Sunday, July 29, 2012

Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream - Just a Tinted Moisturizer?

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream is one of the 2012 (although it has been available in Europe since last summer) releases that excite me the most, not that I am crazy for anything BB...See? It was picked by Teen Vogue editor Eva Chen as one of her makeup essentials, if it works for people like her (who gets to try anything across the price spectrum) this must be something special!

Price/Availability - It normally retails for 12-14 dollars in drugstores but it goes on sale in CVS for 10 bucks pretty often (the sale also includes 5 extra bucks with 15-dollar Garnier purchase) and the coupon for the brand is easily found in sites like Redplum and

Packaging- A hard but easily squeezable tube with a pea-sized opening and no peelable/scratchable part.
Texture  - It's first squeezed out as a gel but as soon as it's blended, it turns fluid and appear balmy/a little greasy/wet on the face. It leaves a dewy (not natural glow, but "Is that oil on your face?" kind of sheen) look on the face, that doesn't really dry (and gets on my camera's view finder every time).

Scent -  An artificial, but very pleasant fruity smell that's not unlike their (standard) Nutritionist lotion. The scent (probably is there to mask the heavy alcohol content, which itself is actually detectable by nose once you get used to/zone out the fragrance) is strong and lingers for hours.

Ingredients - According to the packaging, Garnier BB cream provides SPF 15 and protection against both UVA/UVB. The claim gets busted as soon as you turn the box over.The one and only sunscreen it contains, octinoxate, only works on UVB (the kind that make you tan and burn) but at low concentration of 4%, its efficiency is disputable.

Remember the Moisture Rescue Light UV Lotion (also marked as SPF 15) I reviewed  a while back? It contains 1.5% of ensulizole (UVB filter that blocks a teeny bit of UVA) in addition to the 7.5% octinoxate ...Yet I still got 3 shades darker within 30 minutes wearing (several pumps of) that. For your health, safety and well-being, it's better to just assume that the SPF here is non-existent.

Shade - There are two shades available (light-medium and medium-dark) and the lighter shade is actually a medium beige (definitely too dark for anything below NW/C 20)  with a yellow and red base. So it turns to orange...

Luckily (or unluckily, because I am not sure how many fobby Asians would want their face look naturally darker), it blends down naturally and evenly, giving me a my-skin-but-darker/duller (naturally!) look. The shade match becomes much closer as warmer seasons approaches (not to mention the SPF here doesn't work), so the brown/red/orange issue is no longer an issue.
Coverage - If you are expecting a full coverage for sensitive post-surgery skin (what BB creams are intended for/designed to give), you will be disappointed, as Garnier Skin Renew only managed to cover the sunspots on my cheeks and the lighter acne marks. It's completely useless on red/active zits (I would not want to use this wet/oily stuff on top of acne anyway) and the wet sheen actually enhances the open pores I have around my nose.

Overall: Beside looking natural on the face, Garnier Skin Renew fulfills none of the BB cream criteria:  The SPF is negligible (borderline non-existent), the coverage is low (when BB cream itself should works as a primer, concealer and foundation) and there some potential irritants like heavy fragrance (to mask the) and alcohol (which itself is probably to used make the thick formula appears lighter on the face).

However, I really like it as a tinted moisturizer - It evens out the big patch of hyper-pigmentation, provides continuous moisture (an optimistic way of interpreting the heavy and wet finish) and a full day (8-5) wear. Actually, it's so wet that I am too grossed out to touch my face, as a result it never gets rubbed off.  
In the picture above, you can still see the black marks underneath but the finish is much more natural than other foundation or concealers and it takes much less time to spread a glob of this (than dotting and blending on each mark I have). I have been favoring this over my normal sunscreen/concealer routine (back in spring when it was OK to be a sunscreen slacker).
Bare and freshly-picked (oops) face for comparison (click-able)...This is the aftermath from that pimple firework I got from Hard Candy concealer...


  1. I have this and love it! I've been using this all summer. ^_^

  2. I prefer BB creams made from Korea. I recommend Skin79 BB Cream.

  3. Elizabeth:
    I am using it today as well. It seems like a great product for the over air-conditioned room.

    Yes, I like Misha (the only Korean BB cream I have tried) for what they do, I wouldn't mind giving skin79 a try, if they have a small 10ml size available for purchase.

  4. Hmm, I don't think we have this down here but I'm quite impressed with their BB Eye Roll On as it gives medium coverage!

  5. I bought this after all the raves from different sources. I was a little disappointed bc it really didn't fulfill any of the requirements for a BB cream. These products need to rename themselves to a tinted moisturizer and be done with it or improve the formula.

  6. Nikki:
    I am not sure how it will fare with the humid weather you guys have it's already a bit thick for south Texas.

    We will probably see more of the BB creams, just looking at the trend. It's funny that L'oreal actually used an Asian on their display, as if the girl make the claim sound more legitimate.


Leave a comment and I will get back to you! Commercial links and nameless comments WILL BE removed.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...