April 21, 2011

Dr. Jart Premium Beauty Balm BB Cream Review & Swatches

Korea is the birth place to the BB Cream but within the last year or two the trend has branched out to various Asian countries with brands featuring their own version of the BB Cream.

I’ve been using BB Creams for about three or four years now. They are my foundation of choice as they do wonders for dullness and dry skin in my opinion.

Up until now BB Creams have not been available within the US and brands such as Estee Lauder and MAC who all have released a BB Cream in some shape or form in Asia have not extended the same friendlessness to the western market. It’s understandable they haven’t released the product here since many of these BB Creams offer whitening and brightening options something that isn’t necessarily embraced by American women.

A true BB Cream offers an anti-aging formula, pigmentation that conceals and acts as a foundation, brightening or whitening benefits, and a high SPF, and has some sort of healing benefits for scarring. Supposedly the formula was created by dermatologists and prescribed to heal laser skin surgery patients as it contained soothing ingredients and had skin regeneration properties.

In my experience it hasn’t healed any problems areas and I honestly can’t say if it’s preventing or slowing the aging process but I do have my doubts about this. I will say I love the coverage, I love how lightweight it is yet pigmented, and I love how it instantly eases dullness and makes my skin look refreshed, awake, and gorgeous.

The exciting news is of course the fact that Dr. Jart has released two BB Creams to the US market that are available at Sephora. This is the first time that BB Creams have made their way to the western market officially and I have a feeling you’ll see alot more of them as the months go by.

I purchased Dr. Jart BB Beauty Balm which is one of two new BB Creams available at Sephora. I was very eager to compare it to the many Korea BB Creams I’ve tried and particularly to the Dr. Jart BB Creams from Korea that I have.

Let’s take a look!

This is a moisturizer, sunscreen, and treatment serum that includes advanced brightening properties with natural looking coverage that minimizes the appearance of imperfections and evens the skin tone. Antioxidant bio-peptides and adenosine protect skin from harsh environmental factors while restoring firmness and elasticity.

First off a few details about my skin…

My skin is medium fair with warm undertones. It’s typically dry with a little bit of oiliness in the Summer months around my forehead and nose area. I have small pores on my nose however the rest of my face lives a happy pore-free existence. I do not know my MAC shade but I believe it’s in the range of NC25 or NC30 but don’t quote me there.

I’m an I20 or I40 in Shiseido foundations and find mixing the two shades creates the perfect color for my face. The skin on my arms, legs, rest of my body is considerably warmer than the one on my face.

Normally BB Creams in Asia are available in two shade selections or in some cases a single shade. Missha, a Korean brand, happens to be the exception which makes a wider range of colors in their BB Creams.

In the case of the new Dr. Jart BB Cream at Sephora it’s available in a single, one size fits all skin shade. BB Creams are supposed to adjust to your skin tone accordingly and in many cases I’ve noticed it does sometimes work that way. Typically I can get away with the first shade available however in some cases I have to go with the second shade. It really depends as Asian BB Creams all have various formulas and degrees of color.

Now I will say that if you’re olive, mocha, a dashing shade of dark, etc…this won’t work for you. The color runs cool and has a pinky, beige undertone. If you attempt to use it you’ll get a chalky, ghostly cast on your face, actually most skin tones will see this effect. This isn’t abnormal by any means as BB Creams have been known to have that effect however this doesn’t adjust to fit tones so it does leave a pasty finish behind. Is that bad? Not necessarily because once your makeup is in place your skin will look smoother, fresher, and more awake particularly if you suffer from dullness, yellow undertones, or a sallow complexion.

The formula is a bit runny compared to BB Creams from Asia. Traditionally BB Creams are thick, creamy, and quite pigmented however Dr. Jart’s BB Beauty Balm runs thinner and feels more like a tinted moisturizer to me. It absorbs easily and isn’t as pigmented as many BB Creams I already own so if you have problem areas that you want to conceal this won’t do the trick. I think the cream is best suited to those with suffer minor problems such as dullness, sallowness, or minor redness or darkness. If you have major acne scarring, acne, or other issues that you want to concealer this probably won’t conceal such issues.

