BPGP: Dr. Jart Detoxifying BB Cream

Dr. Jart Detoxifying BB Cream (Sephora, $36)

Ask anyone in the beauty industry which BB cream you should buy, and one of the most common answers is Dr. Jart.  The magazines and blogs are full of glowing recommendations for this product line and mentions of its greatness.  However, if you ask the people who are recommending it whether they actually use it, four times out of five they say no.  (That’s when you know you have good word of mouth, when people who’ve never even tried your product are pushing it.)

Well, I have used it, and if I had to sum up my experience with Dr. Jart’s Detoxifying BB Cream in two words, they would be “Hated it!”.

The reviews for this product all talk about how it hides blemishes and acne.  However, after applying a medium coat to my face, not only could I still see my acne, it seemed to be even more noticeable than before.  Do any of the people writing these reviews actually have noticeable acne?  Because this might be the first foundation I have ever tried that didn’t conceal the blemishes at all.

Also, because the product only comes in one shade, it didn’t come close to matching my medium-Caucasian skin.  The tone was sallow, almost pasty with an unattractive matte finish that reminded me of a Geisha.  The grayish cast of my skin made me look like I was ill. 

As for the formula, my skin felt dry and tight all day long.  After six hours of wear, my skin was parched and itching, like I’d been standing on a windy mountain top for several hours.  And it looked so heavy, like I was wearing stage makeup to my office job.

Unwilling to write a bad review after just one day, I decided to use the product for two weeks.  What a mistake.  By the end of week one, the “detoxifying” balm had caused the worst breakout I’ve had in four years.  How do I know that this acne-attack was the balm’s doing?  Because they day after I stopped using it, my skin looked 100% better.

Bottom line, don’t believe the hype.  The color only matches pale skin with yellow undertones.  The formula left my combination skin dry and itchy, and I had that I’m-wearing-too-much-makeup feeling all day.  And despite hundreds of reviews saying that the product covers acne like a dream, it didn’t even lessen the appearance of the blemishes on my face.

I love Clinique’s BB Cream ($37) and I thought the Garnier version was passable.  But, in my opinion, the Dr. Jart cream was unworthy of the fawning praise that many have lavished upon it.

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  1. Caylyn says:

    I am so glad you wrote this! I have acne-prone, allergic-to-everything skin and had been wanting to try this exact BB cream for ages after the Estée Lauder one failed me. I will steer clear of Dr. Jart for now! Thanks!

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  2. JK says:

    Thanks for the honest review! Been “window” shopping BB creams for a while now but haven't taken the plunge for this exact reason– I need one that covers skin that is acne prone and sometimes blotchy. I didn't want to shell out like $30 or $40 for something that I'd use once and throw in my make up drawer. Will steer clear of this one!

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  3. cginnyc says:

    This is why you are awesome and stand out among other bloggers.

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  4. Erica says:

    I haven't tried the Clinique version, but I do love the Garnier BB cream!

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  5. Tierney says:

    Nice review, Belle! I appreciate the honesty. 🙂

    I use Boscia's version, and while it doesn't provide as much coverage as I would like, it's a light, nice formula to wear under some lose powder. Clinque's is good too, but I've heard good things about Smashbox's version so I might try that next.

    Lately though, I've made the switch to L'Oreal's Youth Code day moisturizer with some pressed powder, and I'm kind of amazed. The combo lasts all day. (Although, I might also attribute my awesome skin to a chemical peel I just had..)

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  6. E says:

    Appreciate the honest review, Belle. I've had great success with the Boscia BB cream, I got a sample size in my Birchbox and loved it, so I bought the full version:


    September 18, 2012/Reply
  7. Sam says:

    I've used the other Dr. Jart in the goldish package that I believe is called Premium, and I love it. It does go on a bit gray, but I put on the thinest coat with a foundation brush and 15 minutes later it's like I haven't put anything on and my skin is completely smooth. (I guess I have yellow undertones?) I don't have major acne problems, but it does cover minor breakouts and makes me need a lot less under eye concealer.

    I've been trying a lot of brands because I don't love the whiteners that Dr. Jart's versions have, and I haven't found anything yet that works as well for me. I think with the BB creams, especially with the one shade formulas, one will work great for one person and awful for another and you just have to try them all out. That's why I love Sephora's return policy!

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  8. Caitlin says:

    I religiously use the Clinique BB Cream and love it. I have very fair, freckley, acne prone (and scarred) skin and I wanted to try Dr. Jart because of it's marketed skin whitening/brightening properties. Thanks for the review. I literally just opened the sephora site to go browsing and saw this!

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  9. ktvorwald says:

    Oh, glad to hear it! I was thinking of trying a new bb cream but I'll stick with Smashbox.

    I really dig the Smashbox bb cream for my oily/acne prone skin. I wear it as primer/moisturizer under MUFE foundation during the work week and alone on weekends or when I don't feel like doing full makeup. The coverage isn't great by itself, but it does even things out and I use concealer and powder over it just fine.

