Clear Complexion BB Cream SPF 30

by Aveeno  
Price:
$16.99 - 2.5 fl. oz.
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Category:
Makeup > Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams > BB Cream
Last Updated:
4/10/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This BB cream falls short for a couple of reasons, including the fact that it lacks the ingredients needed to provide adequate sun protection (see More Info). That's a surprising oversight from Aveeno because typically they get this critical issue right. Furthermore, the fragranced formula's strong scent poses a risk of irritation (see More Info).

True to claim, this BB cream does brighten skin with a moisturizing, radiant shimmer finish. (Oily skin types beware: The finish will only make you look shinier.) The coverage is too sheer to "instantly conceal" as claimed, but the creamy fluid texture takes a little more blending than you'd expect to get smooth, even results.

The inclusion of soy extract is a welcome addition for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but there's not enough research to prove it can help fade discolorations as implied. This formula would have been better with the addition of more skin-beneficial extras, minus the irritating fragrance.

Pros:
  • Moisturizing, radiant finish well suited for normal to dry skin.
Cons:
  • Fails to provide sufficient UVA (think anti-aging) protection.
  • Strongly fragranced formula poses a risk of irritation.
  • Too sheer to conceal flaws.
More Info:

Insufficient UVA protection: Active Naturals Clear Complexion BB Cream SPF 30 does not include the ingredients needed to shield your skin from the sun's entire range of damaging UVA rays, which is essential for anti-aging benefits. Any SPF-rated product should contain one or more of the following UVA-protecting ingredients listed as "active": avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb (Sources: Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, December 2011, pages 81–90; Cosmetic Dermatology, Second Edition, Baumann, Leslie MD, McGraw Hill, 2009, pages 246–252; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Supplement, 2009, pages 19–24; The Encyclopedia of Ultraviolet Filters, Shaath, Nadim A., Allured Publishing, 2007; and Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, October 2003, pages 242–253).

Irritation from fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin. (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22.)

Active: Homosalate (5%), Octinoxate (7.5%), Octisalate (5%), Oxybenzone (2%). Other: Water, PPG-3 Myristyl Ether Neoheptanoate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Silica, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Isohexadecane, Bisabolol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Polysorbate 20, p-Anisic Acid, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Urea, Sodium PCA, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate 60, Xanthan Gum, Tetrasodium EDTA, Hexylene Glycol, Trehalose, Polyquaternium-51, Triacetin, Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxides

Beginning with its first product in 1945, Soothing Bath Treatment, still sold today as part of the company's Baby line of products, Aveeno has prided itself on using natural ingredients. In some ways, they were a pioneer in the field, though for years the only natural ingredient of note in their products was oatmeal. Consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson purchased the brand in 1999, and wasted almost no time expanding it. A handful of bar cleansers and bath products were spun off into complete collections of facial-care products and an ever-growing number of body lotions and washes, not to mention shaving gels (Aveeno is one of the few companies whose shaving gels are truly fragrance-free).

Not surprisingly, many of the facial-care products from Aveeno are similar to those from Johnson & Johnsonowned Neutrogena. The differences typically lie in the natural ingredients each brand promotes. A cornerstone ingredient for Aveeno is soy, while Neutrogena has experimented (with varying degrees of success) with copper, retinol, salicylic acid, and melibiose. Overall, Neutrogena has a much larger and more comprehensive selection of products, though their formulas are also more problematic. Aveeno would do well to diversify a bit, or at least acknowledge that it takes more than a single star ingredient to provide superior skin-care products. As is, most of their anti-wrinkle products don't compete favorably with the more well-rounded options, not just from Neutrogena but also from Olay, Dove, and, in some respects, L'Oreal.

Getting back to the issue of soy, you'll see from the reviews it is indeed a helpful ingredient for skin—just not in the same multifaceted, does-everything manner Aveeno touts on each soy-containing product's package. A big proponent for Aveeno's use of soy is dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf. She is quoted on Aveeno's web site, stating that "It is now clear that the ability of natural soy to deliver multiple benefits to skin plays a lead role in high performance skin care." That sounds great but it doesn't explain why Aveeno ignores research on countless other antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients, all elements Dr. Graf uses in her separate, namesake product line. Interestingly, with Graf's own products relying on a blend of efficacious ingredients, including soy, it's a good question why she decided to endorse Aveeno's one-note soy products.

The bottom line is that when it comes to shopping for skin-care products at the drugstore, Aveeno, for all its talk of being a leader in "Active Naturals," doesn't have the all-inclusive product assortment needed to take the best possible care of your skin. However, paying attention to their top offerings is time (and money) well-spent!

For more information about Aveeno, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (866) 428-3366 or visit www.aveeno.com.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
Page of 1
  1. Gina N.
    Reviewed on Monday, October 07, 2013
    • Recommend
      3 / 4
    • Results
      3 / 4
    • Value
      3 / 4
    It's not that bad.
    • Everything what paula said is true about this, wouldnt recommend this for people that have scars,dark spots or baggy eyes since it does have a sheer coverage, but love the moisture it gives me and the shine, but not good for oily skin types, Was surprise of how the color matched my skin color, but I didnt have a choice cause the best BB creams only come in 2 shades and still look to dark for my skin color.

  2. Gina N.
    Reviewed on Sunday, September 08, 2013
    • Value
      2 / 4
    • Results
      2 / 4
    • Recommend
      2 / 4
    Aveeno Clear complexion BB cream
    • I would only recommend this product for someone that has already flawless skin and need only little touch up of tinted moisture. cause the coverage is very sheer, however i do like the the texture on my skin, my skin is combination. It does have a strong perfumy scent. A pro for me is that it does moisturize. If i had discover this site earlier i wouldnt have got it at the drug store.

  3. LJ
    Reviewed on Saturday, April 20, 2013
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    • Results
      2 / 4
    • Value
      2 / 4
    Don't bother...
    • The coverage was ok, but something in the ingredients (probably the chemical sunscreens) made my face sting. This product also made me break out.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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