Reviewed by Eva

Over the past eight weeks I have tested two premium BB creams. For four weeks I tested the star of Skin79, the Diamond Absolute Total BB Cream SPF37 PA ++ and then I tested Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 PA+++ ($39 at Sephora), also for four weeks, to see how they would measure up. First of all, I loved using both creams; they make your face smoother than any foundation I’ve ever tried, truly minimize the appearance of pores, are hydrating, provide light coverage and leave your skin looking dewy, yet have decent staying power (though, improved by the use of a primer and powder). The color of the two creams is slightly different. Skin79 Absolute Total is definitely more suitable for the very pale (see pictures). I’m in between MAC foundation colors NC 15 and NC 20, and it was a perfect fit. Dr. Jart+ Premium BB is slightly darker, but hence probably more wearable for more light to medium skin tones. However, since the color of both is rather sheer, I think a lot of people can make the balms work for them. For instance, when wearing Dr. Jart, I would use a light concealer on top of my cheekbones, right above the brows, cupid’s bow, bridge of the nose and on the chin to bring light back into my face, and I would blend the balm down to my neck, which made the color difference basically non-detectable. For those with darker skin tones, you could do the opposite –  use a darker concealer/bronzer to contour the face so that the lighter BB cream works as natural highlighter.

[caption id="attachment_35722" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Skin79 and Dr. Jart"][/caption]

Anyhow, back to the comparison. I found that the consistency of Dr. Jart is bit thicker than that of Skin79, but once blended on the face, the difference is hardly noticeable. Looking at the ingredient lists, both have a combination of good/useful ingredients, fillers, and undesirable ones. Both contain Arbutin and Matrixyl 3000 (Palmitoyl Oligopeptide + Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7), Adenosine (related to cell energy) and mineral sunscreen in the form of Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide (although, worryingly at the end of the ingredient list in Dr. Jart). Both also contain parabens, silicones, Tocopheryl Acetate (on the one hand an antioxidant with skin conditioning properties, on the other hand linked to cancer) and talc (yet, this is far down the ingredient list).

The main pros of Skin79 ingredient wise are Argireline (Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, formerly known as Acetyl Hexapeptide-3), which is supposedly able to reduce the appearance of expression lines, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyoluranic acid), Propolis (anti-bacterial), Spirulina (algae), Hydrolyzed Collagen, Chrysin (used to treat dark circles) and a whole list of possibly useful herb and flower extracts, such as Arnica (supposedly able to reduce redness) and Ginkgo Biloba (an anti-oxidant). Yet they are listed after all the diamond and pearl powder and such (which I think is a bit of fluff, just like the Caviar extract), so one can assume that the percentage used is very small; this counts as well for the HA and Chrysin, leaving one to question their effectiveness.

Dr Jart’s biggest selling point is EGF (rh-Oligopeptide-1), although I could not find the percentage and it’s in fact the only (though admittedly big) pro of Jart’s BB cream. Some will think that with EGF included (and of course Matrixyl 3000) you need little else, and a short ingredient list could mean the cream is less active and hence, less likely to cause strong adverse reactions. A con is alcohol and, depending on your budget and where you live, the price, which in the USA is $39, but in Europe about €55 (Skin79 is about $15 and €18-20 – clearly BB creams are a lot more expensive over here).

As to the results of both BB’s, I definitely liked their cosmetic effect, but I did not notice any significant improvement in my skin. Perhaps 4 weeks is too short a test-period and, admittedly, I am only 24 so I don’t have proper wrinkles yet, but even my fine lines did not magically vanish, nor did either BB cream do much for my sensitive skin. They did not irritate, but I saw no improvement in terms of redness. Furthermore, having recently come off the pill, my skin has been breaking out and neither BB cream did anything to significantly improve that situation either. Deceivingly, BB stands for blemish balm, but the product nor the ingredients promise help dealing with blemishes, unless one understands blemishes to mean pigmentation marks (BB creams traditionally contain Arbutin), which I don’t have.

To conclude, I will probably repurchase Skin79 Diamond Absolute Total, because it’s a better color match and I like its instant perfecting effect on my skin (though, concealer is still needed), the fact that it’s virtually imperceptible, does not feel like I’m wearing make-up and it contains mineral sunscreen (I don’t like the chemical variant). Perhaps the skincare benefits will show on my face in the long run.


Skin79 Absolute Total ingredients:

Water, Phenyl Trimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Arbutin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polyglycerel-4 Isostearate, Macademia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Sorbitan Isostearate, Aluminium Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Adenosine, Silica, Diamond Powder, Amethyst Powder, Pearl Powder, Coral Powder, Tourmaline, Nephrite Powder, Ruby Powder, Amber Powder, Prunus Persica (Peach) Flower Extract, Punica Granatam Flower Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Flower Extract, Citrus Aurantifolio (Lime) Flower Extract, Prunus Domestica Flower Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Extract, SpiruLina Maxima Extract, Caviar Extract, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Ubiquinone, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Ginko Biloba Leaf Extract, Propolis Extract, Asparagus Lucidus Root Extract, Tussilago Farfara (Coltsfoot) Flower Extract, Laminaria Japonica Extract, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Hexyl Laurate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Zinc Stearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Ozokerite, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Beeswax, Talc, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Propylene Carbonate, Steareth-20, Chrysin, Disdodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Chlorphenesin, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Fragrance.

Dr Jart+ Premium ingredients:

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Dipropylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Arbutin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Magnesium Sulfate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Calcium Stearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Polysorbate 80, Propylene Glycol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Talc, Tocopheryl Acetate, Adenosine, Alcohol, Lecithin, rh-Oligopeptide-1 (EGF), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, PVP, Platinum powder, Steareth-20, Chrysin, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide.