Vitamin C+ Illuminating Anti-Age BB-Cream SPF 20
1.7 fl. oz. for $14.99
Last Updated:03.16.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Lumene has their own BB cream, and before we go into detail about it, here's the overall scoop on this category of products. In essence, BB creams from the United States and other Western countries are just a twist on tinted moisturizers with sunscreen; sometimes they treat the skin to other beneficial ingredients, and sometimes not. The category first caught on in East Asia, where the typical BB cream includes sunscreen, feels relatively thick, and provides foundation-like coverage. In short, a product labeled BB cream isn't necessarily any better than your regular tinted moisturizer or liquid foundation.

Regarding this version from Lumene: It is not recommended because the active ingredients do not provide sufficient UVA protection (see More Info for details). This lack of sunscreen means you lose a top convenience factor that many other BB creams provide!

Although we don't recommend this BB cream, we'd be remiss if we didn't report on its texture, finish, and shade selection, which end up being disappointments as well. This dispenses from the tube as a lightweight cream that blends decently and sets to a soft matte finish, but the finish feels a bit sticky and it tends to accentuate large pores and fine lines rather than downplay them.

As for the shades, there are only two, and they're workable but we've seen better. In fact, "we've seen a lot better" is a great way to describe why this isn't the BB cream to buy.

Note: The inactive ingredients for this fragranced BB cream are listed in alphabetical order rather than in descending order of content. This is permissible in this case because sunscreens are regulated as an over-the-counter drug in the United States, although we have more respect for companies that choose instead to list their non-active sunscreen ingredients in descending order of concentration, so you know more about what you are putting on your face, just like with any other moisturizer.

  • Nice, lightweight texture.
  • The sunscreen doesn't protect from the full range of the sun's most aging rays.
  • Finish feels sticky and tends to emphasize large pores and fine lines.
  • Average shades.
More Info:

This BB cream does not include the ingredients needed to shield your skin from the sun's entire range of damaging UVA rays, which is essential for anti-aging benefits. The sun's UVB rays are what cause sunburn, and the SPF number reflects that protection, but there is no rating for the sun's silent, though more penetrating (and in many ways more damaging), UVA rays. Any SPF-rated product should contain one or more of the following UVA-protecting ingredients listed as "active" to ensure you are getting UVA protection: avobenzone, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, Mexoryl SX (ecamsule), or Tinosorb (Sources: Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, December 2011, pages 81–90; Cosmetic Dermatology, Second Edition, Baumann, Leslie MD, McGraw Hill, 2009, pages 246–252; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, Supplement, 2009, pages 19–24; The Encyclopedia of Ultraviolet Filters, Shaath, Nadim A., Allured Publishing, 2007; and Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, October 2003, pages 242–253).

A multi-benefit beauty product that works like skincare, but acts like lightweight makeup. It not only delivers powerful sun protection, but also brightens like a primer, hydrates like a moisturizer, evens skin tone like a foundation and covers blemishes like a concealer, all while improving elasticity for a more youthful appearance.
Active Ingredient: Octinoxate 6.0%; Other Ingredients: Alumina, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Boron Nitride, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Caprylyl Glycol, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), (CI 77891) Titanium Dioxide, Citric Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Glycerin, Iron Oxides, Laureth-7, Lecithin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, PEG-8, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Rubus Chamaemorus (Cloudberry) Seed Oil, Silica, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbic Acid, Sorbitan Stearate, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol, Triisostearin PEG-6 Esters, Water, Xanthan Gum.
Brand Overview

Lumene At-A-Glance

Strengths: Relatively inexpensive; a handful of good options for sensitive skin; one good eye cream, though you don't need an eye cream—you can use any well-formulated moisturizer around the eye area; every SPF-rated product provides reliable UVA protection; Blueberry Curl Mascara has a well-deserved reputation as an outstanding way to enhance lashes.

Weaknesses: Jar packaging is pervasive; the Excellent Future products and most of the Time Freeze products aren't helpful for antiaging or wrinkles; several products contain more preservative or film-forming agent than the ingredients your skin really needs to look younger and healthier; no products for acne or effective products for those struggling with uneven skin tone or discolorations; no exfoliants.

The Cosmetics Cop Team strongly suspects that the interest in this product line from Finland is its prestige packaging, coupled with a relatively attractive price point. This is an eye-catching brand that really stands out on drugstore shelves; however, these products aren't really all that inexpensive, especially in comparison to products from Olay, Neutrogena, or RoC. In the United States, you'll find Lumene products at most CVS drugstores as well as at Ulta, Target, and Walgreens. Although the Cosmetics Cop Team loves to find and recommend inspired skin-care and makeup products at reasonable prices, this line isn't one of them.

