BB/CC Cushion vs BB/CC Cream: What's the Difference?

Friday, January 3, 2014

BB cushion and CC cushion products have been all the rage among Asian (primarily Korean) makeup brands in the past few months, sometimes referred to collectively as "air cushions" by some blogs I read. If this sounds like a BB cream or CC cream (not that there is very much difference between the two - in a previous post I had done an ingredients analysis of BB and CC creams and found virtually no difference between them. And later on I had also done an ingredients analysis on a DD cream, and again found no difference), it's because BB and CC cushions are like BB/CC creams: the formula is the same, but instead of packaging it in a tube, it is now in compact form. Inside the compact is a sponge soaked with BB or CC cream, which forms a "reservoir" of product. To apply the product, you can use a polyurethane puff that comes with the compact. And off you go - a brand new product to sell to the masses who otherwise wouldn't buy another BB cream because they have 8 tubes from different brands sitting around at home. You may have seen the ads for products like the Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion and the Etude House Precious Mineral Any Cushion. These are two of the most popular examples, but there are many others out there, as my home-cooked graphic illustrates:

Now, I recognize that a change in packaging and application sometimes may be appealing enough to the consumer to warrant a purchase, and I'll get into that later. But given all the advertising hype, I wanted to ask the question: from a formulation standpoint, is there really any difference between BB cushions and plain ol' BB creams?

That's right! Ingredients analysis time!

So, you know where that leads us to! That's right, a good ol' ingredients analysis. As usual, because the first few ingredients make up the bulk of the product by far, I'm going to take a look at the ingredients lists for BB and CC cushions that I've been able to find, and I'll concentrate my analysis on the first 15 ingredients, since those are the main ingredients in the product. I figure I'm already pretty generous because as the cosmetic chemist bloggers at The Beauty Brains note (isn't is super cool, cosmetic chemists actually blogging about skincare science? *fangirl swoon*), "the first 5 ingredients are the ones that matter the most. After the fifth ingredient everything else is probably below the 1% line". This is a similar approach to the one I took in my ingredients analysis of BB and CC creams, too.

So let's get started with the analysis!

Without further ado, let's get down to the ingredients analysis! In my previous BB cream post, I looked at fifteen BB and CC creams. In this post, I only have a comparatively paltry ten for you. Yes, ten, only. This was as much as my googling skillz would let me find out. (Also, BB and CC cushions haven't caught on the way BB and CC creams have, so there aren't as many cushion products as there are creams.) But it is still a lot of work on my part - and a lot of reading on yours! So ready? Buckled up your seat belts? Then let's get started!

1. Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion

That's a lot of claims in one ad: whitening, sunscreen, and random "makeup effects" (what exactly is that, anyway?). And of course this is a "New concept BB cushion". I guess the packaging is indeed new, but what about the formula? Is there anything new about that?

Main ingredients:
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Butylene glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate, Arbutin, Butylene Glycol, Mineral Water, Crataegus monogina fruit extract, Melia Azadirachta Extract, Limnanthes Alba Seed Oil, etc.

Water is a given. After that, you get a mix of silicones, which serve to make the product feel nice on the skin and spread out in a weightless manner (Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone), sunscreen filters (Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate), solvents (Butylene Glycol). These make up the bulk of the Laneige BB cushion. After that, there is also Butylene glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate, an oil which helps to helps as an occlusive moisturizer, and Arbutin, which is an ingredient used in skin whitening - here it is probably used to justify the claims of brightening your skin. There are also a few fruit extracts and oils, but by the time they come in past the 10th ingredient, the percentage of these ingredients is probably pretty small. Also, Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate is a sunscreen filter, and is quite commonly found, but some people with sensitive skins may react to it. So from a formulation perspective, you get a nice silicon-heavy foundation with SPF protection, but not much else. Not much that is soothing, especially given the presence of Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate.

In fact, I'd argue that there isn't anything very different from existing non-BB cream products on the market. The formulation of this is quite similar to Tony Moly's Face Mix Skin Foundation, which has the following main ingredients:

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 9.45%, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate 4.00%, Zinc Oxide 0.98% (same sunscreen filters)

Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Water, Cyclohexasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, etc.

You can see that the two are basically silicon-based products with sunscreen filters, and some occlusives such as Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate. They are pretty similar from a formulations perspective, with the same sunscreen filters, very similar mix of silicones, and similar solvents. The only minor difference is in the "claims ingredients": the Laneige product has a bit of arbutin to support its claims of skin brightening, while the Tony Moly product has a different set of "claims ingredients" - in this case, delivering moisture to your skin.

