The big draw with this BB cream is its matte finish and promise to "erase shine". Although it dispenses and initially feels creamy, this quickly morphs into a soft-textured formula that spreads easily and sets to a powder-like matte finish. The mix of dry-finish silicones and mineral active titanium dioxide and zinc oxide contribute to the long-wearing matte finish, while the sunscreen ingredients do double-duty by providing broad-spectrum sun protection. Dr. Brandt even includes some notable antioxidants and anti-irritants to boost skin's environmental defenses—and this is fragrance-free.
All of the above is positive, so here's where we discuss the drawbacks that led to this product's rating. First, this product is available in only one shade, a sheer peachy hue. On fair to light skin tones the peach tint is obvious and difficult to pass as natural. On medium skin tones the difference is less telling, but overall this is a tricky shade to match to any skin tone, despite its sheer to light coverage.
The second issue is inclusion of the sensitizing preservative methylisothiazolinone, which we explain in More Info. The amount of this preservative may be too low to be cause for concern, but given the wealth of other options, we see no reason to go with this one unless you're formulating a rinse-off product.
In short, this BB cream has potential for oily skin (it absolutely keeps shine in check, though it cannot "regulate sebum" (oil) as claimed; oil regulation is governed mostly by hormones) but its drawbacks should give you pause. If you want to consider this, definitely see about getting a sample to test the color before committing to a purchase.
Among the preservatives used in leave-on products, methylisothiazolinone is known to be sensitizing. This depends on the amount used, but as a general rule, if you see this ingredient in the middle of an ingredient list for a leave-on product it should be avoided, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Methylisothiazolinone is active against bacteria but has weak anti-fungal properties. Its use in rinse-off and leave-on cosmetic products is restricted to low amounts as a means of avoiding irritation while maintaining preservative efficacy. Along with methylchloroisothiazolinone, this preservative is a frequent allergen in leave-on products, particularly hair care and feminine hygiene (Sources: Contact Dermatitis, December 2012, pages 334-341 and November 2011, pages 276-285).
This all-in-one oil-free beauty balm provides instant mattifying coverage and oil-control, giving your skin an instant makeover. BB matte provides natural looking coverage to even skin tone and SPF 30 protection with 100% mineral filters, ideal for oily/combination, blemish-prone and sensitive skin types.
Active: Titanium Dioxide 6.17%, Zinc Oxide 4%. Inactive: Water (Aqua), Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Butyloctylsalicylate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Dimethicone PEG-8 Laurate, Silica, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Arachidyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Beeswax, Algae Extract, Adenosine, Hyaluronic Acid, Hexylresocinol, Isohexadecane, Butylene Glycol, Trisiloxane, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, PEG-100 Stearte, Glyceryl Stearate, Ascorbic Acid, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Arachidyl Glucoside, Behenyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Bisabolol, Dipotassium Glycerrhizate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylates/Sodium Acryloyldimehtyl Taurate Copolymer, PEG-8, Xanthan Gum, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Alumina, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Methicone, Triethoxycaprylsilane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbitol, Lecithin, Oleic Acid, Methylisothazolinone, Iron Oxides.
Dr. Brandt At-A-Glance
Strengths: Provides complete ingredient lists on the company website; a good daytime moisturizer with sunscreen.
Weaknesses: Expensive; overwhelming number of products that contain irritating ingredients with no established benefit for skin; no products to comprehensively address acne or oily skin; every Pores No More product is a disappointment; jar packaging; several products make claims on par with what cosmetic procedures (not skin care) can do.
The late Dr. Fredric Brandt (he passed away in April, 2015 at the age of 65) was a Miami- and New York City–based dermatologist whose claim to fame rested on two main points. The first (and it is a very important credibility factor for consumers) included the many celebrity clients worked with, while the second was his assertion that he performed more Botox and collagen injections than any other dermatologist in the world. According to Allergan, the company that makes Botox, they no longer rank the physicians who purchase Botox from them; however, they did confirm that Dr. Brandt was definitely one of their biggest buyers. Yet regardless of how much Botox or collagen Dr. Brandt or any other physician uses, what in the world does that have to do with cosmetic formulations? If anything, you have to wonder why Brandt was using so much Botox and collagen if his products truly fight wrinkles, sagging, and on and on.
Beyond Brandt's cosmetic enhancement procedures, he is the author of Age-less: The Definitive Guide to Botox, Collagen, Lasers, Peels, and Other Solutions for Flawless Skin. His book and skin-care line are competing against the vastly more popular books and product line from fellow dermatologist Dr. N.V. Perricone. Although Perricone's skin-care line has some drawbacks, including irritating ingredients and the lack of supporting research for his neuropeptide products, the majority of his products, though overpriced, have more pros than cons. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Dr. Brandt, whose namesake skin-care line is on the disappointing side, especially given the product's price points.
Brandt's products are sold with the tag line that they are "prescription strength, prescription-free," and "are formulated under dermatologic control for maximum safety and efficiency and offer the highest performance without a prescription." Aside from how unbelievable that assertion is, what is not mentioned is the fact that none of the ingredients in Brandt's products are comparable to prescription formulations. And what is "dermatologic control" anyway, given that there are no such standards anywhere in the world? Moreover, what do dermatologists know about the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, much less cosmetics? The two arenas of expertise are completely unrelated.
Dr. Brandt positioned his products as clinically superior to what you would find in other cosmetics lines, an unproven assertion to say the least. Many of his products tout benefits that don't just stretch the truth, but snap it in two—and these fallacies were more disconcerting coming from an esteemed dermatologist. When products contain the problematic ingredients that are so pervasive in Brandt's line, such as irritating plant extracts, drying detergent cleansing agents, and far too many products with skin cell-damaging lavender oil, it becomes nothing more than a line that should be approached with extreme caution.
The line does have a few bright spots: many of Brandt's products do contain significant amounts of antioxidants, though that certainly doesn't make his line unique because many other product lines do that, too. (Here it's fair to say that while no specific amounts have been established for any antioxidant that will ensure their effectiveness, the general consensus among researchers is that more antioxidants are better than less, and less is still better than none at all.) Unless you were a devoted patient of Dr. Brandt and would be racked with guilt for not purchasing his products while visiting for an appointment, there is no reason to seek out this disappointing line.
For more information about Dr. Brandt's products, call (800) 234-1066 or visit www.drbrandtskincare.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!