What a mixed bag! Before we get into the good and not-so-good points of this water-resistant, fragrance-free tinted daytime moisturizer with sunscreen, a quick word about the "BB" in the name. These letters stand for "beauty balm", and typically such products are supposed to go above and beyond what a standard tinted moisturizer does. L'Oreal's formula doesn't support this notion, as its chief benefit is broad-spectrum sun protection, which you can get from hundreds of other products. Otherwise, there's nothing in here that gives it an edge for anyone's skin; the antioxidants (grape fruit and vitamin E, listed as tocopherol) are present in a teeny-tiny amounts unlikely to be of much benefit other than good marketing copy.
Getting past the BB and "with antioxidants" marketing angles, what really makes this product special is its super-light, fluid texture, easy application, and nearly weightless dry down that doesn't leave a trace of shine. This is the texture and finish those with oily skin dream about finding in a sunscreen, but part of the way L'Oreal achieved this feat is with skin-damaging alcohol. The amount may just be low enough to not pose a risk of irritation, but we cannot say for sure. What we do know is that there are ingredients other than alcohol that can create this product's fabulous finish that wears beautifully under makeup. So, L'Oreal's decision to use alcohol is one we're puzzled about.
The tint this product has looks alarmingly peachy when you begin blending, but it fades and softens to a near-translucent hint of color that works on all but the fairest skin tones.
In terms of this not clogging pores, the texture is certainly unlikely to do this; however, no product can state with 100% certainty it won't clog pores—and even if that were true, keep in mind that it's often not just one product that contributes to clogged pores but the combination of products you use every day that does it.
We were on the fence about how to rate this and ultimately decided to go with "GOOD" despite the slight risk of irritation the alcohol presents. Esthetically, this is one of the lightest, silkiest, and most weightless SPF-rated products we've come across—and it's absolutely worth a try if you have oily to very oily skin, including if it's prone to breakouts. This formula would not be ideal for sensitive skin due to the amount of active sunscreen ingredients.
This multi-acting formula is infused with powerful antioxidants vitamin E and white grape seed to help keep skin healthy and youthful-looking. Just shake to activate this virtually weightless lotion. This unique formula absorbs quickly and layers invisibly under makeup leaving a silky soft, matte finish on skin.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10.72%), Octisalate (3.21%), Octocrylene (6%), Oxybenzone (3.86%); Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol Denat., Silica, Dicaprylyl Ether, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, PEG 30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Nylon-12, PEG-8 Laurate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dodecene, Sodium Chloride, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides, P Anisic Acid, Tocopherol, Disodium EDTA, Poloxamer 407, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Lauryl PEG/PPG 18/18 Methicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Isostearyl Alcohol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate
L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance
Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.
Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.
L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor—if there are any at all.
L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.
The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.
Unfortunately, despite the brands’ enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit.
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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