Sunday, August 01, 2010

BB Cream as Primer: Yay or Nay? Missha, Innisfree, SkinFood, Dr. Jart

Trace writes: After two years of reading about BB creams that promise all the good in the world, I've decided to join the craze. I actually prefer to use these supposedly magical potions as moisturizer/primer instead of an all-around face base, because:
  • I've read that most of them are gray, so I don't expect a color match. Why are they gray anyway?! Koreans are not gray. And I have never seen a gray-skinned person in my life. Besides, light-medium coverage is not good enough for me. I only put on a dime-sized thin layer (or less if the BB cream is thick) before slapping on my usual foundation. 
  • The sunblock properties up to SPF 42 sound awesome! For the longest time, I've relied on SPF 15 since I don't go out too much anyway and I am always scared of that "white cast". But after reading more and more, I now know that I have to amp up sun protection if I want good skin now and in the future.
  • They claim to have super skincare powers that can prevent aging, fade acne scars, and keep the skin taut and fine. I fancy thinking that BB creams can lock in all the goodness after my usual face wash/toner skin care routine.
  • They cover pores like any other silicone/non-silicone based primer, which makes them perfect pre-foundation.
Since I have very oily, acne-prone skin, I've trimmed down my prime choices to four brands - the more yellow-toned ones and the variants that target oily skinned girls. FYI, the swatches below look TOO yellow and seem like they match my skintone, but they are actually more neutral and are lighter in real life. I apologize for the innacuracy of the pictures.

After almost a month of trying these out - one BB cream a week - here's my take:

Missha Perfect Cover No. 23
SPF 42 PA+++
MISSHA M Perfect Cover B.B. Cream offers a novel skincare concept with B.B. cream, which lightens skin tone by healing visible wrinkles and blemishes, with excellent skin-cover ability, and prevents skin aging through effective whitening and anti-wrinkle properties.

Missha Perfect Cover No. 21

# 23 is my EXACT skin color, and it is kinda freaky (I am a less yellow NC25 in MAC) to find a match from a BB cream! Totally unexpected. You see, my face doesn't match the rest of my body: I have had my share of slathering derma creams for years now and they have made my facial skin mild yellow/neutral-toned and prone to redness, instead of my former warm medium-yellow skin. I guess for skin similar to mine, you'd like this one. #21, obviously, is too light.

As primer, Missha Perfect Cover spreads easily for a thick BB cream, even without moisturizer on. It settles on me with a satiny finish and covers pores extremely well. It makes my skin oily after an hour, which I don't like - probably because of the gooeyness of the product. Still, I will probably keep my tube because of the color match.
Other reviews: 

Innisfree Trouble Care BB Cream
SPF 27
Innisfree extracts botanical nutrients and essence from organic plants to correct varies problematic types. By pure, natural, professional and effective therapy, Innisfree creates healthy and energetic skin and pleasant mood. All products are dermatologically-tested. Skin looks smooth and clear. Herbal essences hydrate skin, Tea Tree extracts disinfect and smooth skin, American mint helps soothe pressured skin, It also calms skin and skin feels cool and comfortable, Vitamin A and Moneywort protect skin from external aggressions.

This BB cream comes out of the tube as gray-as-can-be so I don't really fancy it, and it makes my skin ghastly lighter my real skintone. You have to wait a bit for it to blend well. It's hard to spread as well and it dries to a matte finish which makes foundation look dry when applied after. Don't be fooled - even if it's very flat at first, it makes me oily after less than two hours. Smells lightly herby and this may annoy some people. 
Other reviews:

SkinFood Peach Sake Cream No. 1
SPF 20
A lightweight BB cream specifically formulated for oily, acne-prone skin. Peach extract soothes oily and troubled skin, while sake effectively controls sebum production. Peach Sake Pore BB Cream conceals uneven pigmentation and blemishes, creating a flawless canvass for foundation or powder. Regular use minimizes oil slicks and refines pores, giving skin a smoother feel with a porcelain-like finish. Contains Peach extract that soothes oily, troubled skin Sake controls excessive sebum secretion Light-textured blemish cream effectively conceals skin impurities and gives a natural coverage for a flawless complexion.