One of the key benefits to BB Creams and this particularly one as well is the fact they do not oxidize on my skin or fade away quickly. They pretty much stick around for super long wear. I get about 8 hours in with some of my favorite creams and in this case I got about six hours in before I noticed some fading.

It feels like they created this to perfect already good skin that needs a little bit of a helping hand to get to that smooth, flawless, airbrushed finish rather than to address harsher skin imperfections.

The high SPF of 45 (most BB Creams have a range of 45-55) is always a bonus when it comes to BB Creams as it protects your skin but prevents sunburn if you’re super fair.

For my photos below I used BB Cream only without concealer. However, I highly suggest using a concealer if you have dark circles, finer lines, etc…because as you can see in my before and my after shoots my eyes are looking ALL kinds of tired. Some girls I have talked to herald BB Cream as an ideal foundation product that covers everything. But honestly this particularly BB Cream isn’t pigmented enough to conceal such problems in my opinion.

As you can see the change is very subtle since the coverage isn’t as pigmented as BB Creams available in Asia.

Dr. Jart BB Beauty Balm wasn’t my personal favorite BB Cream from the brand, I prefer the silver label available in Korea however it’s a good start to introducing BB Creams to the Western Market but I do feel like it could also misrepresent a BB Cream as well because this leans towards merely being a tinted moisturizer and that’s simply not what BB Creams are about.

Selecting a BB Cream that fits your skin issues and tone is quite an adventure and takes a little patience and sorting through various products as no two are the same in formula or shade. In the case of this BB it’s probably best suited to most skin types (oily, combo, dry) that require minimal, lighter foundation coverage and a skin tone that’s cooler and fairer. I’d say if you range in the light to medium range of colors you should be fine however olive or darker tones might want to avoid this as it probably won’t adjust as well and create a ghostly cast to skin.

I think it’s well worth a pick up if you fit into the right tone to use it because I think you’ll really enjoy it however if you’ve used BB Creams from Korea you may be slightly disappointed at the formula. I felt the formula was more of a tinted moisturizer in this case rather than a full on BB Cream experience which normally have a richer, creamier texture with way more pigment. However, as an introduction to what a BB Cream actually is and does, well, Dr. Jart BB Beauty Balm is a good way to start the adventure.

But be warned…

BB Creams tend to become addicting as you start trying to search our that perfect formula and shade for your skin tone. I currently have 30 or 40 that I rotate with. Yes, I’m a little weird and crazy like that.

I think I covered all aspects of both a BB Cream and the Dr. Jart BB Beauty Balm in this review but if you have any questions (other than ones that ask me about whether this will suit your skin tone as I really can’t tell you if it will or won’t work for you having never seen your photo or face in person) about BB Creams feel free to ask and I’ll answer to the best of my knowledge.

Good luck!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Maggie

    Aw, sad to hear that it’s not as pigmented as normal BB creams. Will you be reviewing the water-based Dr. Jart BB cream from Sephora?

    • the Muse

      yup Maggie πŸ™‚ shortly hun! nope, no where near a normal bb imho! very sheer.

  • Cj

    I always wanted to try a BB cream! I can’t even tell you how many times I almost bought that gold Skin79 one. How well do BB creams hold up in hot weather? It’s starting to get pretty hot where I live and I need something that’ll stay on and not like melt off my face lol.

    • the Muse

      I really love skin79’s range cj, that’s a great starting point ;-D They hold up great imho. It’s one of the reasons I love them. They just stick around and don’t melt off, oxidize or fade even in the heat my face still looks fab!

    • Kara

      Just beware that Skin79 is loaded with bad-for-your-skin ingredients and is very comedogenic. It looks like a dream on my skin but breaks me out something awful. I never had cystic zits before but this stuff made my skin look like it erupted in volcanoes.

  • Maggie

    Just a preview…is the water-fuse one as pigmented as normal bb creams or more like a tinted moisturizer?

    • the Muse

      not sure maggie haven’t tried it yet hun. didn’t even open the bottle ;D

  • KimmyDarling

    I’m so glad to read your review today, because I was going to buy this with my Sephora discount! I don’t want a “tinted moisturizer” type product, though, so you just saved me the trouble and disappointment. You rock!

