Physicians Formula
Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Cream SPF 30
1.2 fl. oz. for $14.95
Category:Makeup > Tinted Moisturizers/BB Creams > BB Cream
Last Updated:01.08.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No

This isn't the "all-in-1 miracle cream" it's claimed to be; in fact, no BB cream is (read more on this matter here). Nevertheless, this creamy liquid BB cream (which looks and acts more like foundation than anything else) has a satin-matte finish that's ideal for all skin types, including sensitive. You can expect medium coverage (which is more substantial than you get from most Western BB creams) and reliable, mineral-based broad-spectrum sun protection, which is a major plus for added anti-aging benefit. However, you must apply it liberally to get this benefit—something not everyone is willing to do with a foundation.

Three shades are offered, though most stores only sell two: Medium/Deep has a slightly unflattering orange undertone, while Light/Medium is too dark for those with fair skin, which limits this product's prospects. The Light shade, which is harder to find, is worth trying if you have fair to light (but not very light) skin.

The fragrance-free formula boasts of skin-repairing ingredients, and while these are present only in small amounts, that's better than none at all. The opaque squeeze-tube packaging has a small, see-through window that lets in a bit of light, which isn't the best for keeping the beneficial, light-sensitive ingredients stable. In this case, the window is so small that it's not much cause for concern, but if you're concerned, you can limit exposure to light by keeping this in a drawer or closed makeup bag to maintain the stability.

  • Fragrance-free formula is ideal for sensitive skin.
  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection.
  • Liquid-cream texture offers foundation-like coverage to hide flaws.
  • Satin-matte finish is ideal for all skin types.
  • Limited shade range is made worse because 2/3 of the colors aren't all that good.

Active: Titanium Dioxide (5.76%), Zinc Oxide (2.94%). Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Glycerin, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Perilla Ocymoides Seed Oil, Lysolecithin, Polysilicone-11, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Disteardimonium, Hectorite, Glyceryl Stearate, Laureth-12, Magnesium Silicate, Mica, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Polysorbate 60, Propylene Carbonate, Sodium Hydroxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide.

Brand Overview

Physicians Formula At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; almost all products fragrance-free; outstanding cleansers; pressed powder with broad-spectrum sunscreen; several bronzing powder options (primarily for fair to light skin tones); one of the only lines at the drugstore selling matte finish eyeshadows; the loose powder; most of the blushes; good liquid liner; excellent automatic brow pencil.

Weaknesses: Dated moisturizer formulas; several sunscreens lack sufficient UVA protection; jar packaging; several of the makeup products epitomize wasteful packaging; the shade selection for almost all the foundations and concealers is awful; tons of gimmicky products that don’t perform as well as you'd think but are eye-catching in their compacts; the lip color and lip plumper; mostly average to disappointing mascaras; the Organic Wear products either have undesirable textures or contain irritating ingredients.

There aren't really any doctors at Physicians Formula (the founder of the company was an allergist, Dr. Frank Crandell, but that was back in 1937), and no physicians currently sell or endorse it either. The company asserts that "The term hypoallergenic is more than just a cosmetic claim for Physicians Formula. It is the basis for every product that is created. Physicians Formula honors this claim through stringent product testing and quality control. In fact, Physicians Formula products are formulated without 132 known irritating ingredients still found in many cosmetics on the market today." While the line doesn't list the "132 known irritating ingredients" that they claim not to use, one of their newer products contains menthol, which serves no purpose for skin other than to cause irritation, and other products contain alcohol and witch hazel, which won't make any cosmetic chemist's or dermatologist's list of anti-irritants.

It's good that the skin-care products have been streamlined. There are some excellent makeup removers and a couple of gentle sunscreens whose sole active ingredient is titanium dioxide. Surveying this line in its entirety reveals that makeup is its major focus. However, as you'll see from the Physicians Formula makeup reviews below, things aren't exactly rosy there, either.

For more information about Physicians Formula, call (800) 227-0333 or visit www.physiciansformula.com.

