Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Powder SPF 30
Last Updated:12.19.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Physicians Formula has carried the "BB" craze over to powders, but don't get too caught up in the hype. The truth is that "beauty balm" products of any sort are just a marketing angle to make you believe you're getting something special, when in most cases they are standard formulas dressed up with the BB name. Check out this article for more info.

BB madness aside, this is a beautiful, fragrance-free pressed powder with reliable broad-spectrum sun protection, but do not rely on it as your only source of sun protection unless you are willing to apply it liberally in a noticeable layer (a sheer dusting won't do it). The silky, almost creamy, texture, and the soft, luminous finish make it ideal for normal to dry skin. The non-chalky, medium-to-full coverage finish wears nicely on bare skin as well as over foundation. Physician's Formula typically does pressed powders well, and this keeps with tradition.

Although only two shades are offered, both are flattering and will work for light to tan skin tones. Those with fair to dark skin aren't well-served here.

One more comment: This powder cannot guard against moisture loss as claimed. Although the formula contains some moisturizing ingredients, it contains many more absorbent ingredients, providing a dry finish that cannot protect against moisture loss.

  • Silky-smooth pressed-powder texture is ideal for normal to dry skin.
  • Fragrance-free formula with soft, luminous finish.
  • Reliable broad-spectrum sun protection for added anti-aging benefit.
  • Medium-to-full coverage finish wears nicely on bare skin or over foundation.
  • Flattering shades.
  • The BB craze is a marketing gimmick.
  • Limited shade selection.

Active: Titanium Dioxide (15%), Zinc Oxide (10%). Other: Mica, Zinc Stearate, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Dimethicone, Boron Nitride, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Magnesium Silicate, Lauroyl Lysine, Triethylhexanoin, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Perilla Ocymoides Seed Oil, Lysolecithin, Glycerin, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Silica, Glyceryl Caprylate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Dehydroacetate. 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 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
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Looks powdery

Inexpensive but looks powdery. Very matte if you want that look. Not a powder for me.

Reviewed by
Physicians formula bb cream

For some odd reason this summer I decided to wear this powder alone, without my normal foundation underneath, and boy I was pleasantly surprised the coverage is fantastic, it covers up my acne scars and facial redness beautifully, I have also noticed that my sensitive, acne prone skin hasnt been breaking out as much As it has if I forget to wash my face before bed, which is a huge no no, I really am impressed with this powder and I love that its SPF 30, I highly recommend this product.

Reviewed by
Gina A
Great powder for the price

I have been using Bare Minerals for years and loved it. I ran out and didn't feel like going to the mall to replace right away so I stopped into CVS and decided to give this a try. I was pleasantly surprised by this product. It goes on smoothly and covers well. I had bought the BB cream but don't really need it. I also liked that it helps control my oily skin. This may make me switch from Bare Minerals! The only downside is the shade choices are so limited.

Reviewed by
Jill K.
Good, not great

Powder is dusty & not finely milled, results in large chunks flaking off in the compact. The coverage is between sheer to medium however colors offerred is very limited, light or dark, basically. I used light & still noticed orangey tint where more product was applied using a kabuki brush. Needs improvement.

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