L’Oréal BB Cream Review: What Is BB Cream, Anyway?

Wouman with four dots of makeup on her face.

I don’t know many people who have the luxury of time in the mornings. Whether it’s pressing the snooze button an embarrassing amount of times, or not being able to decide what to wear, ‘time’ in the morning is a scarce commodity. Due to this, your makeup routine is usually thrown to the bottom of the to-do list. “So how am I supposed to look human with only 10 minutes or less on the clock?” I hear you ask. Let me introduce you to your new friend: BB cream.

Have you ever wished you had a makeup to do it all? This product is a makeup/skincare hybrid. L’Oréal’s BB cream promises to complete four beautifying actions in one fell swoop. It will hydrate, prime, perfect and correct all in one go. It seems like a tall order but in fact, all BB creams should be doing the same thing.

Granted, you won’t get that full coverage. Seeing as you weren’t going to have time to get that full face look anyway, this is a perfect balance. You’ll have that natural flawless look in two minutes as you run out the door. It sounds too good to be true, but if we understand exactly what BB creams are, you’ll see that dreams can become reality.

What Is BB Cream?

BB creams are a pretty well-known term in the beauty world. A somewhat lazy-girl beauty hack, this cream is short for ‘beauty balm’ or ‘blemish balm.’ It’s makeup that has skin-care benefits incorporated into it. The aim of the game is not just to even out your complexion but also to nourish it.

You’ll get the natural finish that you want from a foundation but without the pore clogging. It’s not as heavy as a foundation so it won’t give you that ‘flawless finish.’ For a one-size-fits-all cream, it generally does a pretty good job of evening out your complexion.

The fact that it comes with skin-care ingredients in the formula means that this is more than just a quick-fix to even out skin. If you’re picking the right BB cream it should also soften and smooth the skin, as well as correct blemishes. Most of them also contain a broad-spectrum SPF to protect your face from the sun throughout the day.

This added feature usually leaves your skin with a fresh, dewy look which only enhances its natural finish. You’ll get that daily coverage you need but without the hassle of the dreaded “27 products to achieve a natural everyday look.”

L’Oréal BB Cream Ingredients Breakdown

Beakers of colored liquids

Pay attention to the ingredients you put on your face.

When it comes to finding the perfect BB cream, as with all skin-care products, it’s all about the ingredients. With this in mind, L’Oréal’s BB cream contains the stuff you need to keep your skin looking smooth and hydrated. Just as promised.

Glycerin Explained

The first benefit that L’Oréal’s BB cream boasts is hydration. That comes from the Glycerin which attracts moisture to our skin and locks it in. It’s an emollient which means that it doesn’t only hydrate the skin but softens it to the touch. Glycerin fills in the microscopic cracks in your skin to smoothen out your complexion. This ability to fill cracks and hydrate the skin means that it has the unique ability to create a protective barrier. The barrier is over the outer layer of skin.

Dimethicone Explained

This silicone is commonly used to help products glide across the skin smoothly. It gives the BB cream its priming qualities. The only downside of Dimethicone (or any ingredient ending in ‘cone’ really) is that it’s a silicone-based substance. It creates a protective layer across the skin, smoothing it out.

While this is great for locking in moisture, it’s not ideal for everything else it traps in like sebum, natural oil, and bacteria. It’s not all bad though, just make sure that you remove it after a long day.

Isododecane Explained

This substance is used as a solvent in skin care products. The fact that it’s a solvent means that it enhances the spreadability of products. This result in a weightless feel on the skin. This weightlessness results from Isododecane being a synthetic hydrocarbon.

When hydrocarbons are used in cosmetics they prevent the evaporation of water from the skin. This works twofold: it leaves your face hydrated and the product itself evaporates easily. Your skin feels light but moisturized.

L’Oréal BB Cream Review

loreal bb cream

BB Cream

Even though there are three different BB creams in the L’Oréal range, there isn’t much difference between their ingredients. Whether you’re looking for an anti-fatigue, anti-redness or a skin beautifier, L’Oréal’s BB creams have got you covered (quite literally).

They all come in a tube packaging with a small opening. This makes the product more hygienic overall and not exposed to the elements – a factor that we easily overlook when it comes to skincare products. The skin beautifier is the cream that really caught my attention in my hunt for a universal BB cream that will be an all-rounder in its field.

The Magic Skin Beautifier goes on white and then magically corrects itself to your skin tone. It feels gritty because of the microbeads in it, but they just melt into the skin with enough massaging. It smooths over the skin, but the whiteness of the cream means that it requires a little extra blending.

Because of the fact that it’s not a thick blend of moisturizer and foundation, it doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy. It’s lightweight thanks to the Isododecane and doesn’t create dry zones like some of those heavier BB creams. The best part for me is that it really gives you a natural coverage – and I’m talking about a good amount of coverage considering it’s not a foundation!

DIY BB Cream Recipe And Guide

Black woman looking down

DIY is always the way to go.

There’s a lot to be said for sticking to all-natural replacements in our skin-care routines. Not only is it usually cheaper but most of our drugstore products contain harsh chemicals to produce desired effects. You’re probably wondering how ‘harmful’ chemicals are clearly helping your skin?

The truth is that while the effects on the skin may be positive, whatever we put on our bodies is absorbed into the bloodstream and that’s where the real drama begins. With this in mind, why not try this DIY BB cream for chemical-free results.

In a bowl whip 1 tbsp of shea or kokum butter, ½ tsp of aloe vera and 1 tsp of jojoba oil until it all combines into a cream. Shea butter is touted for its emollient and humectant properties making it the perfect natural ingredient to lock moisture into the skin and hydrate it from within.

Then you have the aloe vera which contains antioxidants to protect the skin and keep it looking supple. As if that wasn’t enough the jojoba oil is packed with vitamins and minerals to nourish your skin from the inside out.

In a bowl place one tsp of zinc oxide (which is a natural sunscreen) and 1/8 tsp of cocoa powder. Slowly add more cocoa an 1/8 tsp at a time until you reach the pigment of your skin tone. Add this to the cream and blend well together so that the pigment is evenly mixed in.

Place into a container and you’re good to go. If you want a more pigmented blend, then add in more of the zinc oxide/cocoa mixture. The only downside of natural remedies is that they have a relatively short shelf life. With this in mind, use this BB cream within one week if you’re using fresh aloe vera gel.


The fact that I’m a minimalist when it comes to pretty much everything means that BB creams are a staple in my skincare/makeup routine. I honestly believe that BB creams were created by the Makeup God’s especially for people, like me, who lack time and patience.

When it comes to a quality BB cream (and there are a lot to choose from) L’Oréal’s is pretty up there. It does all four of the things it promises to do: hydrate, prime, perfect and correct. Added to that long list is the fact that BB creams also protect the skin from the sun and external elements.

My only hamartia is that in general there isn’t such a wide variety of shades to choose from because they’re not a foundation like that. In this vain L’Oréal’s BB cream comes in one Universal shade. This explains why the ingredients like Dimethicone, Glycerin, and Isododecane are seen throughout the ingredients lists. But inevitably this also means that it won’t work for particularly fair or dark skin tones.

This is where the chance to make your all-natural DIY BB cream comes in. Not only are you able to add pigmentation to suit your exact skin tone, but you also avoid the chemicals altogether. You don’t want those things sinking into your skin. Whether you’re in a rush out the door or just looking to adopt the minimalist approach BB creams are the bomb. And if you think you can’t handle the super easy DIY, then L’Oréal might be your solution!

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