This is a very good BB cream, which essentially means it’s just a good tinted moisturizer with sunscreen. Ample sun protection is provided by the gentle mineral actives titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which, combined with a fragrance-free formula, makes this an excellent option for sensitive skin.
The creamy, lotion-like texture smoothes easily over skin, providing light coverage and a natural-looking satin-matte finish that helps diffuse minor flaws such as slight redness. This does not provide enough coverage to hide brown spots or a markedly uneven skin tone, so if those are your concerns you’ll want to stick with a foundation that offers medium or greater coverage (and make sure it’s rated SPF 15 or greater).
Only one shade is available, and its sheer, ivory-pink coloration is best for fair to light skin tones. Those with medium to tan skin tones will find the color looks grayish, and it makes dark skin tones look pasty white. Although the finish is satin, the amount of mineral actives keeps this from providing a significant amount of hydration. The formula is best for normal to slightly dry or slightly oily skin, and it can feel a bit heavy (but not intolerably so).
BB creams (aka Beauty Balms or Blemish Balms) are supposed to contain beneficial extras to improve skin beyond what daily sun protection does. With this product, you’re getting the skin-lightening ingredient arbutin in an amount that may indeed improve the brown spots and uneven skin tone that result from sun damage. Of course, don’t forget that simply protecting your skin from further sun damage (which this BB cream does) is more important for lightening brown spots and preventing new ones. In addition to the arbutin there are smaller (likely ineffective) amounts of peptides and the cell-communicating ingredient adenosine. The formula also contains the antioxidant soybean oil, but the amount is likely too low for it to make a difference. Still, if you’re curious about BB creams, this has enough going for it that it’s worth an audition.
Note: See More Info for a discussion of what the “PA+++” that follows the SPF rating means.
- Offers ample broad-spectrum protection.
- Contains gentle mineral sunscreens, making it great for sensitive skin.
- Fragrance-free formula.
- Easy to blend and sets to a natural-looking finish.
- Contains arbutin to improve brown discolorations.
- Offered in only one shade, whose ivory-pink coloration isn’t for all skin tones.
- Contains a tiny amount of anti-aging peptides and the antioxidant soybean oil.
PA followed by plus signs (PA+++, for example) is a designation used in Japan to rate the UVA protection of a sunscreen. The SPF number we see on many sunscreens is about the sun’s UVB rays; there are very few countries that have a UVA rating reference. PA+ indicates “some” UVA protection, whereas PA+++ indicates the highest level of UVA protection.
The PA rating standard is not accepted or used in other countries, but because Dr. Jart+ is sold in Japan, some of their products have begun to include it on the labeling. The concept is interesting, but, ultimately, the SPF rating and the active ingredients matter far more because the method of assessing UVA protection is not widely accepted, primarily because it is difficult to get scientists to agree on what tests to use and what the results mean.