Influenster SunKissed VoxBox Review: Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream
In late May, I signed up for Influenster. I'd been under the impression until then that Influenster was a paid service like Birchbox or any of the other subscription beauty boxes, but I was happily mistaken. With Influenster, you sign up and rack up as many points as you can through surveys, reviews and social networking. At some point, you're contacted about possibly getting one of Influenster's VoxBoxes, based on your interests, needs and habits.

That said, I received the following product free-of-charge from Influenster for testing purposes.

I pre-qualified for the SunKissed VoxBox and filled out a survey for it. All I could tell from the survey was that there would be a BB cream in the box. A week or two later, I received an e-mail telling me I had qualified for the box and it would be shipping in mid-June. With the SunKissed VoxBox, I also received some Goody Ouchless Ribbon Elastics, SinfulShine nail polish and Dr. Scholl's For Her High Heel Insoles. I'll review those in upcoming posts.

Now, for the actual review ...

The Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 15 (retail price: $12.99 for 2.5 fl oz) comes in two skin tone spectrums, Fair to Light and Light to Medium. To me, that's not great, because many, many skin tones are left out. Fortunately, the cream is rather sheer and blendable, so a variety of skin tones can probably work with the two shades offered. It offers a light coverage, but I found that you can build it up to a certain degree. It hid the redness around my nose and on my cheeks, but allowed the freckles to show through -- explain that magic to me!

I found that, in comparison to my regular moisturizer, it gave me a "dewier" (shinier) finish. It did darken my skin just a tad, but not noticeably. It did make my skin tone look more even and dare I say ... airbrushed?

Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream
Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream

But for someone who wears minimal makeup and doesn't like fussing with foundation or even tinted moisturizer, I found this BB cream very easy to use, with a very natural look. Obviously it's not great at covering trouble spots, but it's good at evening out one's skin tone and creating a nice base for those who don't have too many blemishes.

The tube was a little annoying to use, as just a little too much pressure causes a large amount of product to dispense. Even when I turned the tube upside down, this was the case. Just be careful when squeezing cream out of the tube.

Olay Fresh Effects BB CreamThe product claims 24 hydration, which I can't confirm or deny. It went on similarly to my moisturizer, though it was a tad heavier. My skin felt very soft and definitely much more hydrated than when I've worn foundation. It had a fairly strong -- though pleasant -- fragrance, like a floral perfume (similar to Bath and Body Works' Sweet Pea scent). The scent faded away (or I got used to it) after a short while, but if you are sensitive to fragrance or just have sensitive skin, this product might not be the one for you.

Speaking of sensitivity, the first time I used the BB cream, I applied it over freshly scrubbed skin and my face stung for about 30 seconds, otherwise there was no sign of irritation. In following applications, even over freshly washed skin, my skin had no adverse reaction.

Though I really liked the BB cream, I was discouraged to find that though it is oil and PABA-free (PABA is a sunscreen ingredient that can cause allergic reactions, photosensitivity and is a potential carcinogen), it contains 3 different parabens (ethylparaben, propylparaben, methylparaben). For a product that claims to be "fresh and free," it's not all that fresh and free. For that reason, I wouldn't personally purchase this item, but overall, if parabens and fragrance are not issues for you, I would recommend this for a sheer coverage broad spectrum SPF BB cream that feels light on the skin while providing good hydration.

Ingredients and toxicity rating after the jump ...

Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream
(Click to expand)
Active Ingredients: (Sunscreens)
Avobenzone 3.0%, Homosalate 4.0%, Octisalate 4.5%, Octocrylene 2.6%

Inactive Ingredients:
Water, glycerin, niacinamide, polyethylene, dimethicone (a silicone-based polymer), titanium dioxide, isopropyl isostearate, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, behenyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, sorbitan stearate, benzyl alcohol, panthenol, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E and acetic acid), hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, methylparaben, isohexadecane, fragrance, dimethiconol, ethylparaben, PEG-100 stearate, propylparaben, cetearyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, polysorbate 60, stearic acid, palmitic acid, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, myristic acid, camellia sinesis leaf extract, laminaria saccharina (brown algae) extract, iron oxides.

EWG's Skin Deep gives this product a "5" rating, which is a moderately hazardous rating. EWG scores it as most hazardous in terms of its fragrance (and potential for adverse reactions to the fragrance) and the presence of propylparaben, which EWG considers to be a risk for developmental/reproductive toxicity, ecotoxicology, endocrine disruption, allergies/immunotoxicity.

You can watch my video review (and product "demonstrations") of the Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream and the 3 other products that came in the SunKissed VoxBox below ... be kind, it's my first video ;)


Again, I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

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