    • the Muse

      aw my pleasure kimmy. sadly…it didn’t quite work out to the full on bb cream experience imho :-/

  • Jamie lynn

    I would love a posting on your top three BB creams and where to get them. I’m so intrigued!

  • Yinyan

    I just bought the water-fuse one the other day and it came out of the tube REALLY thick and looked pretty pigmented, but when I put it on it didn’t seem to cover very much…so sad πŸ™

    • the Muse

      aw sorry yinyan haven’t tried it yet…but this was very sheer. have you tried regular BB Creams from Asia?

      • Yinyan

        Yup, my cousin sent me one a while back that I love and I’ve been hoarding, so I had really high hopes for this since I wouldn’t have to special order it…

        • the Muse

          yinyan ah it’s good to see someone who knows the typical bb cream formula than. I hate to think you tried it for the first time and thought this was the standard :-/

  • nancy

    wow i need to try this next time i go to sephora. i love the dr jart in the silver tube too!

  • Cait

    I have the water based one, and I actually like that it’s sheer and not very pigmented. My dry skin tends to look ridiculously cakey, weird, and unnatural with heavier (and even some lighter) base products. I imagine that normal people would prefer more pigment though, haha, since I have very weird skin.

  • addie

    You should continue to post pictures of the ingredients for future products.

  • coconana

    Thanks for the ingredient list!

    From what I see, the ingredients make it REALLY unexciting for me: a bunch of emollients in various forms of silicone, more stuff for the texture and feel of the product. It only gets slightly more interesting when you get to arbutin (NINTH on the list!), a whitening agent, and adenosine is WAY down there. I don’t see anything that’s going to really transform your skin in the long term in any big way at the top of the list. I don’t recognize every ingredient, though, so I might be missing something.

    It’s got several water-binding agents in there, so I suppose if dehydration is an issue for you it might be an okay choice.
    But from your review, it’s a pass for me. There are much better products with the coverage AND cosmeceutical properties I’m looking for.

    Thanks so much for the review, though! I had been wondering about this since you first mentioned it.

    Guess I’m looking elsewhere when it comes to BB Cream. I am really curious about what brands you prefer. From what you’ve mentioned here and in other reviews, your skin type, condition, and coloring seems very similar to mine.

    • the Muse

      coconana thanks for your input, it’s very helpful ;-D As I try not to get too involved in ingredients on here ;-D I really love shills, skin79, brtc, dr jart (korean version), and some of the innisfree range πŸ™‚

  • ACE

    Hi! Just found your blog and I’m in love!

    I’m so disappointed to hear that this BB cream isn’t as good as the Asian ones. I ordered both recently from sephora. Do you have any recommedations for trust worthy websites to order the good stuff from? I saw in a prior review you used the sasa website, any others? Thanks so much in advance and excellent blog!

    • the Muse

      Hi ace good to meet you ;-D! I do not sadly. Outside of Missha and Sasa those are two I trust. Also YesStyle.com but they are terribly jacked up πŸ™ I try to list good sites when I’ve shopped from them as there are ALOT of sites out there but you have to be careful of black market product, older products, etc….whenever I find one I def do list it πŸ˜‰ thanks so much for the lovely comment!

  • Raecelle

    i was just about to head to Sephora to purchase this, i’ll think i will pass! I do agree with you on what you said about the misrepresentation of bb creams. Those that are new to them won’t really know how ammmmmmazing they really are!

    • the Muse

      ha kerri not really lucky as that means the product isn’t exactly covering my woe ;D!

  • Mary the Muse Militant

    I can see how the coverage is quite sheer. Looks very nice on your skin.
    Maybe other brands will start selling in America and hopefully it will catch on here in England.
    All these companies making BB creams are missing out on opportunaties.
    I’ve ordered some samples of BB creams from Asia and can’t wait to try them.
    It will put an end to all the mystery !

    • the Muse

      It would a super product fro England Mary as many brits are fair due to the lack of sunny weather ;-D!

