Tag Archives: sunscreen

Garnier BB Cream: just a few thoughts

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I know the BB craze is in a full swing so I am rather late to the party yet some of my friends have other hobbies apart from being obsessed with beauty products and they may still appreciate a few thoughts on this particular product.

As most of you know this is Garnier’s version of Asian BB creams. BB cream originally means either Beauty Balm  or Blemish Balm (that is targeted more for young and problematic skin). It’s a moisturizer, tint, sun protection (usually 30-50 spf)  with whitener (in Asian products) or illuminator and antioxidants in one package to create “your skin but better” finish.

The Garnier BB cream comes (at least here, in Europe) in two shades, light and light/medium. I chose the light one and you may be surprised that the actual potion in this shade looks quite dark, don’t worry, it melts in. I’m usually MAC Nc20 or 1,5 and this light shade is a good match for me. It feels smooth when applied on, not heavy in silicones and settles into satin finish with a subtle glow. So far I like it. When used alone it lasts 6 or so hours and then it disappears. I like to use it with a concealer and powder on top, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, and that makes it last for almost the whole day. Just a word of warning: it doesn’t seem to like to be layered over any heavier base such as a natural oil or heavier spf as it tends to settle into pores and look rather uneven.

There is fragrance and while it’s a pretty citrusy fresh scent it may not be suitable for fragrancephobes ;). Though once applied on your face it vanishes in a second.

Obviously it won’t cover any major imperfection. The sides of my face have many red marks and that doesn’t get covered. But it creates an even look with a subtle glow making it perfect for days when you’re lazy, in a hurry, are on vacations where you don’t want to apply foundation every morning, if you are not fond of wearing foundation or if you’re lucky enough to have a (near)perfect skin.

It doesn’t seem to clog my pores, make me more oily and my skin had no issues with sensitivity.

So, do I have any pet peeve with Garnier’s BB cream? Yes… spf 15??? Really? In the day & age when lipsticks, hand creams and everything you look at including even shoe polish (well, probably…) has an spf  of 15 and the Asian BBs start at 30, Garnier cannot do better than 15? So I still have to put my spf 50 on before this one and that kind of defeats the whole purpose of using a BB cream in the first place. It would be perfect for summer when you can’t be bothered with foundation… or for vacations… but the UVA/UVB protection is just too low. So, Garnier, how about spf 30? It’s not too high for those who still want to tan and it’s not too low for those who prefer to shield themselves from sun.

I still like it but may actually have a look at the Asian market for a BB cream with a better sun protection for summer.

Do you use any BB cream? What is your favorite?

Please, protect yourself! Using sunscreen that is.

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I’m sure most of you are getting tired of the constant harping about the importance of wearing (reliable) sunscreen. On a daily basis. Even when sitting in the shade on a beach. Even in winter. Every day, all year round. I’m not even going to mention sunbeds. If you use them, this review may not be for you.

Most of you probably already know that finding a good sunscreen is not as easy as it seems. You have to first figure out whether you want/prefer a mineral (or physical) sunscreen or a chemical one. Mineral sunscreen actually blocks or deflects sun rays, while chemical sunscreen absorbs them.

While a mineral one is probably more reliable and causes less negative reactions, it can be too thick and opaque, sticky and just too much for combination and oily skin. It can cause breakouts, make you shiny and some foundations don’t like to sit on mineral sunscreen. Some say that breakouts are mostly caused by titanium dioxide, so may want to try products with zinc oxide. Physical sunscreen also causes a minimum amount of irritations or allergies. And if you do find a foundation that likes mineral sunscreen, the sunscreen can actually work as a good base making the foundation longer lasting. Most “natural” lines use mineral sunscreen, also dermatological lines such as LaRoche-Posay use physical sunscreen for sensitive skin in adults and children. If looking for mineral sun protection just check the ingredients list at the back of the packaging for titanium dioxide or zinc oxide

Chemical sunscreens offer higher protection but some cause skin irritation. They are especially good for a broad UVA  protection. Some products combine mineral and chemical sunscreen ingredients for safe yet very effective protection. Most chemical sunscreen are stable but for example Avobenzone is better combined either with other chemical or mineral sunscreen. The most common chemical sunscreens are Octycrylene  (used a lot in Nivea products, Avene), Octisalate (Nivea), Avobenzone , Oxybenzone, Mexoryl SX and XL (L’Oreal, Garnier).

And the last ingredient brings me (finally, I know) to the reviewed product: L’OREAL Dermo-Expertise UV Perfect Long Lasting UVA/UVB Protector SPF50 PA+++ Porcelain Even Complexion. This product is sold, I believe, only on the Asian market and I bought mine from strawberrynet.com. I found the price reasonable $18.50 (roughly 360 CZK) and liked the high protection it promised. I also fancied the fact that the lotion itself is tinted to even out your complexion. L’Oreal promises reliable sun protection, prevention of brown spots and darkening and that the product is loaded with antioxidants.

As you can see from the image, the lotion is a golden/beige color and ever so slightly shimmery. That is only obvious on my hand as I didn’t spread it enough to show you the tint. You can’t see any shimmer once it’s applied to your face, only a pretty glow. I can attest to the claim of evening the complexion. If I follow with a concealer and powder I am set to go and dont have to use any foundation. Obviously it doesn’t cover imperfections but it does make your skin appear more even, glowing and natural. After application, your face may feel a tad sticky but that feeling disappears within a few minutes. After that it fully absorbs into the skin and foundation application is a breeze. I was actually quite impressed with this sunscreen. My skin tends to be oily in the summer and I cannot use most mineral sunscreens as they are too heavy for me and break me out. On the other hand, just to make matters more complicated, some chemical sunscreens sensitize my skin. My skin becomes red, splotchy and peels off slightly. Nope, not a pretty sight.

The good:

L’OREAL Dermo-Expertise UV Perfect Long Lasting UVA/UVB Protector SPF50 doesn’t make my skin an oily mess, doesn’t break me out or sensitize my skin and I never tanned when using it.

The slightly less good:

The only thing that stops me from screaming “Perfection!” is the fragrance. It’s not strong or unpleasant, but it’s just there. I wish it was unfragranced. Luckily, the scent dissipates after a minute or two.

Ok then, I should be fair and scream “Near Perfection!” 😀