Another product the Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion was similar to was the 3 Concept Eyes Glossing Waterful Foundation. Here are the ingredients for the 3CE (as the brand is more popularly known) product:

Active ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 3.615%

Inactive ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Butylene Glycol,Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Zinc Oxide (CI 77947), Glycerin, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Pentylene Glycol, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Mica (CI 77019), Sodium Chloride, etc.

Again, you notice very similar silicones, solvents, and oils being used. I found it interesting that Titanium Dioxide was declared as an active ingredient, but the other sunscreen filters Zinc Oxide and Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate make an appearance too, although they are labelled as inactive ingredients - in this case, my guess is that the percentages of these ingredients is so small that the company cannot list them down as active sunscreen ingredients (and you'll note Titanium Dioxide, which they can declare, is only at 3.6%). So in this case, the product is primarly a soup of water, silicones, solvents, and a couple of oils.

Right from the bat, you can see that there is nothing inherently special about a BB cushion that cannot be found in a typical foundation product. In fact, in my previous post on BB/CC creams, I had also noted that in general BB/CC creams don't have very different formulations from silicone-based foundations or tinted moisturizers. It seems that the same applies to BB and CC cushions as well. But let's move on to the next product.

2. Etude House Precious Mineral Any Cushion

Etude House and their fans have been calling this product "the Almighty Any Cushion", so why wouldn't we want to see what ingredients this almighty product has? Let's take a look. I couldn't find a list of the ingredients in text form, but fortunately bloggers who reviewed this product have taken photos of the ingredients list:

Once again, in the top 15 or so ingredients, you can see the same formula: Water, and then lots of silicones here (there are six, making nearly half of the top 15 ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Methyl Trimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Acrylates/Stearyl Acrylate/Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer). There are also the usual sunscreen filters (Titanium Dioxide, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Zinc Oxide), and solvents (Butylene Glycol), as well as emulsifiers to ensure that the water and oil phases of the product mix together nicely without separation (Sorbitan Isostearate). There are some moisturizing ingredients such as Dicaprylyl carbonate, which is an emollient, but otherwise, within the main ingredients that make up the bulk of the product, there isn't anything that is particularly "almighty" for your skin.

In fact, the product is quite similar to another one existing on the market, this time the Almay Line Smoothing Liquid Makeup for Dry Skin, which isn't even a fancy ol' BB or CC cream. It's just a normal liquid foundation:

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Titanium Dioxide 4.7%, Zinc Oxide 2.1%

OTHER INGREDIENTS: Aqua ((Water) Eau), Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Nylon-12, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Boron Nitride, Magnesium Sulfate, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Glycerin, PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Methicone, etc.

Again here, you see a similar use of silicones (Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, etyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, PEG/PPG-20/15 Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Methicone), UV filters ( Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide), and solvents (Butylene Glycol), and emulsifiers (Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate). There are also some other products for cosmetic effect (e.g. Nylon-12 which helps with oil control and helps in giving the skin a nice feel), and Glycerin as a humectant, but by and large, I don't expect there to be significant differences in the product.

Another one that looked similar was the Tony Moly Luminous Bright Aura CC Cream, which is a plain ol' CC cream not in a fancy cushioned compact:

Active Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate 5.00%, Titanium Dioxide 3.38%, Zinc Oxide 2.94%

Inactive Ingredients:
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Methicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Mica (CI 77019), Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone, etc.

Again, you see the same old silicones (Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Caprylyl Methicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Dimethicone), UV filters (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide), and solvents (Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol), and so on. There are also the same or similar moisturizing ingredients (Glycerin, Dicaprylyl Carbonate). The formulas really don't change much just because the company decided to package the product into a compact with a sponge and call it a BB or CC cushion! But let's move on to the next one

3. IOPE Air Cushion XP

Ah, isn't this product nice? Look at all the advertisements with peptides and elastomers and a strange hybrid of sciencey-sounding stuff (peptides, elastomers) and exotic-origin plant stuff (Siberian peptides, really? Peptides are found everywhere, including your food, your body, etc.). And don't get me started on "Mineral Water 30% XP" - sheesh, water is just water - you know, one oxygen atom sandwiched between two hydrogen atoms? Trying to make it sound like it's some secret ingredient just sounds ridiculous to me. Anyway, it seems that this product has three variations out there: Shimmer, Natural, and Cover (which I'm guessing refers to glitter, no glitter or sheer finish, and full coverage respectively).

