Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm SPF 25
This BB cream cannot detoxify skin, because skin doesn't excrete toxins, not to mentioned the body uses the liver and kidneys to detoxify. Despite the detox portion of the name being silly, this is one of the better BB creams out there, and the price is fairly reasonable. The fragrance-free formula contains a blend of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for broad-spectrum sun protection, while the silky, lotion-like formula (dispensed from a pump, but pump carefully because this can squirt our forcefully) glides over skin, providing light coverage and setting to a soft matte finish.
Unlike some Korea-made BB creams, this one doesn't feel too thick or make skin look mask-like. However, its tint is definitely geared toward those with fair to light skin tones (only one shade is offered). This will look too ashen on medium to dark skin but it provides decent coverage for minor flaws while protecting skin from further sun damage. We like that the soft matte finish doesn't look flat or dulling, so this works well on its own or as part of a complete makeup routine.
Beyond the sunscreen, the chief beneficial skin-care ingredient is arbutin, present in an amount that should prove helpful for lightening dark spots. The formula also contains some notable antioxidants, though these are present in much smaller amounts. Still, better to see a small amount of antioxidants than none at all! Note that the amount of alcohol is not cause for concern.
Best for normal to combination skin not prone to breakouts (the amount of mineral actives could potentially clog pores, but this isn't true in all cases, so you may want to experiment), consider this another winning BB cream from Dr. Jart. Those with dry skin will find this BB cream's finish progressively drying on its own, but it's fine if you apply an emollient serum or moisturizer first. The formula is suitable for sensitive or rosacea-affected skin.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection from gentle mineral actives.
- Fragrance-free and well suited for sensitive or rosacea-affected skin.
- Silky, lotion-like formula doesn't feel thick or heavy.
- Leaves a non-dulling matte finish.
- Amount of arbutin is likely beneficial for treating dark spots.
- The amount of antioxidants is on the low side (but that's a minor quibble).
Dr. Jart+ At-a-Glance
Strengths: The BB creams (Beauty Balms) provide broad-spectrum sun protection and are fragrance-free.
Weaknesses: Expensive; BB creams are little more than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen; the masks are gimmicky and minimally helpful for skin.
Dr. Jart+ is a line of skin-care products based in Korea. Its most popular products are the Beauty Balms, known in the United States as BB creams. Before we discuss this brand's contribution to the BB cream craze, we want to state that at this time we are reviewing only the Dr. Jart+ products that are available at U.S. Sephora stores. If you visit the Korean Dr. Jart+ Web site, you'll see several other skin-care products are offered. We might review those in the future, but it's clear that the questions we've received about this brand have to do with the BB creams.
No information is available about an actual Dr. Jart, and our Korean friends tell us there is no actual Dr. Jart, so it is a made up name to help give the line some credibility. According to the company's English Web site, the brand is supposed to be the brainchild of multiple dermatologists as well as 21 "medical specialists." That's a lot of cooks for one product line, but as we've reported before, and as many of you know from experience, there are plenty of doctors' products that are terribly formulated and that come in bad packaging. All that really counts is whether or not you should give this line a closer look, despite the marketing claims
It didn't take much review to discover that there is nothing particularly medical or dermatologist-oriented about these products. The people behind Dr. Jart+ don't have access to any special ingredients other cosmetic companies can't use, and their products contain no unique ingredients that have any research showing that they improve skin. U.S. Sephora stores sell two BB cream options from Dr. Jart+; one of them is great and the other is lacking in too many areas to make it worth purchasing. But the question remains, should you purchase a BB cream at all? They are not must-have products, and most are far from being the "new idea in skin care" they're made out to be. Essentially, whether they're called BB creams, Blemish Balms, or Beauty Balms, all of these products are little more than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen. Some include a helpful amount of beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or skin-lightening agents (vitamin C, arbutin) to improve brown spots. Such discolorations are considered a blemish in Asian cultures, but that's the only distinguishing feature. Compared with standard tinted moisturizers, BB creams typically provide slightly to moderately more coverage. In that sense, they fall between tinted moisturizers and foundations, but many BB creams go on sheer also; so, ultimately, it comes down to the individual products. If you're happily using a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen, there's no reason to forgo it in favor of a BB cream, but there's no harm in testing them out to see if you prefer their effect. Most won't notice much difference between them and a tinted moisturizer.
For more information about Dr. Jart+, visit http://www.drjart.co.kr/global/eng/.
Note: The company does not publish a phone number on its Web site, which doesn't bode well for building consumer trust or obtaining any help from customer service, so buyer beware.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.