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  10. Genevieve says:

    I've tried the Dr. Jart Water Fuse BB and loved it. But the detoxifying version sounds absolutely horrendous. Thanks for the warning!

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  11. M says:

    I've been using the Bobbi Brown version and think it's pretty good. I don't know if it covers acne but it does cover redness and irritation in a natural way. I occasionally catch a glimpse of myself that I think looks a teeny bit white-ish, but I'm not sure if that's the last of my tan or the SPF 35 sunscreen. It's very comfortable to wear and a light dusting of powder over it gives a smooth finish. My skin is so combination that I typically wear two different primers, but this works well all over without primer, so that's a big plus in my book.

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  12. T says:

    Agreed! The clinique is the best around for the money and I've tried a half dozen…including the Jart. Also like the Garmier.

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  13. J says:

    I just received a sample of this in my BirchBox and hated it! I thought it smelled like sunscreen and it was definitely drying.

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  14. Kathereine says:

    Hi Belle– Have you ever used Bliss' Incredi-peel pads? They are an at-home chemical peel type of product and they are absolutely amazing and I swear by them. While they are quite pricey 30 pads for around $50 (I found them cheaper on Amazon), I can't imagine my life without them. I haven't had a breakout since I started using them 4 months ago and I haven't change anything in my daily routine except for these. The pads are mild enough to use daily but I use them every 2-3 days or when I see a pimple emerging to save $ and I figure if my skin is clear why keep using them. It pretty much stops the break out and helps heal the blemish so much faster than if I wasn't using them.


    If you've got a breakout or acne I highly recommend giving them a shot!

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  15. KJ says:

    Agree with Genevieve – I got the Dr. Jart Water Fuse BB cream in my birchbox and loved it so much I bought the full size. Maybe I just have the right skin tone. I don't need that much coverage, but it makes my skin look better and covers imperfections. So maybe it's just the kind of Dr. Jart you tried?

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  16. Kaylee says:

    I think the Asian BB Creams are far superior to any of the U.S. ones, but cosmetics are so personal; what works for one person may not work for another. FWIW, I love the Missha BB Cream. A lot of the ones sold in the U.S. seem like glorified tinted moisturizers to me. (Though, nice tinted moisturizers.)

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  17. Amanda says:

    I think that Philosophy's Hope in a Tinted Moisturizer is quite good!

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  18. CE says:

    ktvorwald and I have the same skin-care regimen, and I also love the Smashbox BB cream. It's great as a primer/moisturizer under MUFE foundation, but also works well alone on weekends. The coverage isn't quite as good as you get with real foundation, of course, but it's pretty solid and plays well with other concealers. I like the finish too; it's not overly matte, so if you also wear powder, you won't look too papery.

    I also have visible acne/scars, so I have to be careful about this kind of stuff. Smashbox is the best BB cream I've tried, but I'd also heard good things about Dr. Jart and considered giving it a shot. Thanks, Belle – I'm glad I know not to!

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  19. Sharona says:

    I hated it too!! Thanks for posting this — now I realize I wasn't the only one who didn't see the light!

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  20. Heather says:

    I tried the Dr. Jardt Waterfuse BB cream and it turned my normal-dry skin into a massive oil slick! It was disgusting! No matter how much pressed powder I used, after 2 hrs of wear, the makeup completely slid off my face and I was left with a crazy shiny forehead and wet bangs plastered to my face! I read that it takes products a while to settle in to your skin routine, so I used it for 2 weeks and had the worst acne that lasted for weeks! I will never use another Dr. Jardt product again! Also, I agree, the color was completely gray and nasty. Hate Birchbox for not putting the Dr. Jardt bb cream sample in any of my monthly boxes and then touting how awesome it was for months which made me end up buying the full size product and wasting my money!

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  21. jd says:

    Eight years ago, my mom urged me to start using Alpha Hydrox products (https://www.neotericcosmetics.com/alpha-hydrox/products.html). I was 22, and I thought she was crazy for telling me I should start using anti-aging products. I'm now 30 and don't have wrinkle or blemish in sight. The only time I've stopped using it was when I jumped on the Proactiv bandwagon (my skin hated Proactiv), and after that brief hiatus, I haven't turned back since.

    I use the foaming face wash (with my Clarisonic Mia!) and the 12% souffle, followed by moisturizer (I don't use one of their moisturizers, mianly because it smelled funny a few years ago when I bought it. The smell may have improved since.). The website has great advice for which products to use based on your skin type.

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  22. Jen says:

    THANK YOU!!!

    I was going to purchase this! I tried the Dr. Jart water fuse BB cream in my birchbox with high expectations but didn't really like it. Tried Garnier too and didn't feel it either.

    I've been using Miracle Skin Transformer and it's great, but it is so expensive.