Apparently IOPE was the brand that started the entire BB cushion trend, and prompted all the Korean brands to start making "me-too" cushion-y products. Let's take a look at the ingredients list for their Natural version of their Air Cushion XP:



Okay, this is very similar to the previous two, so I won't go into too much detail, but here you go: silicones, check. Solvents, check. Here, we also see Arbutin, because you need something to brighten your skintone. Polyhydroxystearic Acid is a suspending agent, so your product mixes well and doesn't separate. Looking at the ingredients list, it's clear that the "Pore Care" claims are more cosmetic than anything. Polymers like Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate/Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer are film formers, and with them, the product glides over the skin and forms a smooth film over it, thus minimizing the appearance of pores (it's also how silicone-based foundations work). But of course this effect is just temporary - as soon as you wash off your BB cream, it's gone. Definitely not the long-term skincare regime the ad implies it is!

And let's take a look at the Cover version of the product:

Active ingredients


Virtually the same formula. Obviously they used the same base and just tweaked it very sightly to create a variation of the original product. But there you go again - silicones, solvents, and the same suspending agent. Nothing particularly groundbreaking, or new, or pore-caring. And the much ballyhooed peptiedes? I looked through the entire ingredients list found here, and I couldn't see any peptides that had skincare benefits. Usually these are things like Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 (sometimes advertised together with Pamityol Oligopeptide under the trade name Matrixyl 3000), Palmitoyl tripeptide-5, or Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3 (better known as Matrixyl). When I looked through the list, I didn't see these, I only saw just more polymers, and a couple of plant extracts. Right at the end of the ingredients list, there is glycoprotein, which helps to build the skin's intercellular matrix (or, the "glue" or structure that holds the skin together - I talk a bit more about the intercellular matrix in this product review of the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules, for anyone interested). But it's right at the end (5th last ingredient), so I highly doubt it's present in significant enough concentrations to really help your skin.

And one last thing I noticed: IOPE seem to recycle its formulas a lot. Although these two products are supposedly "BB" cushions, the formula is extremely similar to IOPE's Retigen Moisture Foundation SPF22/PA+, which is a plain ol' foundation. So there you go, the "BB" product isn't any different from a regular foundation:


Main Inactive Ingredients:

4. Elishacoy Always Nuddy CC Cushion

"Always Nuddy" I guess means a nice, nude finish, like a "no-makeup" look. That's what I think it is. This particular ad doesn't show it, but it touts 5-in-1 benefits, including whitening, moisturizing, anti-wrinkle, and sunscreen.

Also, note that this is a CC cushion - not a plain ol' BB cushion like the other less-advanced products. I have to admit, I don't really know what CC stands for. It seems to be more of a marketing term, with different companies taking the "CC" initials to stand for a variety of things - to date, I've seen "Complexion Corrector", "Complete Correction", "Colour Correcting", "Colour Control", "Correct and Care", or similar terms. I guess it's just a marketing term at the end of the day, so what it stands for exactly doesn't matter as much as having the "CC" in the product name. But product name aside, let's see if the ingredients list is really more advanced:

Just like the other BB cushions we saw before, there are silicones (Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Caprylyl Methicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Polypropylsilsesquioxane), sunscreen filters (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide), and solvents (Dipropylene Glycol). So here, we have a very silicone-heavy formula which offers some UV protection. The 9 silicones in this formulation probably form the bulk of the company's claims, especially regarding texture - silicones tend to spread out on the skin and provide the product some slip, and Trimethylsiloxysilicate and Polypropylsilsesquioxane are also film-formers that form a film on top of the skin, which may enhance the aesthetic value of the product. But I wouldn't look to this product for any skincare benefit. There is also Arbutin, used in skin-whitening, and Hexyl Laurate, which functions as an emollient, but these clock in near the end (past the 10th ingredient), so I'm hesitant to say they're there in effective amounts.

5. Clio VF21 Cushion CC

Clio VF21 Cushion CC is another "CC" rather than just plain ol' BB product. And it is in a cushion! And the entire VF21 range that the product comes from is vampire themed! I'm not kidding on the last one - VF stands for "Vampire Face". I'm not really into the whole Twilight thing so I can't see what the fuss is about...For the most part the collection takes "Vampire Face" to mean "pretty pastels but with different marketing". Oh well, it could have been worse - they could have put Robert Pattinson's face on the casing of every product.

So what do the ingredients say? about the product? Well, here are the top 15 ingredients.

Main Ingredients:
Cyclopentasiloxane, Water, Titanium Dioxide, Caprylyl Methicone, Dipropylene Glycol, Zinc Oxide, Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclomethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Talc, Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Hexyl Laurate, etc.

As far as BB/CC Creams/Cushions/Whatever-else-products go, this has a fairly short ingredients list. After the first 15, you have Dimethicone, and then the preservatives start showing up. Generally, anything after preservatives can be ignored, because preservatives really aren't used at very high percentages. Preservatives are used at like 0.1% or so. After that, this is where a lot of "snake oil" or "marketing claims" ingredients hide (e.g. "natural" plant extracts and so on). In this case, the Clio VF21 Cushion CC has a whole bunch of flower extracts - daffodil, jasmine, honeysuckle, and so on, but they are all riiiight at the end of the ingredients list, and waay after the 0.1% preservatives line. The fact that these are added but only in such minuscule amounts is testament to the fact that the presence of these ingredients (even if it's just a drop or something) is used more to justify a marketing effort, rather than for any efficacy they contribute to the product.

