e.l.f. CosmeticsStudio BB Cream SPF 20
1.06 fl. oz. for $6
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Brand Overview
Expert Reviews

If you're new to the category of BB creams (and CC creams), we invite you to check out our article on the topic. For the well-versed, this BB cream has two major deficits that make it not worth considering. The first is that its sun protection is only rated SPF 20, when SPF 30 or higher is recommended for adequate protection. The second is this product's strong, lingering scent. Fragrance isn't skin care, and when present in high amounts it becomes a greater risk of irritation.

The insufficient sunscreen issue is important because most people view BB creams as "all in one", time-saving products to make the morning routine easier. Yet here you'd need to apply a separate moisturizer with sunscreen underneath, whereas with a BB cream that offers better sun protection you can apply liberally and evenly for adequate protection.

Of lesser concern due to the low amount used (but still worth mentioning) is the inclusion of preservative methylisothiazolinone. Typically used to replace the unfairly maligned parabens, this preservative is known to be sensitizing when used I leave-on products (Source: www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/regulatory/region/europe/Preserving-with-Methylisothiazolinone-premium-246545731.html?c=n). Moreover, this risk is likely to increase when methylisothiazolinone is combined with sunscreen actives as these can be sensitizing for some people (especially when used around the eyes). All told, this isn't the wisest combo for anyone's skin, and all the fragrance complicates matters further.

The four shades offered are mostly good, with only the Medium shade being too peach for most medium skin tones. The lightest shade (Fair) is a bit too dark for truly fair skin, but fine for light skin tones. This BB cream has a smooth, lotion-like texture that's easy to blend and sets to a lightweight satin finish that provides sheer to light coverage with a natural appearance. Aesthetically, this hits all the right notes, but the ingredients (what's there and what's missing) tell a different tale.

  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy-blend, lightweight texture + natural-looking finish.
  • Mostly good shades.
  • The sunscreen rating is low to provide adequate protection.
  • Formula has a strong scent that lingers, posing a risk of irritation.
  • Contains a sensitizing preservative not recommended for use in leave-on products.
Last Updated:05.29.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Community Reviews

Prime, protect, moisturize, and perfect your skin with this multitasking cream. Infused with key anti-aging ingredients like Vitamin E, Jojoba, Aloe, and Cucumber to hydrate and nourish the skin. The smoothing formula minimizes fine lines and provides a natural tint of color for seamless coverage.


ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Oxybenzone 4%, Octisalate 5%, Octinoxate 7.5% INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Beonzoate, Titanium Dioxide, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Sorbitan Olivate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Sodium Chloride, Quaternium-18 Bentonite, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Dimethicone, Zinc Stearate, Talc, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Bisabolol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Mica, Silica, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Methylisothiazolinone. MAY CONTAIN: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499).

Brand Overview

e.l.f. At-A-Glance

e.l.f. (it stands for which stands for Eyes, Lips, Face) was founded by Scott Vincent Borba and Joseph Shamah. The story goes that one day Borba was shopping in a dollar store and noticed women dressed in designer clothing and sporting designer handbags loading up their baskets with inexpensive nail polish, eye pencils, and lip balm. He took note of the products being sold in such stores and quickly decided he could offer products of even higher quality at the same competitive price. His idea paid off, as e.l.f. has enjoyed continued success and increased distribution online and in retail stores.

For a line offering many products for just a dollar (OK, there are plenty that cost $3 and $5, too), there are a surprising number of hits in the mix (especially the makeup brushes). True, not everything is going to be as luxurious or innovative as some higher-end brands, but overall you're likely to be impressed with what they developed for so little money, and you may just find some beauty bargains!

For more information about e.l.f., call (800) 231-4732 or visit www.eyeslipsface.com.

About the Experts

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.

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