Review | Garnier B.B. Cream

BB creams are the new flavour of the month (they’ve been big in Asia for a while now) and every one from Bobbi Brown to Estée Lauder to Dior and The Body Shop has launched one.

What is a BB cream you ask? BB creams are referred to as either Blemish Balms or Beauty Balms. They act as a muti-tasker in that they provide moisturisation, SPF protection and sheer coverage as well as other benefits such as soothing and healing.  In essence, BB creams are similar to tinted moisturisers, but they go one step further – with added ingredients like hyaluronic acid (which is a skin plumper) and Vitamin C (which boosts radiance) – they are promoted as an all-in-one facial cosmetic product to replace your serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock.

Interesting facts:

• The first BB cream was formulated in the 1960’s in Germany by dermatologist Dr. Christine Schrammek to protect her patients’ skin after surgery.

• BB Cream was introduced to South Korea and Japan in 1985 – where healthy-looking, porcelain skin is heavily prized – the cream was hailed as “the secret of Korean actresses,” and was heavily endorsed by Korean celebrities

Okay, onto the good stuff…

What does Garnier claim it does?

“This high-performance skincare formula hydrates for 24 hours and is enriched with a Vitamin C derivative. It boosts radiance and hydrates, for a luminous, fresh complexion. Concentrated in mineral pigments, the formula perfects the skin, leaving a unified, natural look, as thought airbrushed. With SPF 15, it helps protect skin against the harmful effects of the sun.


+ Evens tone + boosts glow

+ Blurs imperfections

+ Smoothes fine lines

+ 24hr hydration

+ SPF 15 UV protection”

The Verdict?

What I like about it

• It provides a sheer coverage, about half of the coverage that I get with my MAC Studio Sculpt

•  My skin looks smooth

•  It has a lovely refreshing scent

•  My skin looks dewy and hydrated (heads up for gals with oily skin: I have dry skin and it feels as if  certain spots of my skin are oily, so don’t think it would work too well for you. Perhaps you could try setting it with powder if you wanted to use it)

•  I don’t feel like I have a whole bunch of gunky makeup on my face

•  The overall result is very natural (it works well on teenagers as well as ladies in their 60’s who only want a sheer coverage)

•  It’s super economical, at just R79 a tube

•  It’s great for those days when you just want a bit of colour and not a full face of makeup. In a rush? Slap on some BB cream, dust on a little bronzer, apply 2 coats of mascara and prettify your pout with some lipgloss and you’re done!

What I don’t like:

• I don’t know that it does all it says it does. I don’t like products that claim wild things such as “24 hr hydration”. Who wears their makeup for 24 hrs? Umm no one I know!

•  It contains Propylene Glycol amongst many other unpronounceable chemicals***

•  It is only available on 3 shades – Light, Medium  and Dark (I got the Light – luckily it works for me)

Basically, if you have things you need to cover, a BB cream isn’t for you as it provides very light coverage. Also, if you’re looking for long-wearing foundation, this isn’t for you either. After about 8 hours it kinda fades into non-existence. This product is for those of you with dry to combination skins wanting sheer coverage with a hint of colour.  In my overall opinion, I like it : )

Rating: 4/5
Product: 4/5
Packaging: 5/5 (I like the flip top lid and the gold colour of the tube)
Quality: 4/5
Price: R79
Would I buy again?: Yes
Where to buy: Clicks

*** What’s the deal with me and chemicals? I try to be as green as possible where I can and go for products that contain as few chemicals as possible. After doing some research I concluded that if humans are made from organic compounds, it doesn’t make sense to use chemicals (that are manufactured by men in white coats) on my skin. There have been links to all sorts of medical conditions from the things we unknowingly put on our bodies. About 2 years ago, I decided to switch out my TRESemmé for sulphate-free shampoo, my tissue oil for raw coconut oil, and my Gatineau skincare products for Ren facial care products. I stopped using things like baby oil, and cut down on using lipsticks (some brands contain lead). That doesn’t mean I’m against all beauty products and I hate anything with a chemical or two, just that I’m aware and want to make others aware.

Happy Thursday Lovelies!


I have switched from using my MAC foundation to this BB Cream daily. I like it because its sheer and doesn’t give you that caked on look. If my skin gets a bit oily, all I do is set with a little face powder. I’m a happy girl!