So if the Clio VF21 Cushion CC isn't mostly made of vampire-face-inducing flower extracts, what is it made of? Well, you can see the similarities again - silicones (8 of them, or just over half of the top 15 ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Caprylyl Methicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclomethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Polypropylsilsesquioxane), sunscreen filters (Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate), solvents (Dipropylene Glycol), emulsifiers (Hexyl Laurate), and talc - a little strange to see it here, since it's mostly used in powder products. Here I'm guessing it's some sort of bulking agent to add volume to the product. Once again, it's the same old silicones-solvents-sunscreen-filters mixture, and there isn't anything that differentiates it from the other 4 products I've already taken a look at. For what it's worth, the formulation doesn't differ much between the BB/CC cushions - just brand name, and packaging details.

6. The Face Shop Aura Color Control Cream SPF 30/PA++

The Face Shop is a popular Korean drugstore brand. I actually happen to really like their nail polishes because they have pretty colours with fairly good formula at not-ripoff prices. But of course, as a Korean beauty brand, they obviously have a CC compact product. Except that this is a little different. Instead of soaking the product in a sponge, and then putting the sponge in the casing, what The Face Shop has done is put the CC cream in a pump dispensing container, and then placing that container in a compact. So instead of dabbing your puff onto a CC-cream soaked sponge (which to be honest seems like it would get icky after a couple of uses to me), you press a button, and the CC cream gets pumped out, and then you take your puff and apply whatever is pumped out. Sounds a lot more sensible to me, packaging-wise!

So that's for the packaging. The product itself claims to have anti-wrinkle/anti-aging benefits, and also promises a radiant and brighter skintone. But what about the ingredients? Once again, for the ingredients list, I'm relying on another blogger who has reviewed the product:

One thing that struck me as weird about the ingredients list is the presence of "Oxygen". Really? Oxygen is an ingredient in skincare now? How about "air"? But anyway, oxygen aside, the main ingredients in the product yield a similar formula again - silicones (Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, which is also a surfactant, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone), sunscreen filters (Titanium Dioxide, Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate), and solvents (Butylene Glycol). There are some skin-friendly ingredients, such as Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, the same oil we saw in both the Laneige and IOPE BB Cushion product, and Niacinamide, which is an ingredient often found in anti-aging creams and so on. There are also some plant extracts - tangerine peel and so on - in the product, but as they are the 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th ingredient on the list, once again, I highly doubt they are there in amounts that would be effective. So I guess as far as substantiating claims go, having an oil that moisturizes the skin (Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate) and having ingredients like Niacinamide can justify a company marketing their product as anti-aging. But I wouldn't expect any anti-aging benefit from using the product, because the bulk of it is still the silicone-solvent-suncreen-filters mixture.

7. AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

AmorePacific is the company that owns IOPE, Laneige, and Etude House, which could explain why all the formulas for all these BB/CC cushions don't differ that much. That said, it just seems that BB/CC cushions don't differ much by design - even brands that aren't owned by AmorePacific, such as The Face Shop or Elishacoy, also seem to have very similar formulas. I guess at the end of the day, all of them rely on the same few contract manufacturers to pump out their CC cushions. (If you'd like a bit more background on contract manufacturers in cosmetics, I do explain it a little in my post on Julep's DD Creme- another product which, in my opinion, seemed obviously made by a contract manufacturer). But let's take a look at the ingredients, and let the list speak for itself:

Active ingredients:
Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate: 7%, Titanium Dioxide: 4.15%, Zinc Oxide: 9.8%

Main inactive ingredients:
Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Alcohol, Arbutin, Lauryl Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate/Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sodium Chloride, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Aluminium Hydroxide, etc.

I guess by now most of the list looks familiar to you. Silicones and silicone polymers (Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Peg-10 Dimethicone,Lauryl Peg-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate/Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer, Phenyl Trimethicone), solvents (Butylene Glycol, Alcohol) and sunscreen filters (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide). There are other functional ingredients like suspending agents (Polyhydroxystearic Acid), thickeners (Sodium Chloride) and opacifying agents included for colour (Aluminium Hydroxide). Again you know what some of those are. I don't have to explain too much of what they do because you already know. There is also Arbutin for whitening effect (by now you'll be familiar with it because quite a few other BB/CC Cushions use it too), and our good friend Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate the oil, but otherwise this is standard fare. AmorePacific does try to put a little twist on things with Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice. Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice is from bamboo, and while it sounds interesting, I've never seen any published research that indicates bamboo juice is helpful to skin - I personally wouldn't buy a product that had bamboo juice as its selling point. Otherwise, this isn't that different from your run-of-the-mill BB or CC Cushion.

