Lumene Vitamin C+ BB Cream Review: Will it Protect and Brighten Skin?

Cosmetics, Reviews, Skin Care


Lumene Vitamin C+ BB Cream ($28.99, promises to delay signs of aging, brighten, hydrate, cover imperfection, even skin tone, and protect skin overall. But

BB Creams are great as makeup with a little extra oomph. For the most part though, it’d be remiss to say that you can chuck the rest of your products in exchange for this single cream. Lumene is really a nice moisturizing makeup with a boost of antioxidants, but it’s really a timesaver more than a miracle product. Many BB creams use a lot of silicones, which can make skin feel smooth and provide a thin coat of protection as an occlusive agent.  If you’re on the run, it can be a great easy way to get what you need — as long as the ingredients are effective, that is.

DON’T Rely on this for Sunscreen

Octinoxate isn't stable, making it a poor sunscreen if it's used on its own.
Octinoxate isn’t stable, making it a poor sunscreen if it’s used on its own.

One of the benefits of BB creams is that they generally contain sunscreen. Lumene’s cream contains 6 percent Octinoxate, the most frequently used UVB absorber (Happi). Unfortunately, it doesn’t protect against UVA rays. It does, however, protect against sun-induced DNA damage (Life Extension Magazine).

One of the issues with chemical sunscreens is that they’re often unstable and degrade in UV light (Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences). Octinoxate isn’t stable in UV light; in fact, when exposed to sunlight, it undergoes isomerization and turns into a less UV-absorbent form (FDA, Inorganica Chimica Acta). It’s also important to note the octinoxate will degrade avobenzone evern faster in UV light when the two are paired.

In addition to this octinoxate appears to be estrogenic in some studies, and has been linked to hormones imbalances in tests on mice, though how it affects humans is not entirely clear (Toxicology).

While the ingredients list includes mineral sunscreen titanium dioxide, which physically blocks UV-rays, it’s not listed in the active ingredients section. Because of this, it’s difficult to figure out whether there’s enough to provide sun protection. Aside from this, it also primarily blocks UVB rays, meaning that nothing in here is protecting your skin from UVA rays (Nanoscience and Society).

There’s Plenty of Vitamin C

Arctic clouberry has a whopping two times the amount of vitamin C of oranges.
Arctic clouberry has a whopping two times the amount of vitamin C of oranges.

One thing Lumene does have is plenty of vitamin C. With ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palimtate, and arctic cloudberry, among other vitamin C possessing ingredients, these ingredients should help boost UV protection (though the cream doesn’t have the right kind of sunscreen protection in the first place), increase fibroblasts’ production of collagen, and might even reduce wrinkle formation (Cosmetic Dermatology).

Vitamin C doesn’t have the same antioxidant strength as idebenone, vitamin E, kinetin, or ubiquinone, but it does still work to scavenge free radicals (Cosmetic Dermatology). Other antioxidants in the cream come from arctic cloudberry, which contains vitamins A, C, and E, among other antioxidants (Cosmetics and Toiletries).

Vitamin C can suppress skin pigmentation by inhibiting tyrosinase, as well as decompose melanin (Cosmetic Dermatology). It can in that way help to brighten and even out skin tone, but it won’t treat hyperpigmentation as well as something with kojic acid or hydroquinone.

Personal Use and Opinion

Lumene Vitamin C+ BB Cream goes on smoothly with some moisturization, but not too much. It takes a few minutes to settle into skin, but after it did, it had a smooth, matte finish. It has a really pleasant citrus smell. I used 01 Light, which is the lightest shade and found that it work reasonably well for my skin tone, but was a bit on the pink side. Overall, it would be best for someone who had pretty clear skin and not too much to cover up.

To be honest, all of this paled in comparison, for me, to the fact that the sunscreen in this in photo unstable and doesn’t protect against UVA irradiation. I was disappointed that an anti-aging cream would be lacking in the most important anti-aging ingredient: sunscreen. Add to this that layering it over a cream that has avobenzone in it might degrade it and reduce the sun protection of both products.

Bottom Line

One of the appeals of BB creams is that they’re several products in one. Unfortunately, that means that sometimes they don’t live up to what using three separate products would. Lumene Vitamin C+ BB Cream has reasonable coverage and finish, but not as good as a foundation. It’s moisturizing, but not as moisturizing as a regular moisturizer. And the fact that it only has octinoxate for sunscreen, which degrades in UV light, makes it inadvisable to use as a sunscreen. To it’s benefit, it is chocked full of vitamin C. Overall, I’d advise skipping this BB cream in favor of using more effective products that will be better for your skin.

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  • Natalie Bell

    @Rozy — Thank you for the comment! I was disappointed too. I think companies need to be very cognizant of the sunscreen they put in their products.

    @Tiffany — Thank you for the comment! I haven’t, but we’re planning on an upcoming article about how American and Asian BB creams compare!

  • Have you ever tried an Asian BB cream? If you have, how does this product compare?

  • Wow that is extremely disappointing and such a rip off for not even having a proper sunscreen formulation. I too would skip this product. Thanks for the heads up.

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