Two major shortcomings are: (1), the jar packaging, which means any state-of-the-art ingredients in those products won't remain stable once the jar is opened because they deteriorate in the presence of air, and (2), most of Lumene's formulas contain only a dusting of the superstar ingredients they brag about. Vitamin C, ceramides, antioxidants, peptides, and the like are all essential, brilliant ingredients for skin, but when only minute amounts are included, your skin isn't getting much of the good stuff.

What it comes down to is this: Shopping Lumene shortchanges your skin, leaving it needing, and deserving, far better. A bargain isn't a bargain if it isn't the best possible care for your skin. What good is saving money on skin care if your skin is left wanting and, in fact, needing more?

Aside from the jar packaging and the paltry amount of important skin-care ingredients, there are other limitations, adding to this line's woes. If you have acne, skin discolorations, or uneven skin tone, you need to look elsewhere.

From a marketing point of view, Lumene capitalizes on the erroneous notion that age is a skin type, so they group their products according to decades. Complete nonsense! Age is not a skin type, nor is race, height, weight, or ethnic background. Regardless of your age, if you have acne, rosacea, dry skin, oily skin, sun damage, or blackheads, the same ingredients that work for someone in their 30s will work for someone in their 40s, 50s, or 60s. There isn't a single piece of research showing that any specific ingredients or formulations are better for skin depending on your age.

Like a vast number of cosmetics companies, Lumene leads you to believe their products are all natural and loaded with beneficial plant extracts, in this case, from the remote wilderness of Finland. Nothing could be further from the truth. These products are loaded with synthetic ingredients. That doesn't make them inherently bad, it just makes the marketing claims obnoxious and misleading.

For those intent on exploring what this Finnish line has to offer, despite the fact there isn't much here worth your attention, your best bet is to stick with the products for sensitive skin, which are truly fragrance-free, and the cleansers. Oh, and if you want to find out if the cult classic status of Lumene's Blueberry Curl mascara is deserved, look no further: It most certainly is!

One more comment: Many Lumene products contain an extract or oil from the Arctic cloudberry plant. Although there is research proving this plant has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it is far from the only one, and isn't even close to being the best for skin. The fact that Lumene chooses to highlight this plant is about marketing nonsense, because stories sell better than reality. Whether it is from the Amazon, the Swiss Alps, or the Himalayas, geographic location is not what makes a plant extract of any kind superior for skin.

For more information about Lumene, call (888) 253-8916 or visit www.lumeneusa.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
Sort by:
lumene BB Cream

I first discovered this over a year ago, on one of my friends, who uses it and her skin looked radiant. She recommended it to me so I started using it.. I have pigmentation on some parts of my face, lumene covers it nicely. I've tried other expensive brands, that claim great results yet they haven't. I have been using it since my friend told me and been satisfied. Great scent, texture. Good coverage and I can apply a little powder over it.. Some things are just not for everyone. Such is life.??

Reviewed by
Angela J.
Not as bad as the review implies!

I bought this product by chance in Walgreens and I'm surprised how much I like it. It blends well and looks natural on my skin. I've used both light in the wintertime and medium in the summer, and both blend well and look natural, not phony. I also like that it stays put. This BB creme doesn't rub off or smear off when I brush my face. Like other reviewers, I'm really surprised this received such a poor review.

Reviewed by
I love this BB

I find this BB to be very good, so I wasn't expecting such a poor rating. Choose what works for you! this particular product has better reviews over the net. BTW I have sensitive skin that leans to the dryer side.

Reviewed by
nice glowy finish

I like this bb - it has light coverage (not as light as the horrible Olay fresh effects which has zero coverage) kind of like Garnier but less greasy. Gives a nice glow and looks like skin. Still need concealer for eye area but that's fine. I don't care about spf because I use cream with spf as I believe most people should because why would you apply this to completely cover every inch of your face and neck, chest etc? Overall, nice finish, has great reviews on other sites, no strong smell .

Reviewed by
love this BB

I don't know why this got such a poor review - it is definitely one of my favorite BB creams! It goes on smooth and dries to a semi-matte but glowy, super healthy finish. I use it every morning and my skin looks nice and soft esp in the winter time and this doesn't settle into my fine lines nor dry patches, I love it!! The only issue I have is I wish it was a bit more heavily pigmented, but that can easily be remedied with a touch of concealer or foundation which I use under the eyes.

Reviewed by
Enter a title for your review
First Name, Last Initial
Email Address
How would you rate this product on the following:
500 characters left

Terms of Use

585633-IIS5 v1.0.0.431 10/7/2015 12:47:16 PM