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Kiehl’s BB Cream Review: High SPF with Nice Coverage

Kiehl's BB Cream Review

I’ve made no secret of my mini obsession with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Lotion with SPF 15 over the years. My skin just seems to love that lotion, and having the sunscreen built in is a great bonus. I fully admit that it doesn’t have quite the SPF I’d prefer (I’d like to be over SPF 30, I don’t like turning freckly), so I was often putting Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ over it. (Watch for a review of that sunscreen, finally, in a few weeks.)

I’ve been experimenting with new foundations, tinted moisturizers and BB Creams recently, and when Kiehl’s sent me 2 tubes of their new BB Cream to try out, I admit that I may have done the Dance of Joy.

(Admission, I might be watching Bronson while writing this review. Also, my sister and I used to do the Dance of Joy. That was for you Nikki!)

For those of you that need a refresher, a BB Cream is basically a souped up tinted moisturizer. Add in some anti-aging ingredients, a little more coverage than you get with a tinted moisturizer, and if you’re lucky some broad spectrum UV coverage… and that’s a BB Cream. A CC Cream offers even more coverage. They’re meant to be one product multi-taskers, though it can take some research to find one that fits your needs and has a tint that works for you with enough coverage. Many of the first BB Creams to hit the US were more porcelain in tone, which didn’t work for many Americans. They do tend to fit those of us that are…. lighter in complexion better than darker, but as they’ve grown in popularity more and more tones have hit the market.

Kiehl’s previously offered a similar product, their Ultra Facial Tinted Moisturizer. It wasn’t as well known as their other products, but it definitely had quite a few fans. You can find information online about how to contact the company to beg for that product to be re-released, but really, the BB Cream kind of blows it out of the water.

The BB Cream offers UV coverage with SPF 50 instead of the SPF 15 that the Tinted Moisturizer had in its formula. In addition you’ll find Vitamin C to add a little anti-aging punch and a little more coverage than the tinted moisturizer.

Overall, it doesn’t feel much different than the Ultra Facial moisturizer. It is a little thicker, but it has the same light consistency, doesn’t smell like sunscreen, and is easy to spread/blend. I just spread it around with my fingers and I can add a little extra in areas that need more coverage. I blended a little using my Beauty Blender sponge, but I didn’t have to do much of that. It didn’t leave a residue behind and felt very lightweight, which I loved. I used the fair shade (they offer four: fair, fair/light, light and medium), and it was a great match for my pale skin tone. It was just enough coverage to make my skin look more even but not so much that I had on a lot of makeup.

Throughout the day the coverage wears very well, and I was really impressed that it looks just as good at the end of the day as it did at the beginning! I had no issues with oxidation turning the color darker either.

This is definitely my new BB Cream of choice!

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Guide to BB and CC Creams
Check out more BB and CC Cream reviews, tips and tricks!

Kiehl’s BB Cream at Sephora
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About Me

Iā€™m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

Leave a Comment


  1. 5.14.13
    Anonymous said:

    The Meposian Dance of Joy – LOVE!Used to do that with my sister too.

  2. 5.14.13
    Nicole said:

    Oh, memories! I'm getting misty eyed just thinking about the Dance of Joy.

  3. 5.14.13

    Nikki! You found this post super fast. Dance of Joy!!

  4. 5.14.13

    So glad to hear it lasts throughout the day. My current BB cream (Aveeno) wears off after only a few hours

  5. 5.15.13
    Kelly said:

    I have been toying with the idea of using a BB cream (after finally establishing what they are!) I am extremely fair and need a high SPF so this sounds perfect for me. I have been using a facial sunscreen and a foundation with spf in it but could never seem to find one that goes above 30. Thank you for the review:)

  6. 5.16.13

    Just the fact that it's SPF 50 would sell me. I have white, white, white skin and I burn easily, I have to wear at least 50 all over. I went to the beach last summer and didn't put on sunscreen for the first thirty minutes and burned so bad my ankles swelled up. Ouch.

  7. 5.24.13
    Whitney M said:

    Hi! I just purchased this today, haven't even had a chance to use it. I stumbled upon your blog while searching for reviews about this BB cream — Sold:)

    Just one thing, mine doesn't contain avobenzone in it's active ingredients. Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene and Titanium Dioxide are all there but Avobenzone has (mysteriously?) disappeared. Did this product change? I see this review was recently posted. Thanks!

  8. 5.24.13

    OMG, I think I have it wrong (though, it's also wrong on the kiehl's site) I just corrected it above. You're absolutely right, I think I had the SPF for a different product up there because I was writing 2 things at once. I'm so sorry!
    Now I'm confused, because the bottle says broad spectrum, but the new sunscreen labeling guidelines say that should be broad spectrum, because you need UVA I coverage to say that. hmmm… I 'll ask their PR about it.

    Thanks for catching that Whitney! I'm so embarrassed!

  9. 5.25.13
    Isis04 said:

    Wouldn't zinc oxide serve just as well to make this product a broad spectrum? All the new guidelines have me confused.

  10. 5.26.13

    @isis Yes, zinc would make everything broad spectrum, but unfortunately it feels heavy and leave a whitish cast behind. šŸ™

  11. 5.10.18
    LIZ STUCKEY said:

    Would you still recommend this for someone looking for a tinted moisturizer with SPF. Since this is 5 yrears old, wasn’t sure if you had come across anything better?