I love the peachy, fruity smell of this BB cream! It has a peachy-yellow tone so I think this one fits me in correcting my too-neutral skintone. Less harder to blend than Innisfree, BUT... my makeup melts faster when I use this as a base and it makes my foundation crease. My pores look huge when I use this one!! Yeah, yeah I know a lot of people (especially Pinays) adore this BB cream but I have no love for this at all.
Other reviews:
Makeupalley (Shade 2)
Kikay Trekkie
BB Cream Queen

Dr. Jart BB Cream Silver SPF35

Rejuvenating Blemish Base, whitening SPF35/PA++
This unique professional formula containing innovative active ingredients, concealing blemishes and activating skin rejuvenation. It soothes red, irritated skin while providing moisture to the skin. It can also be used as a make up base. 

Out of all the four BB creams, this provides decent oil control (think 3 hours) and does not make my makeup fade. Good thing it has SPF 35 as well! It fills in the pores and the coverage is also good enough to serve as a foundation, but it is a tad light on me. I like Dr. Jart Silver the best, obviously.
Other reviews:

SkinFood Peach Sake
Innisfree Trouble Care
Dr. Jart Silver
Missha #23
Missha #21

So... what don't I like about BB creams?
In general, they make my skin oily and my makeup disappears/melts when I use them. Bottomline, I'm happy to let go of BB creams since I am not entirely satisfied with them as primers. I know other people like them (hello LIZZ!) but they are not for me.

The worst thing? I have been getting breakouts! =( I guess my skin does not like being experimented on - I am actually not sure if this sad case was triggered by the different BB Creams, or Celeteque Moisturizer, or L'Oreal UV Perfect. All these products have promised great things for my skin; unfortunately, they've done me BAAAAAD. 

Anyway, I've gone back to my usual routine (Cyleina Black Pearl soap / Kojic Soap + Witch Hazel Toner + Myra-E VitaWhite Moisturizer SPF 15) and I am currrently wishing my skin sins will fade away. =( Let's cross our fingers!



  1. Thorough post! This is very informative, thanks Tracy :)

  2. A comprehensive review. I never liked BB creams as they make my face oilier than the usual. Never liked how it felt on my skin. After trying one which is Skinfood Mushroom 2 years ago, never bought anything again. Broke me out too.

  3. Haha, thanks for the shoutout. XD I'm surprised that you're breaking out with BB Creams; I've had oil control problems with some brands, but nothing has ever made me break out. I guess, different skin types really need different things.

    I tried out L'Oreal's True Match foundation the other week and it totally broke me out... I was suddenly reminded why I turned to BB Creams in the first place, haha.

    Hope you still find a use for your leftover BB Creams, though! :D

  4. Zaya - Thank you! :)

    Pammy - I'm joining your club! I actually bought Purederm BB cream when Bare Naturals launched it, and I remember selling it @ GT because I didn't really like it. I only went back to BB cream this year since I wanted my base to have skincare benefits. Unfortunately... PLAN BACKFIRED =(

    Lizz - Haha :) I know you love BB creams and you have gorgeous skin! I'm happy for you. It's weird but I think my skin adores Western brands - I don't break out with MAC/Revlon! So weird.

    Sayang, the stash I have is not composed of sparkly BB creams, I could have opted for your recommendation. But maybe I can mix my leftover BB creams with lotion for a tinted leg foundation or something... But will probably sell/swap them at GT.

  5. I have Missha BB Cream. It's okay but it does make my skin very oily. :(

  6. same with cream is 1 of my skin's enemy

    i love the finish of BB Creams but it just doesn't work for me

  7. Smarla - Maybe another variant will work for you :) Missha seems bad at the oil-control department talaga =(

    Thiamere - I have like 4 zits. Eeek. I don't want want to experiment too much, ang risky! :( Whether or not BB cream is the culprit, nakakatakot.