8. IOPE Air Cushion Sunblock EX SPF50+/PA+++

Asian girls (including myself, I'll admit!) tend to be big, big consumers of sunscreen and whitening products. So if you're a company with a BB cushion out, why wouldn't you also modify it slightly and call it a sunscreen cushion? I guess it already makes sense, since most BB and CC creams have gratuitously high SPF values.

But let's take a look at the ingredients list. Is it really any different from your normal IOPE BB Cushion that doesn't have a fancy "Sunblock EX" tag attached to it?

Main Ingredients:

As you can see, the name change is just that - a name change. There isn't very much difference in the formula. The same silicones and polymers are there (CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, PHENYL TRIMETHICONE, PEG-10 DIMETHICONE, ACRYLATES/ETHYLHEXYL ACRYLATE/DIMETHICONE METHACRYLATE COPOLYMER), the same UV filters are there (ZINC OXIDE, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE), the same solvents are there (BUTYLENE GLYCOL), and even the same "claims ingredients" (ARBUTIN). There are some slight changes in formula - for example, LAURYL PEG-9 POLYDIMETHYLSILOXY-ETHYL DIMETHICONE (a silicone) LIPASE (an enzyme) and CHITOSAN (an anti-irritant that was popular in skincare formulations circa 2005) are included in the IOPE Sunblock EX product but not the IOPE BB cushion. But by and large, I wouldn't expect a drastic difference between the two.

9. HERA UV Mist Cushion SPF50+/PA+++

Okay, you've put up with my ramblings on ingredients for 8 products. This is the 9th, and last. Yay for perseverance! If you've read up to here, you deserve a medal for patience! But don't get too comfy yet - there's still more work to be done after we finish looking at all 9 products!

The Hera UV Mist Cushion advertises 5-in-1 benefits: makeup, moisture, sunscreen, whitening, and cooling - I guess that means a cooling sensation when applied. Other than a nice aesthetic feeling I'm not too sure what skincare benefits this brings about given that our body temperature is fairly constant at 36.9 degrees Celsius. But let's look at the main ingredients:

Main Ingredients:
Sea Silt Extract, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Arbutin, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Myrciaria Dubia Fruit Extract, etc.

(Credit for ingredients list translation to Agath Blog.)

And there we go. Similar sunscreen filters (Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate), same silicones (Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone), same solvents (Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol). Also, the same emollient oils (Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate), and the same whitening ingredient (Arbutin). So yes, there isn't anything particularly novel about the Hera UV Mist Cushion other than the Sea Silt Extract (which is an ingredient most famously espoused by La Mer, that most overpriced of skincare). While having minerals from sea rock and sea soil being put on your face sounds glamourous, I've never actually seen any published research that shows sea silt to be helpful to skin. On the bright side, at least it seems to be the main ingredient in the UV Mist Cushion, so if you do want to buy the product for the sea silt it has inside, you can rest assured that the product does indeed contain sea silt.

We've reached the end of our ingredients analysis! So what conclusions can we draw?

I'd say three fair conclusions are:

1. The ingredients in BB and CC cushions can irritate some skin types.

While most people shouldn't have an issue with the ingredients we looked at, some people's skins are sensitive to silicones. If that's the case, then given how silicone-heavy BB cushions and CC cushions are, it's probably best to avoid such products. Also, some people may be sensitive to chemical sunscreen filters. Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate is a chemical sunscreen filter that is used a lot in BB and CC cushions, so if your skin doesn't take well to it, again, it would be wise to avoid it.

2. There is no difference between "regular" BB/CC creams and BB/CC cushions. Most BB/CC cushions also have very similar ingredients.

As we've seen, the same silicones, solvents, and sunscreen filters are used across almost all the BB/CC cushions and "regular" BB/CC creams. If you look at my ingredients analysis of BB and CC creams, you'll see much the same ingredients appearing there, too. The only real difference is in the packaging - and, more importantly for companies, in the marketing. So if you've got a BB or CC cream in a traditional tube form, and you're wondering if you should upgrade because you think the formula in a BB/CC cushion is better, then my advice to you is: don't. There isn't any significant difference in formula between the two.

Another thing is that since most BB and CC cushions have very similar ingredients, buying a more expensive brand doesn't necessarily give you a better formula - in fact, if our analysis on the formulas we've looked at is anything to go by, you're really just paying more for the brand name, fancier casing, and maybe a fancy puff. If you were to choose by formula instead of brand name, you could potentially save quite a bit of money. Unless, of course, the puff or casing matters to you.

