):109-13.
  3. Soleymani T, Lanoue J, Rahman Z. A Practical Approach to Chemical Peels: A Review of Fundamentals and Step-by-step Algorithmic Protocol for Treatment. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018 Aug;11(8):21-28.
  4. Sharquie KE, Al-Dhalimi MA, Noaimi AA, Al-Sultany HA. Lactic Acid as a new therapeutic peeling agent in the treatment of lifa disease (frictional dermal melanosis). Indian J Dermatol. 2012 Nov-Dec;57(6):444-8.
  5. Rashmi Singh, Sapna Goyal, Qazi Rais Ahmed, Narendra Gupta, and Sujata Singh. Effect of 82% Lactic Acid in Treatment of Melasma. International Sc. holarly Research Notices. Volume 2014, 10.1155/2014/407142.
  6. Prestes PS, Oliveira MM, Leonardi GR. Randomized clinical efficacy of superficial peeling with 85% lactic acid versus 70% glycolic acid. An Bras Dermatol. 2013 Nov-Dec;88(6):900-5.
  7. Gabriella Fabbrocini, MBBS, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD. Chemical Peels: Background, Indications, Contraindications. 2019.
  8. Nasri H, Bahmani M, Shahinfard N, Moradi Nafchi A, Saberianpour S, Rafieian Kopaei M. Medicinal Plants for the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: A Review of Recent Evidences. Jundishapur J Microbiol. 2015 Nov 21;8(11):e25580.
  9. Lee SE, Lee SH. Skin Barrier and Calcium. Ann Dermatol. 2018 Jun;30(3):265-275.
  10. Vaughn AR, Branum A2 Sivamani RK. Effects of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) on Skin Health: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence. Phytother Res. 2016 Aug;30(8):1243-64.
  11. Taleb MH, Abdeltawab NF, Shamma RN, Abdelgayed SS, Mohamed SS, Farag MA, Ramadan MA. Origanum vulgare L. Essential Oil as a Potential Anti-Acne Topical Nanoemulsion-In Vitro and In Vivo Study. Molecules. 2018 Aug 28;23(9):2164.
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