    I like to put bare minerals on top of BB creams because you don't have to use as much so it doesn't look as “powdery” But $50 is a little steep for me. The hunt continues…

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  23. Ella says:

    There are some very bad BB creams out there. I tried Smashbox's and it was both chalky and oily – quite an accomplishment! It also never sets so even after a few hours it smears off too easily and still gives your face a sticky look. I assumed BB cream was just terrible, but maybe I should try a different brand.

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  24. Melissa says:

    i got the waterfuse dr. jart's bb in my birchbox and liked it so i bought the full size. i think there's probably a lot of difference between the different products in this brand.

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  25. Mo says:

    Second the Boscia BB Cream rec!

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  26. JRS says:

    I have been using the Dr. Jart's water fuse BB cream for a couple months now and couldn't be happier… I'm sure it is different than what you tried and what works for one woman won't for the next. I have always had oily, acne-prone skin so that is why I try a BB cream (I also received a large sample in my birchbox so I was able to give it a good trial run before I purchased it).

    I also tried smashbox BB cream and thought it was terrible. I felt like the BB cream was too thick and cakey on my skin.

    An interesting difference between the smashbox BB and the Dr. Jart is Dr. Jart came in only one shade and matched my skin perfectly! When I purchased teh smashbox BB I had a consultant at Sephora try to match my tone and it still didn't seem to look natural.

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  27. Chelsey says:

    I could have written your review! I had the EXACT same experience with this BB. It was highly recommended by the Sephora salesperson. I gave it a shot for two weeks and then broke out horribly around my mouth and chin and gave up. A week later (and going back to Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer) my skin is back to normal! Can't believe all the hype….

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  28. Rhi says:

    I really like the Too Faced BB cream. I don't have much acne but when I do a dab of concealer on top of the BB works fine. It's light and living in humid south Florida it works great for me

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  29. Trish says:

    I use the Dr Jart Premium BB cream and I like it a lot! I am not sure I will buy it again when I run out but it works magically for my mom! It makes her makeup look beautiful and matte (in a good way) all day long!

    September 18, 2012/Reply
  30. KC says:

    I just started using another Dr. Jart product, the Premium BB cream (gold packaging) and really love it. It's still early to be completely sure, but I am impressed with the coverage. After reading the online reviews for the other Dr. Jart products, I steered away from them because of oil and coverage issues. I have somewhat fair skin, but definitely more red than yellow undertones. I think what works for different skin tones and types varies, but I have had a positive experience so far.

    September 19, 2012/Reply
  31. LC says:

    OMG, I just used this today and while looking in the mirror this afternoon I thought some of the same things about my face that you're saying – my blemishes actually look worse, parts of my skin are dry and flaky, and my skin also looked super pale and washed out – I will definitely not be using this again! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this timely post!

    September 19, 2012/Reply
  32. Autumn Moonshine says:

    I couldn't agree more. I tried this and I had the worst breakout I have had in years. I felt like I was back in high school! I also tried garnier and had an even worse reaction. I guess my skin is just not meant for this type of formula. I had to switch back to my smashbox. My skin immediately went back to normal. I have very oily skin and would not recommend for anyone who has similar type.

    September 20, 2012/Reply
  33. Em says:

    I'm so surprised to see this product so poorly reviewed! I have slightly fair, blotchy, blemish-prone, combination skin and this product has done wonders for me! I even lent it to two girlfriends who have slightly different complexions and they loved it so much they bought it the next day. I think every product reacts differently on different people, but glad you tried it for so long before reviewing! You're very fair with your reviews.

    September 20, 2012/Reply
  34. Esther says:

    I would agree with kaylee above that Korean BB creams are very different from the American versions and are better quality (don't really know why this is). My favourite is Skinfood Agave Cactus BB Cream. If you've been skeptical of the hype- try this!

    September 22, 2012/Reply
  35. Kate says:

    I read this the other day and then, much to my surprise, opened my birchbox to find a sample of the Dr. Jart BB cream! I was excited to try it and see how my opinions compared to yours. Well, I agree with you pretty much completely. I couldn't even finish putting it on! The color worked just fine for my skin tone, but I felt like I was applying a clay mask with weirdly, awkwardly thick coverage for a makeup. It was fun, though, to be able to test something that you had just reviewed.

    September 23, 2012/Reply
  36. BeautyBabe says:

    Clearly you don't understand what BB creams are meant for. They aren't suppose to be makeup people, they're not suppose to cover your blemishes with perfection. IT'S A SKIN TREATMENT not foundation. You can put all your coverups and foundations on over it, but BB (beauty BALM) is meant to be more of a moisturizer and a cure than anything. I can see why you like the clinique one so much because they didn't understand what BB cream was while manufacturing and it is more of a heavy concealer.

    I hope this informs people about the BB creams and Dr.Jarts is the BEST.

    October 5, 2012/Reply