  • Emily F

    Thank you for the pic of the ingredient list! That was so helpful!

  • Tracy

    I have become a fan of BB creams, thanks to your postings Muse! These are a wonderful base for makeup if you have a number of skin issues (as I do) or want something that is more than a tinted moisturizer, but not a full coverage foundation. I currently use the Missha brand (I have it in all its varieties lol). Doesn’t look like this one would quite work for me, but I’m glad to see Sephora catching on….hopefully this means more of these products will be readily available in the States in the future!

    • the Muse

      I’m happy to hear it tracy ;-D! I surely hope so. I hear mac will release one soon as well! ;-D!

  • yuki

    yea, it looks a bit runny… I know what you mean… I’ve been controlling my obsession with BB cream~ I got my very first tube from my secret santa (I requested for it^^) back in 2008… Skin food sun aloe πŸ™‚ Ben using it ever since!!! Prb is, one tube lasts soooooooooo long! I just started my 2nd tube last Nov?? still using it~~ Can’t buy so many bb creams cuz of that… hahaha…

    I bought Skin79’s hot pink but sadly my skin doesn’t agree with it… I get clogged pores and for Skin79’s Dream girls, too runny and no coverage… these two are collecting dust in my cupboard… sighs…

    Got some samples from Skin79, baviphat, and the face shop~~

    • the Muse

      ugh yuki it’s the worst right? I think I started with Skin79 and it got out of control as I started hunting down the best shade selection and formulas. Now I have like 40 of the damn things and agreed they take YEARS to use up so it’s kinda wasteful to have so many on rotation *head desk* ;-D the pink label I really love I also LOVEEEEEEEEEEEE the oriental it’s a fav of mine ;-D caviler gold is decent too, no clog pores thankfully with any of them. The dream girls sucks, agreed :-/ I think they gear it more towards teens though.

  • Melissa

    Ive bought several from Missha as well as some other items. The darker shades and fromulas work nice on me and really do adjust to my skin tone. Thanks a million for this review I’m glad I passed. I had a feeling this might not be a “regular” bb cream. I wish I could find the MAC one. Seen it on flea bay and its really expensive.

    • the Muse

      you aren’t missing much with the mac melissa. It’s ok but nothing too too exciting! πŸ™‚

  • Gloria

    I’m so disappointed that they didn’t introduce a true-true BB cream. Most BB creams would actually match the skintone of most of my Caucasian clients, AND would be amazing for their skin.

    I have a love/hate relationship with BB creams, and I’ve found that if I use just a teensiest amount, I could have it double as a primer of a sort. =P

  • jennik

    i recently heard about BB creams and have gotten a little obsessed searching for the *perfect* one. I almost ordered Skin79’s Pink or Gold Label (think I’m leaning toward Pink one bc my skin type is combination and can oily, esp when it’s humid…) But my mom’s read reviews about either possibly causing break outs and she’s also “suspicious” of buying products outside the US since “we can’t get refunds or return them” if it does cause me to break out or makes my face too white, etc…sigh.
    Do you know where I could get a small sample of each (Gold & Pink) to try for a few weeks? (If all goes well, maybe my mom will be convinced to let me order one online…I’ve tried asking around, no one I know uses BB cream to even allow me to trial try some…:/)
    btw, this review was very beneficial and interesting! Glad to hear BB creams are spreading to the US…but I WON’T be buying this one from Sephora (wouldn’t give my mom the best of impressions about BB creams haha)…Thanks! πŸ˜€

  • jenniK

    I only recently heard about BB creams and have gotten a little obsessed the past few weeks searching for the *perfect* one. Really considering either Skin79’s Pink or Gold one…BUT my mom’s practically forbidden me to buy. She’s a little suspicious since those aren’t sold in the US, and if it causes me to break out, etc., there’s no refund or return, and she’ll have to pay a dermatologist to “fix” my skin (…sigh). SO, I was excited to hear from you that BB creams have finally been integrated into the market here…although I don’t think I’ll get the Dr. Jart one at Sephora- don’t think that’d give her the best first impression about BB creams. ;-D (…and then I’d probably never be able to buy a Korean-brand BB cream until I graduate…or get a job!).
    Do you know anywhere or any way I can maybe get a small sample of both Skin79’s Gold and Pink cream? No one I know uses BB cream for me to sample try some and I can’t think of any other not-so-expensive ways to show my mom the asian BB creams are really a wonderful product..:( Thanks!

