Tested on animals:Yes
Laneige extols BB Cushion SPF 50+ as a revolutionary BB cream with "cushion technology" that comes into play as you press the included puff (or your fingertips) into the compact's sponge soaked with the liquid formula. While that may sound intriguing, this kind of compact isn't the most practical, and, more important, the formula itself is a mixed bag of good and bad. Let's investigate each of the highly touted "5-in-1" benefits to see why.
Benefit number one: Brightens. BB Cushion does contain the hydroquinone derivative, arbutin, which may have melanin-inhibiting properties (See what The Paula's Choice Research Team has to say about that here). However, in this type of compact, the arbutin won't remain stable for long, although we do applaud Laneige for the effort.
On the plus side, what will help prevent future dark spots from forming is the in-part mineral sunscreen, which leads us to benefit number two: Protects. BB Cushion SPF 50+ offers broad-spectrum sun protection via a blend of mineral and non-mineral sunscreen actives, which is great from a health and anti-aging perspective!
Benefit three: Cools and hydrates (via "Optimal Mineral Water"). We debunk the mineral water gimmick in the brand summary, but here's where things get even murkier: The formula is noticeably fragranced, which means there is the potential for skin damage and irritation (see More Info). Even though BB Cushion SPF 50+ might feel nice, what it's doing below the surface is putting skin at risk. That's enough reason to avoid it, but if you're still curious, read on.
Benefit four: Prevents shine. BB Cushion has a subtle light-reflective finish that looks natural and works great for normal to dry (and even slightly oily) skin, but because it lacks oil-absorbing ingredients, it does NOT prevent shine. If you have oily skin and were drawn to this product because of that claim, forget about it.
Benefit five: Provides long-lasting coverage.
This can be applied semi-sheer or built up for more coverage. In either regard, BB Cushion holds up reasonably well throughout the workday, so we can give them that point.
Despite some decent qualities, this BB cream comes with some potentially skin-irritating side effects that really make it more trouble than it's worth. If you're intrigued regardless, three shades are offered in the United States: Light (suitable for light, but not truly fair, skin tones), Medium (on the warm side, but workable), and Dark (orangey, proceed with caution). But really, why bother when there are BB creams that far outperform this one? Check those out in our list of best-rated Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams here.
- Offers broad-spectrum sun protection to prevent aging UV damage.
- Buildable coverage (semi-sheer to medium) holds up throughout the workday.
- Fragranced formula (enough to smell as you wear it) can potentially irritate skin.
- Not everyone will find the pre-soaked sponge compact practical to use.
- Doesn't live up to each of its "5-in-1" benefits.
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 (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008; and American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012; and Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).