Renewalist BB Beauty Balm Multi-Action Skincare + Makeup SPF 40
This fragrance-free BB cream has a silky-soft, slightly creamy texture that blends easily, setting to a powder-like finish that makes skin look smooth. The powdery nature of the finish is due in part to the high amount of mineral sunscreen actives this contains, and these provide reliable broad-spectrum sun protection, which is this BB cream's main benefit. This is similar to but with a lighter texture and finish that Dr. Jart's Premium BB Beauty Balm SPF 45. The SPF 45 version contains a greater array of anti-aging ingredients, but each provides mineral sun protection.
The finish of this BB cream will exaggerate even a tiny bit of dry skin, so if you have combination skin with dry areas, including around the eyes, you'll want to prep skin with moisturizer or serum. Otherwise, this provides light to barely medium coverage that, if not carefully blended, can emphasize rather than downplay wrinkles or large pores. When blended quickly and evenly, this looks great!
Only one shade is available, and its sheer, ivory-pink coloration is best for fair to light skin tones. Those with medium to tan skin tones will find the color looks grayish, and it makes dark skin tones look pasty white. The formula is best for combination to oily and sensitive skin. Those prone to breakouts can use this, too, though for some people with breakouts the mineral sunscreens can exacerbate matters (this isn't true for everyone; it's an individual response).
BB creams are said to be a step above tinted moisturizers because they treat your skin to beneficial ingredients most tinted moisturizers lack. In the case of Renewalist BB Beauty Balm, you're getting some of those ingredients, most notably niacinamide. The other notable ingredients in this product are listed after the preservative, so although they have antioxidant benefit, their presence doesn't count for much.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Long-wearing, natural-looking finish when blended thoroughly.
- Contains a good amount of cell-communicating ingredient niacinamide.
Only one shade is available, and it's best suited for fair to light skin tones.
Relatively low amount of the "extra" ingredients said to make BB creams a step above tinted moisturizers or foundations.
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.