What a mixed bag! Before we get into the good and not-so-good points of this water-resistant, fragrance-free tinted daytime moisturizer with sunscreen, a quick word about the "BB" in the name. These letters stand for "beauty balm", and typically such products are supposed to go above and beyond what a standard tinted moisturizer does. L'Oreal's formula doesn't support this notion, as its chief benefit is broad-spectrum sun protection, which you can get from hundreds of other products. Otherwise, there's nothing in here that gives it an edge for anyone's skin; the antioxidants (grape fruit and vitamin E, listed as tocopherol) are present in a teeny-tiny amounts unlikely to be of much benefit other than good marketing copy.
Getting past the BB and "with antioxidants" marketing angles, what really makes this product special is its super-light, fluid texture, easy application, and nearly weightless dry down that doesn't leave a trace of shine. This is the texture and finish those with oily skin dream about finding in a sunscreen, but part of the way L'Oreal achieved this feat is with skin-damaging alcohol. The amount may just be low enough to not pose a risk of irritation, but we cannot say for sure. What we do know is that there are ingredients other than alcohol that can create this product's fabulous finish that wears beautifully under makeup. So, L'Oreal's decision to use alcohol is one we're puzzled about.
The tint this product has looks alarmingly peachy when you begin blending, but it fades and softens to a near-translucent hint of color that works on all but the fairest skin tones.
In terms of this not clogging pores, the texture is certainly unlikely to do this; however, no product can state with 100% certainty it won't clog pores—and even if that were true, keep in mind that it's often not just one product that contributes to clogged pores but the combination of products you use every day that does it.
We were on the fence about how to rate this and ultimately decided to go with "GOOD" despite the slight risk of irritation the alcohol presents. Esthetically, this is one of the lightest, silkiest, and most weightless SPF-rated products we've come across—and it's absolutely worth a try if you have oily to very oily skin, including if it's prone to breakouts. This formula would not be ideal for sensitive skin due to the amount of active sunscreen ingredients.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Super-light, fluid formula sets to a silky matte finish.
- Feels almost like wearing nothing at all.
- Tint is very sheer so can be used by all but porcelain skin tones.
- Amount of alcohol poses a slight risk of irritation.
- Low amount of antioxidants (this doesn't contain the beneficial ingredients BB products are said to have).
This multi-acting formula is infused with powerful antioxidants vitamin E and white grape seed to help keep skin healthy and youthful-looking. Just shake to activate this virtually weightless lotion. This unique formula absorbs quickly and layers invisibly under makeup leaving a silky soft, matte finish on skin.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10.72%), Octisalate (3.21%), Octocrylene (6%), Oxybenzone (3.86%); Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Alcohol Denat., Silica, Dicaprylyl Ether, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, PEG 30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Nylon-12, PEG-8 Laurate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dodecene, Sodium Chloride, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides, P Anisic Acid, Tocopherol, Disodium EDTA, Poloxamer 407, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Lauryl PEG/PPG 18/18 Methicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Isostearyl Alcohol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate
Just like its sister company Lancome, L'Oreal doesn't have its act together when it comes to skin-care products. For all their talk of advanced formulas, fancy double-page ads in fashion magazines, and impressive-sounding quotes from scientists at their research and development facilities, most of what L'Oreal offers for skin care is a whole lot of nothing—or at least nothing tremendously helpful for helping skin look and feel its best.
An ongoing issue with L'Oreal (at least in the United States) is the lack of sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients in their daytime moisturizers with sunscreen. Very few of them contain the actives that provide as much UVA protection as you can get from a sunscreen. Yet this major oversight (and it’s not just with the older products—several newer sunscreens launched with this deficiency) didn't stop L'Oreal from heralding the FDA's approval of their patented ecamsule (Mexoryl SX) sunscreen for use in the United States. (Mexoryl SX has been approved for years in Europe, and L'Oreal routinely uses it in the sunscreens they sell there.) The attention-getting headline was that Mexoryl SX provides "the best" and "most stable" UVA protection, but that's not entirely true; there are other options. Why didn't anyone in the media point out to L'Oreal that while Mexoryl SX may be great, that doesn't explain why the majority of their other sunscreens leave the consumers who use them vulnerable to UVA damage… Sigh… Inadequate UVA protection is not only unhealthy for your skin, it severely damages L'Oreal's credibility as an international skin-care authority.
Aside from the sunscreen frustrations, L'Oreal's moisturizers are a yawn-inducing, fairly repetitive bunch. A cursory review of their formulas demonstrates that L'Oreal is simply not keeping pace with the competition, just as Lancome isn't at the department-store level. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line they could be doing so much more. (You have to wonder if they're more interested in advertising and public relations than in advancing skin-care expertise.) The makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstore—imagine the results if their skin care followed suit!
Note: Unless mentioned otherwise, all L'Oreal skin-care products contain fragrance.
For more information about L'Oreal, call (800) 322-2036 or visit www.loreal.com or www.lorealparisusa.com.
L’Oreal Paris Makeup
L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as the overall best at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minor, if they exist at all.
L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores have been updated to reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up. The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreal’s makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products. They fall short with their powder eyeshadows, but not enough to warrant avoiding them, especially if you prefer sheer eye makeup. Still, with only minor tweaking and consistent adherence to the importance of UVA protection in their cosmetic products with sunscreen, L'Oreal could pull ahead to be the hands-down winner when it comes to shopping for makeup at the drugstore.