Hydra Life BB Crème Enhancing Moisturizer for Immediate Beauty SPF 30

by Dior  
Price:
$56 - 1.7 fl. oz.
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Category:
Makeup > Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams > BB Cream
Last Updated:
5/20/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

Dior’s contribution to the BB Cream craze (and why this ever became more than mild enthusiasm is beyond us) doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Like most BB creams, this provides broad-spectrum sun protection and includes titanium dioxide for sufficient UVA (think anti-aging) screening. That’s great but hardly unique to this product. Most BB creams also include a smattering of skin-beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants. Dior did that, but they’re minimally present; in fact, there’s far more alcohol and fragrance in this glorified tinted moisturizer than state-of-the-art anti-aging ingredients.

The amount of alcohol is likely too low to be cause for concern, but it’s not great that it shows up long before the ingredients that are supposed to make BB creams special. This product has a smooth, slightly creamy texture that sets to a soft matte finish. Its sheer peachy tint provides soft, subtle coverage but due to the peach coloration this only works on certain light/medium skin tones. It’s not a one-size-fits-all shade! The finish makes this best for normal to oily skin, but think twice before considering this because the fragrance is strong and it lingers. Fragrance isn’t skin care and there’s little in this BB Cream that can be considered “caring”, though of course the sun protection counts.

Active: Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate) 3.75%, Titanium Dioxide 3.55%, Oxybenzone (Benzophenone -3) 1.00% Other: Aqua (Water), Titanium Dioxide, Methyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycerin, Isododecane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Nylon 6/12, Alcohol, Iron Oxides, Betaine, Magnesium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Aluminum Stearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Rosa Hybrid Flower Extract, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ajuga Turkestanica Extract, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Iron Oxides, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, Caprylyl Glycol, Alumina, Tocopheryl Acetate, Parfum (Fragrance), Propylene Carbonate, Iron Oxides, BHT, Aluminum Hydroxide, Citronellol, Limonene

If you're looking for a clear-cut case of style winning out over substance, here it is. The Dior name is synonymous with couture fashion and countless other lifestyle accoutrements, but they continue to falter when it comes to establishing a first-rate collection of skin-care products. Of course, the company believes their products are the crème de la crème and if we're judging on aesthetics alone, we see what they mean. However, what's inside the gorgeous components is what counts for your skin, and Dior's formulas leave a lot to be desired. On one hand, it's great that all of their sunscreens contain sufficient UVA protection; on the other, all of their moisturizers either leave skin wanting more or contain problematic ingredients with no skin-redeeming qualities.

Fragrance is huge for Dior, and a visit to their counter attests to this, as fragrances line the counter right beside the skin-care tester unit. It would be better for skin if the two categories were kept separate, but in most cases the amount of fragrance added to Dior's skin-care products is greater than the token amounts of state-of-the-art ingredients (and the effectiveness of most of those is further diminished by jar packaging). If you wouldn't put perfume on your face, think twice about applying it in the form of an expensive skin-care product.

On the plus side, there are a few very good products to consider if you don't mind spending the extra money. If you're a fan of Dior's fashions and want to experiment with their cosmetic products, you'll find that their makeup outshines the skin care and has improved in ways that keep the panache while making genuine improvements. Despite all manner of claims to the contrary (everything from purifying pores to lifting skin to the point that sagging is a thing of the past), the most attractive part of Dior's formulas is how they're dressed, not how they perform.

For more information about Dior, call (212) 931-2200 or visit www.dior.com.

Dior Makeup

Always fashion-forward, Dior's makeup is more well-designed and attractive than ever, offering standout products in almost every category. The most notable change over the past several years has been Dior's improved foundation formulas and shades. It's now the exception rather than the rule to find overtly peach, pink, or rose-toned shades among Dior's many complexion-enhancing options. Even better, Dior has recently introduced foundations to compensate for its previous too-low SPF efforts, with formulas available in SPF 15, 20 and 25, a couple of which even include UVA-protecting ingredients. Such a move shows that while Dior may still struggle with an overall lackluster skin care line, they are at least working to meet dermatologist-recommended benchmarks for sun protection.

You will also be very impressed with Dior's powder blush, eyeshadows (though their shiny finish is not the best for Baby Boomer eyes), the DiorSkin concealer, brow gel, and most of the mascaras. If you're a fan of lip gloss and are willing to tolerate a double-digit price, you'll be in cosmetics heaven wading through all the lip-shining options here. On the flip side, neither the standard pencils nor most of the lipsticks are worth the money. With any designer-based line built on artifice, price is more than a matter of dollars. It's indicative of a company’s image and remains a prestige factor that often speaks louder than the products themselves. Dior is guilty of maximizing its assets to play up its image, but with their makeup line the good news for you is that, for the most part, they really pay attention to what’s inside all the luxe containers, too.

One more note: Dior’s makeup tester units are much more accessible and user-friendly than for previous editions of this book. We also found their counter staff to be more accommodating and definitely less condescending than several other European-bred lines.

Note: Dior is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Dior does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

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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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