3. The ingredients in BB and CC cushions are no different from regular silicone-based tinted moisturizers and foundations.

I've already covered this in my ingredients analysis of BB and CC creams, so I won't belabour the point. But it does make sense. BB and CC creams, to begin with, aren't formulated very differently from silicone-based tinted moisturizers or silicone-based foundations. So of course, since there is virtually no difference between BB/CC cushions and BB/CC creams, of course it follows that the formulation of BB and CC cushions is similar to that of regular silicone-based foundations and tinted moisturizers.

So it was no surprise to me that, in the course of doing my ingredients research, I came across quite a few "regular" non-BB-or-CC products with very similar formulations, such as tinted moisturizers, foundations, and primers. In fact, any company could take some of their existing products, put it into a compact and call it a BB cushion or a CC cushion, and noone would be none the wiser. It really just goes to show that the "BB" and "CC" tag is just a marketing differentiator for companies, and not a real indication of formula differences. I've already gone through some similar ones in the course of my ingredients analysis, but here are some more additional products I came across with remarkably similar formulas:

Almay Clear Complexion Liquid Makeup for Oily Skin

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Salicylic Acid 0.6%

OTHER INGREDIENTS: Aqua ((Water) Eau), Cyclomethicone, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Nylon-12, Boron Nitride, Talc, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Sodium
Chloride, Alumina, Methoxypropylgluconamide, Panthenol, etc.

The usual soup of silicones, polymers and solvents are at work here. No sunscreen filters, though.

Colour Me Beautiful Skin Primer:

Main Ingredients:

This is a primer, so it doesn't have the same level of pigments that the BB/CC products do, but otherwise, the silicone-and-solvents combination works here too. And below, we have a couple of foundations that have very similar silicone-based formulas.

Revlon PhotoReady Makeup:

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (1.1%), Zinc Oxide (2.0%).

Other Ingredients:
Aqua ((Water) Eau), Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Boron Nitride, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Nylon-12, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllac Tone Crosspolymer, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Alumina, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, etc.

A very similar list, from your typical silicone-based drugstore foundation.

Collection Colour Match Foundation:

Main Ingredients:
Aqua, Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Isododecane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cetyl PEG/PPG 10/1 Dimethicone, Talc, Titanium Dioxide, Bezophenone-3, Phenyl Trimethicone, Isononyl Isononanoate, Tribehenin, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Triethylhexanoin, etc.

Collection Cosmetics is a UK-based drugstore brand. Again, you see much of the same use of silicones, polymers, solvents, and sunscreen filters. This will probably feel a little heavier than the BB/CC cushion products, but there isn't too much difference in formula.

Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Radiant Firming Makeup:

Active Ingredients: Octinoxate (4.5%)

Main Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Talc, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hexyl Laurate, Tribehenin, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, etc.

Another one from a drugstore brand. This is Maybelline, and although it doesn't have as much sun protection as the BB/CC cushion products, it also has pretty similar emulsifiers, silicones, solvents, and the like. And below, the last one is from an indie brand, Helen E, which doesn't have sun protection, but has a similar formula. I suspect that with the Beeswax and so on, it might feel a bit heavier than the BB/CC cushions, but the formula again isn't very different.

Helen E Cosmetics Stage Ultimate Performance Liquid Foundation:

Main Ingredients:
Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Butylene glycol, Nylon-12, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Sorbitan Olivate, Cetyl demethicone, Beeswax, Phenyl Trimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol etc.

So as you can see, some of the available products that you can get from your local drugstore aren't very different from a BB or CC cushion product. So particularly with the more expensive BB cushions and CC cushions, I don't really think you're paying for the formula, since this type of silicone-heavy formula is available in several drugstore brands. If you're buying a BB or CC cushion for the perceived formula improvement, I'm afraid you're probably overpaying.

So the only difference is in the packaging. Is the change in packaging really worth it?

So if you're not paying for the formula, then what are you paying for? Simply put, the packaging. Which leave us the question: is it worth buying a product that has only undergone a change in packaging? The answer is, as with most real life questions, mixed, because there are both pros and cons.

The pros: applying an even layer of BB/CC cream on your face.

Let's start with the pros. The change in packaging means that instead of a tube of BB cream, you have a sponge in a compact, and the sponge is soaked in your BB/CC cream of choice. And you don't apply the BB/CC cream with fingers, but with a puff, which in some cases is made of polyurethane. The magic here is not so much in the sponge or compact, but really in the polyurethane puff. When you press the polyurethane puff into the soaked sponge, tiny pores in the polyurethane puff get filled with small droplets of BB cream. And when you press the puff onto your face, the BB cream liquid is squeezed out of the polyurethane material and onto your skin. And you get a nice, even layer of BB cream on your face.