Physicians Formula Makeup

Does this assortment of makeup products have what the doctor ordered? The enormous selection of makeup (no other line at the drugstore sells more individual pressed powders, concealers, or powder bronzers) has seen some noteworthy improvements in recent years, but far too much of it is still built on gimmicky premises or eye-catching graphics while performance and texture are given short shrift. And for a line where just about every product carries on about its goodness for sensitive skin and the non-comedogenic nature of its ingredients, they're not using anything that other companies aren't also using, not to mention that many of the ingredients that show up in these products (such as waxes and occlusive thickening agents) can absolutely clog pores.

Still, for a line with increased retail presence in major drugstores, you may be wondering just what to pay attention to, and the good news is that there are indeed some finds among all the mosaic powders and oddly packaged concealers. Physicians Formula has never done foundations and concealers well, and for the most part that still holds true today. Only one of their concealers is recommended, while the others are best described as dismal. The expansive powder category has several attractive options, including a pressed powder with sun protection and many worthwhile bronzing powders. You'll also find best beauty buys among the blushes and other key products, including the matte eyeshadows, felt-tip eyeliner, brow pencil, and a few of the mascaras. There isn't anything medical or extra-pure about Physicians Formula makeup, but if you know what to look for and are on a budget there are some products that any doctor concerned with the subject of beauty would appreciate!

Note: The shade range of this line does not cater to darker skin tones. In fact, for some products, only those with fair to light skin will find options.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
Sort by:

I wanted to love this product especially because of the price and how it made my skin looked but this BB cream really broke me out so bad! I also got some whiteheads here and there. There must be something in the product that I was allergic to. It might work for people who are not prone to breakouts and for people who don't have sensitive skin.

Reviewed by
Nice for the price

I love that this can be used all over my face including the eye area, with no irritation from chemical sunscreens. It's thicker than I would like; not enough slip to apply without some rubbing unless I thin it with a bit of moisturizer. Still, it's a great value compared to my favorite Laura Geller bb cream, and the light/medium color looks natural on my skin in the summer. If you're very fair you might find it too dark.

Reviewed by
Susan b.
Very Good Product!

I used to use Sephora's tinted moisturizer but it was discontinued. I tried their CC cream alternative and had a terrible reaction to an ingredient. I decided to try PF because it used non-chemical sunscreens and got great reviews. I am glad I did. It offers medium coverage and matches my skin well. I also bought the CC powder for touchups during the day. Overall, I think this is a very good product.

Reviewed by
Laura M
Shade too dark

The light shade out of all three shades is too dark for my NC15 skin. And it gets oxidized and even darker over the day. At the end of day, it looks weird with my neck/chest color.

Reviewed by
My go-to item

I am Asian and have fairly light skin. The Light shade is perfect for me. This BB cream gives medium coverage which is plenty enough to cover blemishes and still look natural. This BB cream is enough to cover dark circles under my eyes and I've never needed concealer with this. The texture of this is very nice and easy to go on the skin. I dab the BB cream along my forehead, under my eyes, on my cheeks and nose, and then use my fingers to blend in a downward motion. Must have clean fingers!

Reviewed by
Replacing Estee Lauder BB with this one

I have been using Estee Lauder's BB cream and really liked it, but I wanted something better priced. This BB cream looks and works the same as EL! It looks too dark but is perfect when applied (I have it in light). I have fair skin with yellow undertones. Very easy to apply with fingers then powder over my T-zone, where I'm oily and done. EL BB cream is $30+ for one ounce so this a much better price. I usually where this on casual days but it does cover enough I could do a full makeup

Reviewed by
K S.
odd reaction to it...allergic?

Tried 2 sample BBs on @ Ulta. Then reviewed + tried this PF. Also bought the BB concealer. Color far too yellow for neutral to cool. ? a BB should function as stand-alone TM, not require 15 minutes color correcting it. Easy application + full coverage. OK on face, but accentuated lip lines + deeper wrinkles. BUT, taking it off w/cool water on a (real) cotton pad: Burning, mild inflammation. Had to take allergy pills + use cortisone cream. Any ideas why adding water would do that? Back to CVS.

Reviewed by
karen h.
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

Buy It now

Congratulations! You are on your way to drugstore.com to buy a Beautypedia BEST product.

No Thanks
585631-IIS3 v1.0.0.376 3/3/2015 9:01:08 AM