    • the Muse

      hi jenni so sorry I really don’t know of any place that sells samples of BB Creams but happy to hear how excited you are about them. Hopefully you locate some place to sample. Sadly, outside of Korea it’s a little difficult to obtain samples of bb creams.

  • K

    If this is a pale foundation…can you use it as a primer instead than apply a normal foundation on top?

      • K

        Oh…until I read your review, I didn’t know it was a foundation because the MA at sephora told me it’s a primer

  • Brooke

    i must say the tube luks kinda scary..more like medicine than makeup..yikes! ur skin luks great w/o makeup tho, have u ever dealt w/acne? i’m 25 n i still deal with acne n redness, n oil control probs 2..dunno y..but ur skin luks really nice :]

  • E

    What is the difference in Dr Jart BB cream from Sephora vs the Silver or Black label from Korea?

    • the Muse

      hi e

      the black and silver label actually work as base products, they are pigmented and adjust accordingly. sadly this absorbs quickly and lacks pigment plus does not adjust correctly. Hope this helps!

      Plus of course other benefits of silver and black labels are whitening agents and a few other bits.

  • ACE

    Hey miss muse another question for ya,

    I ordered both bb creams from sephora. I’m trying out the premium first and I was having trouble with even dispension of the product so I opened it to see if the straw was clogged. There was no straw like with other products that reaches to the end of the tube to get every last drop. Was yours like that?

    I think it’s quite odd and make dispension impossible!

    • the Muse

      yup ace mine is the same. return it for another one if you’re having issues hun no sense keeping one that doesn’t work eh ;D

  • monica

    The two Dr.Jart BB creams sold at Sephora are just repackaged and renamed versions already available in the Asia market. If you do a search on ebay, you’ll see they have the “gold premium bb” and “water bb”. The asia version is called “blemish base” (or blemish balm) and they changed to “beauty balm” for the US market.

  • Nick

    Just wanted to stop by and say this is one of the most informative and detail review i have seen so far on the net. Great job! Keep it up and Men too love the BB Cream πŸ™‚

  • Em

    I actually like the Premium bb. I’ve been trying out the black label bb and I love it too. I have oily skin but right now, with the colder weather, the black label works. Looking at the ingredients of the Premium bb, arbutin is listed. That’s the whitening agent found in most Korean brand bbs. (^__^)

  • Lauren

    Hi. I was thinking about why the US BB creams don’t make healing claims and anti-aging claims. I think a potential reason is lack of testing. Here in the US, we have strict rules about what you can say about a product and the advertisers of BB creams would need well-controlled clinical studies to show that the creams actually perform as they say they do. It’s possible that the same type of testing is (a) not required in Asia or (b) if such testing exists on the Asian BB creams, that they’ve had time to actually undertake it, which would not be the case for the new American creams. My suspicion is that the Asian companies do not have the testing. So, I wouldn’t assume that the US BB creams aren’t comparable to the Asian ones – it’s just that they don’t have the support they need to run into problems in terms of US advertising laws.

  • Tina


    Since you have great experience with bb creams i was wondering which you would suggest that has a yellow undertone to it. I really don’t like wearing pinky beige colors i’ve tried a few bb creams and i don’t feel good wearing a pinky grey one although it does oxidize a little bit, i really want one warmer than usual..

    I’ll be looking forward to your reply!!!!

  • Shannon

    You look very young, so either you are young, or all these BB products you use must be doing something for your face because you look terrific. Thanks for the review! I just bought some of this today. πŸ™‚

    • the Muse

      wish I was shannon haha maybe the bb’s are working ;-D thanksssssssssss! ;-D

  • christel Reum

    Thank you for your wonderful review! Have you ever heard about Gold Caviar BB Cream SPF 50 from BRTC?