So this may be better for you, if an even application of BB cream is what you want. So if you've been struggling with the application of BB/CC creams, and you find yourself applying too thick or uneven a layer when you use your fingers or normal foundation brush but you otherwise like the formula, then yes, a change in packaging will be helpful for you. So under such circumstances, it would be worth your while to shell out for your very own BB cream in a compact. Not all of the BB/CC cushions come with a polyurethane puff, though, so as you shop around for your ideal BB/CC cushion product, it's probably good to take the puff into consideration, too.

The cons: the icky factor. And there is a lot less product in a cushion than in a traditional tube.

One of the things that I didn't really like about the sponge-and-puff packaging of the BB/CC cushions is that they seemed to get icky very fast after a couple of uses. The polyurethane puff accumulates product after awhile (although not as much as a normal makeup sponge), and of course the sponge that holds the reservoir of BB or CC cream will get germy and icky after awhile. While most brands sell refills for both, there doesn't seem to be a way to clean the sponge holding the reservoir of BB cream on a consistent basis. This is a pretty big turn-off for me, to be honest. I prefer the packaging of The Face Shop's Aura Color Control Cream, which instead of a sponge, has a pump mechanism that you can activate by pressing a button. It dispenses only a bit of CC cream that way, and seems more hygienic to me.

Another con, which has also been discussed in the comments below, is that the price-to-amount-of-product-you-get ratio is really lousy with BB cushions. Most BB creams I see in the market have about 30-45ml, or about 1-1.5oz of product, but the BB cushions I've seen have around 15-20g of product, or about 0.5-0.7oz of product. You are getting around half the amount of product in a cushion versus a tube, although it doesn't look like it because the cushion takes up space in the compact. Unfortunately, the price of a BB cushion isn't half that of a BB cream in a tube! I suppose some of this lack of value-for-money is offset by the fact that with a puff applicator, you might conceivably use less - the puff is supposed to give you a thinner, more even layer of product on your skin. But still, I dislike it when brands give you less product, if they don't decrease the prices. I guess in this case, you really are literally paying for the packaging and the puff!

TL;DR, so should I get the darn BB cushion thing I've been looking at or not?

Well, the short answer is - if you're looking for a formula improvement, then I'd advise you to save your money, and stick to your usual BB or CC cream, or for that matter, your existing silicone-based foundation or tinted moisturizer that you're comfortable with. Truth be told, the formula isn't the novel thing, and with cushions rather than tubes, you're actually getting about half the amount of product than before. The packaging is what is really being sold here, in particular, the polyurethane puff that applies an even layer of BB/CC cream on your face. So if it is the packaging you want, and if you can get over the idea of having a slightly icky spongy reservoir of BB cream, then you would probably like the product.


  1. "cosmetic chemists actually blogging about skincare science? *fangirl swoon*"
    Well. Excuse me while I join you in the swooning and go spend the rest of my day, possibly the rest of my week, in there.
    Yey ingredient geekery! (<- I might comment that every time you post one of these from now on. With an occasional waving of cheerleader pompons)

    1. @Anid Harker: Yes! I love reading blogs by cosmetic chemists too. Other than The Beauty Brains (I linked to their RSS archives rather than their actual site because that particular post I was pointing to got lost when their servers crashed, but you can see their full site here: ), I also enjoy reading Colin's Beauty Pages here: and Personal Care Truth: - those are just a few of my favourites. Also, the Triple Helixian is not written by a cosmetic chemist (it's written by an aspiring Medical student), but is also pretty solid in terms of providing info: - it's not as updated, but the archives are a good reference. Dive in and enjoy! :)

    2. I also recommend I encourage new readers of Rowena's blog to proceed chronologically (from the oldest post) rather than reverse chronologically (from the newest post).

    3. @Justine: I love Beauty and the Bullshit too! But I think she writes more from a marketing/brand manager's perspective, not so much a formulation/cosmetic chemist's perspective or a skincare/dermatologist's perspective. But I definitely love her insights into the beauty world!

  2. This was an awesome post. I haven't seen any of the compacts but as it's a new 'fad,' and has new packaging, and the nature of the packaging... wouldn't these probably have less product and be more expensive than your regular BB creams as well?

    1. @Robyn: Good point! I didn't check up on the prices of the BB creams vs BB cushions, but in terms of amount of product, you're right - there is less product in the BB cushions than BB creams. Most BB creams I see in the market have about 30-45ml, or about 1-1.5oz of product, but the BB cushions I've seen have around 15-20g of product, or about 0.5-0.7oz of product. You are getting quite a bit less, although it doesn't look like it because the cushion takes up space in the compact.

