This fragrance-free beauty balm (BB cream) from Dr. Jart+ isn’t as good as the company’s Premium BB Beauty Balm SPF 45 PA+++. Although it provides reliable broad-spectrum sun protection with its in-part titanium dioxide sunscreen, the base formula, while lightweight, contains a potentially problematic amount of alcohol as well as the irritating menthol derivative ethyl menthane carboxamide. See More Info to learn why alcohol and irritationare not good for anyone’s skin.
Also disappointing is that for your money you’re getting very little in the way of beneficial ingredients, such as skin-repairing substances and antioxidants. Those are supposed to be part and parcel of what makes BB creams “better” than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen, but that’s not what you’re getting with this product. In fact, other than sun protection, you’re not getting any treatment benefits. This comes in one shade, a pale ivory color that’s workable only on fair to light skin tones.
Note: See More Info for a discussion of what the “PA+++” that follows the SPF rating means.
- Offers broad-spectrum protection.
- Fragrance-free formula.
- Offered in only one shade, whose ivory-pink coloration isn’t for all skin tones.
- Amount of alcohol is potentially irritating.
- Lacks beneficial extras for the “treatment benefits” mentioned in the claims.
- Not preferred to a well-formulated tinted moisturizer with sunscreen.
Alcohol in Skin-Care Products
Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin’s ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: “Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In,”Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
Why Irritating Ingredients Are a Problem for Everyone’s Skin
Irritation, whether you see it on the surface of your skin or not, causes inflammation and as a result impairs healing, damages collagen, and depletes the vital substances your skin needs to stay young. For these reasons, it is best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to known skin irritants, especially when there are brilliant formulas available that do not include these types of problematic ingredients (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.)
PA++ Rating Explained
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.