March 03, 2013

Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream SPF 25

Clarins has officially jumped on the BB bandwagon for Spring/Summer, with their brand new BB Skin Perfecting Cream SPF 25. The press release indicated that this cream "illuminates, smoothes and creates a more even skin tone" and that "imperfections and red areas become less noticeable". It's also chock-full of skin-benefiting ingredients like organic kiwi extract, katafray bark extract, and hyaluronic acid, and boasts a 100% mineral, broad-spectrum sun protection filter.

Those are some pretty awesome claims and ingredients. Does the promise hold true?

Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream

Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream SPF 25

In a word: yes.

The Clarins BB Cream feels amazing. It has next to no tangible weight or texture, and appears to vanish like air as you rub it into your skin. I literally couldn't tell I had anything on, whether by weight or by touch. I assume this is due to the silicone content, but it doesn't have that greasy-dry feel that some silicone-heavy formulations lean toward. 

The finish is demi-satin, meaning it will slightly mattify oilier areas, while adding a natural radiance to the skin overall. It's not moisturizing as such, but the moisture-attracting properties of Katafray bark extract and the hyaluronic acid likely contribute to the slight plumping effect I noticed around my eyes, which seemed to make the dry, fine lines less apparent.

The coverage is light, just enough to smooth out redness and some general unevenness. Something about the finish seems to lightly blur out fine lines and pores. Your skin doesn't look like a blank, lifeless canvas, but like a better version of the natural you. It's not likely to meet your needs if you need to cover significant discolouration, but if you want boosted, naturally luminous skin and can make do with concealer for the problem spots, this is fabulous. 

It does have a scent, sort of fresh, slightly floral and beachy. If you're sensitive to added fragrance, this would be an issue. Personally, I loooooove the smell and wish it came in a body splash. As it is, I was trying to huff my own face, which made for some awkward looks from strangers.

This is also by far the best-feeling sunscreen option I have ever tried. I can't think of many sunscreens that are this weightless while not being drying, and I love that the SPF is broad-spectrum, non-chemical and strong enough for everyday wear. I feel like this will be my go-to in the summer, when I want that SPF and as little coverage as I can get away with, especially with a tan.

And actually, that brings me to what might be problematic for some people - the shade options. I received this in 01 Light, which is darker than my NC 20 skintone. Once it's blended in it gives a nice, sun-kissed effect to my skin that I love, and heightens that blurring of imperfections (much like a real tan tends to do). But it looks best if I work it down my neck, otherwise there is a visible difference in certain lighting. Not quite at the level of a foundation mismatch, because it is such a sheer product, but like I overdid the bronzer.

I think this will work best for folks a shade  deeper than I am, but those of a porcelain persuasion will likely have to work with this a little more, or use it specifically to give their skin a golden glow. There appear to be three shades available on the Clarins website, including 02 Medium and 03 Dark (03 Warm in the US), so there are good options for those in the medium to medium-deep range. Now there appear to only be two, in 01 Light and 03 Warm.

Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream SPF 25 swatch

As you can see, it applies a bit too dark to be a perfect match, though the difference doesn't read as obvious once it's on the skin and blended down the neck.

Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream SPF 25 swatch

The before and after shot above should give you an idea of the coverage level, the slight mattifying effect and the general look of healthy radiance it has to offer. If you click on the pictures to see the bigger image, you will also see how it smooths out the fine lines around my eyes.

Availability: It's already out at The Bay and on the Clarins website, and should be at Pharmprix/SDM and Murale locations soon. Price is 40$ USD and 43$ CAD.

Pros: Incredibly lightweight nonexistent texture. Optically reduces the look of redness and imperfections. The ingredients work to keep moisture in the skin, making fine lines look less apparent. An excellent sunscreen option, as it has a broad-spectrum, non-chemical SPF agent, and is utterly weightless.

Cons: The shade range won't work for very pale skin. It's not an all-in-one if you need more than a light coverage level. The scent may be bothersome if you prefer (or require) products to be fragrance-free.

(This item was provided by the brand to be considered for review. This post is not sponsored or compensated.)


  1. I wasn't into the BB craze until recently - for some reason I've just got it in my head I want one now, which is stupid probably because soon they'll have CC creams out and BB's will be a thing of the past LOL! Anyway...this one sounds really lovely, Maggie! I'll have to investigate to see what the shades can do for my skintone, but it merits a look, in any case!

    1. I know, I feel like I just got into them, and now something new. Dammit, I'm too old for all this new-fangled-ness, lol!

      Your skin is so beautiful, Toya, I can't imagine you need much in the way of base products. This might be a really good option for you - I'd love to hear your thoughts!

  2. I tried a sample of the Stila BB and found it sorely lacking. This one looks quite good by comparison! I'm supposed to be sent some Clarins stuff eventually but no clue when. :)

    1. Generally I've been underwhelmed by the BB creams out there, but I think a lot of that is due to the mixed expectations about what the product is supposed to do.

      Ooh, I hope you get some things you'll enjoy! Clarins has some of my favourite skin stuff, and their new lipstick line is fab!


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