This is L'Oreal's third BB cream in a short period of time, and although the packaging states "for mature skin," there's nothing about the formula that makes this the BB cream women of any age should buy (with all due respect to actress Diane Keaton, who looks stunning in the ads for this product).
On the plus side, this offers reliable broad-spectrum sun protection that includes stabilized avobenzone for sufficient UVA screening. It also feels creamy and contains ingredients that moisturize dry, dehydrated skin. Just so we're clear, "mature skin" isn't always dry skin. Women of any age can have dry skin, and lots of older women still struggle with oily skin, which is one more reason age isn't a skin type.
Other than the sun protection and moisturizing ingredients, which leave a satiny finish, this BB cream is a bust. Sold in one shade (Light/Medium), it dispenses as a fleshy pink that morphs into a sheer peach hue that provides color, but not a whit of coverage. If you have brown spots or redness to hide, this won't do it—not even close.
Even if you're fine with the peachy tinge and the nonexistent coverage, this BB cream doesn't make the grade. It lacks any appreciable amount of skin-repairing ingredients and antioxidants, and also contains fragrance ingredients (such as eugenol) that are proven to irritate skin—which is pro-aging, not anti-aging. Bottom line: There are better BB creams to consider, and you'll find them in our Best Products section.
- Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
- Moisturizes and makes dry skin feel comfortably smooth.
- Peachy tint won't work for many light and medium skin tones.
- Virtually no coverage, so this won't replace a tinted moisturizer or foundation.
- Fragrant formula puts skin at risk of pro-aging irritation.
- Lacks antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients that many other BB creams contain.
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. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (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).
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%); Octisalate (5%); Octocrylene (7%); Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Myristyl Myristate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Mineral Oil, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Poly C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Acrylates Copolymer, Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Benzyl Alcohol, Boron Nitride, Calcium Pantetheine Sulfonate, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Citronellol, Coumarin, Disodium EDTA, Eugenol, Fragrance, Geraniol, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydroxyapatite, Iron Oxides, Limonene, Linalool, Mica, Microcrystalline Wax, Paraffin, Pentasodium, Ethylenediamine Tetramethylene Phosphonate, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide, Triethanolamine, Triethyl Citrate, Xanthan Gum.
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.