  8. loved this post! i've always wondered which bb creams did what because there are just SOOOOOO many! hehe i actually kind of like bb creams.. probably because they havent broke me out just yet *knock on wood* haha so i'd love to try out some of these products you mentioned! thanks :D

  9. Thank you Agnes! :) Glad to know your skin loves BB creams. This isn't an anti-BB cream post over just a story of how my skin just loathes their creaminess, haha. Cheers!

  10. Trace, good review. I have not yet used any BB cream yet, though I have a Dr. Ci:Labo BB cream that I asked my friend to help me buy from Japan few months ago. I think I will try it out in fall. I've heard good reviews about Dr. Jart, and now you mentioned it you like it the most among the BB.

  11. Thanks Fish Fish :) I hope BB creams work out for you. For some people, these are really good products they even sleep overnight with a layer on! But for me, nah.

    Yup, Dr. Jart Silver is good... The cover and texture is like a semi-fluid foundation. I don't know about the other variants from the brand though.

  12. I love the Dr Jart Gold and Silver variants. :D

    i know why BB creams make Pinays look gray. actually its not just BB creams, this applies to all face makeup. my observation is that if your undertone is yellow and you force beige makeup on you, the result is grayish. likewise if you have beige undertones and use yellow makeup.

    bb creams are usually heavily beige since theyre formulated for koreans.

    lol hope this helps. anyway, i use the Silver variant when my skin needs a pick me up. it makes for quick brightening, provided i only use a bit.

  13. Hi Liz - Thanks, that makes sense :) Although I've still seen predominantly gray (as in I couldn't call it beige) BB creams like Missha Snail Care BB Cream which totally freaks me out. Like cement on the face.

    I'm so happy with the Dr. Jart BB Cream you sent! So lucky... The texture is like oil-free foundation so it adheres to the skin extremely well. =)

  14. My holy grail BB cream is Skinfood's Mushroom BB cream in #1 never broke me out, no oil control but it made wonders to my skin

    (faded acne scars, minimized pores, plumped up skin)

    makes me want to try out korean cosmetics again

  15. K - good to know BB cream works for you! I've sworn it off though =(

  16. I've tried BB Creams from Etude House. The Magic Cream SPF 30 PA++ and Precious Mineral BB Cream - Sheer Silky. Both worked out for me considering the fact that like you, I do have an oily and acne-prone skin aas well, but both products do have pros and cons.

    Magic Cream - Easy to blend. Matches my fair skin - not too pale, not too dark. Not that good on oil control though they claim the product to work on oily skin.

    Precious Mineral - Definitely hard to blend! It dries out easily so I use a sponge to help me out. Sheer Silky's meant for oily skin so it works wonders. It'll take hours before you get a shiny T-zone and do a retouch.

    With the Magic Cream, I have to use a finishing powder after which sort of works and helps on oil control but for the Precious Mineral, powder will not be enough. I have to use a foundation to settle the cream and then the finishing powder. It gives that "white" or "ghostly" cast so you really have to work hard on blending it.

    But both products didn't give me breakouts plus they're not that expensive if compared to other BB creams out there. :)

  17. awww i'm a bb cream fanatic, the face shop's hd bb cream from their face it line is super matte. but the bb creams you have here, are in my personal opinion wonderful except for the missha 21 LOL that has a gray cast on me, to think i'm already a mac nc20 LOL.
    i have oily skin hahaha

  18. I love this post..its like my inner thoughts about BB cream...I just don't understand why a lot of people are raving about BB creams..But not for me, I've tried 5-6 brands of bb creams, but none of them works...and most of them gives me breakout..I had no other choice but to throw them away..=( I so wanted the bb cream to work for me that is why I kept trying out different brands..but in the end it still gave me bad results..I'll stick with mineral primers/foundations because they are the one that works for me...=)

  19. I'm sorry that BBcreams didnt work out for you. Probably your skin is too use to foundations. :)
    Nice post really btw. :)

  20. Very interesting post ^^,

    BTW I am having my first ever giveaway maybe you and your friends wants to join. ^^,