  • Sudeki

    Strange, my black label one is full coverage, it works almost as a concealer and it’s so creamy a lot thicker than my brtc ones

  • Ana

    Thanks for this great review! I got my first BB Cream sample from a Sephora order (Dior’s new Hydra Life), though I’ve heard about these balms from my Chinese friends for a few years. I’m really excited to poke around your site and find more reviews and start my new addiction!

  • Valerie

    Thanks for the review! it has certainly helped me in narrowing down which BB cream is more suitable for my skin! However, I would still like to ask if you would recommend if i were to use this instead of Dr Jart’s detox healing BB cream? Because i have acne prone skin when i am stressed, normal to dry combination and would prefer light to medium coverage BB creams. I would definitely appreciate your thoughts on this!

  • Melissa Rodgers

    I tried to buy this at my local Sephora (inside JCPenneys) and they were totally out. πŸ™ I’m very excited for the release of the Clarins BB Cream that you have already reviewed, so maybe it’s for the best!

    • the Muse

      aw sorry Melissa πŸ™ I find the JCPenny’s Sephora has rather low stock πŸ™

  • Susan

    Thanks – this is a nice review! πŸ™‚
    So here’s my ‘sob’ story and query: I am ‘allergic’ to most makeup except for the ones marked as hypoallergenic so I have struggled all my life to find good makeup. πŸ™ I was thinking of trying Dr. Jart as it’s supposed to be fragrance free… But I’m kinda wary as it doesn’t say it’s hypoallergenic. I’m also medium olive skin toned so I’m not sure if the Korean BB creams would work for me…
    Any advice?

  • Angela Cote

    I am so disappointed to learn that Dr. Jart products aren’t as healthy and beneficial as advertised. I have been using the Black Label Detox BB Cream on and off for about about 4 years now. It says nothing about being noncomedogenic although claims to fight acne. My pores are clogged after using this product, and since using it more regularly, I am experiencing painful cystic acne for the first time in years!!

    It wasn’t until I purchased a new supply Of Dr. Jart Black Label Detox BB Cream that I became aware of the nasty ingredients!

    Here’s what, “Be Beauty Smart” reports about Disodium EDTA: “…Some studies suggest that Disodium EDTA is weakly mutagenic (probably due to the fact that it binds with metals required for healthy cell division). It had one or more animal studies showing brain, nervous system, or behavioral effect effects at low doses, and one or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results for cancer.”

    “EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) Skin Deep Cosmetics Database” had this to say about another Dr. Jart ingredient:
    Cyclopentasiloxane: “Ecotoxicology, Endocrine disruption, Neurotoxicity”
    EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database also reports this about paraben’s which the Premium Beauty Balm has 3 types of:
    Methylparaben is in the paraben family of preservatives used by the food, pharmaceutical, and personal care product industries. Parabens mimic estrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptors.

    I am saddened that I can no longer use Dr. Jart products as I did experience some beneficial results. I prefer “all in one products” as I like to keep my skin regimen simple.

    I have taken the time to post all this information not because I have anything against any particular company, but rather to keep us all informed and persuade you to read the ingredients of what you put on your body! The skin is our largest organ. Anything we put on it, gets absorbed internally.

  • Lind Rocco

    My esthetician said check to see if mineral oil is in the ingredient list because i think the Dr. Jart Silver is clogging my pores. Now I don’t know if I should continue using it. Which one do you recommend that is non comedogenic?

  • Marilyn

    Try Dr G bb cream. It is made by well known doctors in korea. Gowoonsesang brightening balm. SPF 30.

  • Beth

    Is DR. JART+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 non-comedogenic? I have enlarged pores on my nose and don’t want to make them worse. Thank you.

  • Andrea B

    Thanks so much for the review-I was about to purchase and this changed my mind (a good thing)…question if you donÒ€ℒt mind? Which Korean BB creams would you recommend for a light to medium, but olive tone? Thanks for your help!

  • Andrea B

    Thanks so much for the review-I was about to purchase and this changed my mind (a good thing)…question if you donÒ€ℒt mind? Which Korean BB creams would you recommend for a light to medium, but olive tone? Thanks for your help! And just realized this is from 10 years ago…lol