  3. WOW! So interesting! Thanks for the detailed analysis.
    I'm curious to see if Western brands will jump on the badwagon again and launch a million of these in a year, lol.

  4. WOW! Awesome work, thanks a lot for this analysis. I wonder if the Western brands will jump on the bandwagon again and launch a million of these in a year, LOL.

  5. Thank you for doing so much research to keep us informed my dear. This is very detailed and informative. I must confess I don't ever look at the ingredient list even though I know I should. I have always relied on gut feel which is never the best way.

  6. thank you for this post! i really find it very helpful since i myself consider getting a BB cushion, but right now not so much, especially since the price is fairly expensive. i'll stick to my regular tube BB creams :D

  7. Oh wow that's a lot of sites! I'm gonna be busy lol
    Thanks for pointing me in their direction!

  8. I can't say that I've ever been interested in gimmicky products and that's the thought I had on the new "cushion" products from the first, and you went and confirmed that for me. Thank you! I let other women give them a try and if they last a year and I'm still hearing raves then, well then I might give it a try too (because I assume it's not a gimmick and is really an innovation).

    One question I do have after reading both this and your original bb/cc posts, considering the amount of silicones in their formulation and surprisingly (to me) in the formulation of foundations too, why bother with a primer? Has it gotten to the point that they have built in primer now?

    1. @Donna: As you noticed, the main improvement or "innovation" in BB/CC cushions is the puff. I suppose whether it is worth paying for will depend on the individual - some people find that the puff really makes application easier, but others may not. I guess it depends on preferred application method at the end of the day.

      You're right, the formulas for BB/CC creams and cushions do tend to be quite silicone heavy. I'm not sure why this is the case, but I suppose as with most cases (and in tune with Occam's Razor), the simplest explanation is the most likely one - a product that is formulated with a heavy reliance on silicones is more likely to sell better than a product that doesn't. I'm not too sure why consumers prefer a more silicone-heavy formula - I suppose it could be that it feels lighter and less oily on the skin, and gives a smoother finish when applied. But yes, as you've noticed, a lot of primers that are silicone-based also use pretty much the same few silicones as well. So I do agree with you - if you apply a silicone-based primer and then a BB/CC cream/cushion, you will essentially be applying one silicone-laden product on top of another. My personal view is the same as yours: there probably isn't a need for a primer in this case, but I am sure that some people may experience that the extra primer makes a difference. I suppose you could try it out both ways and see which works better for you!

  9. This is awesome!!! You ARE expert in cosmetics and ingredients! Like Like Like~!

  10. This makes me feel that all i need to do now is to just pump out one of my BB creams into my about-to-finish BB cushion compacts... HAHA. I do like the convenience of application and I don't find it thaaaat icky! :X

    1. @Yina: Actually, I feel like you probably could try that out! But given that some BB creams are thin like water and some are thick like creams, I suspect the thin-like-water ones will probably work best for this type of sponge application. The cream ones might just get all gooey inside the sponge and be hard to apply even with the puff. That's my theory anyway - if you do try it out, let me know how it goes!

  11. I just came across your post while searching info about the IOPE cushion XP. I'm interested in getting a cushion-like "something" to reapply coverage&sunscreen during the day at work or wherever. I find this cushion method convenient for this purpose and makeup-friendly, so I wanted to try if this works for me. If that's the case, I was even considering reusing the packaging for home-made mixtures of foundation/bbcream with sunscreen. Never tried, but I'm curious. Given your in-depth analysis of the ingredients and the products themselves, I'd like to know your opinion about this crazy (yet promising and exciting^^) idea. And thanks a lot for posting this extensive review!!!

    1. @Hue Rocks: Haha, if you see my reply to Yina above (just one comment above), she also mentioned the same thing about DIYing cushions with existing BB creams. I suspect this may work (maybe not as elegantly as the store-bought cushions, but it will work some) with the more watery textured BB creams. I suspect the thicker/more creamy ones might just get gooey inside the sponge and be difficult to apply with the puff. But that's just my own conjecture - let me know if you ever try it out!

    2. I'm on my way to try this out..I've just ordered my very first BB cushion, so in few months I may report back XDDD. I picked one of Laneige, just because the shade 13 true beige seemed to match my fair skintone according to the internet swatches I've seen. I kept your post in mind, so I didn't bother on reading the brand claims when picking this up. Just something that I may use up because of a good tone match is ok for me I think.

  12. Has anyone tried putting your own foundation/bb cream into the compact when it's running out? just wondering ... may try this myself...

    1. @Anonymous: Although I've gotten a few questions on this, I don't know if anyone has tried it yet. If you do try it, I suggest doing it with a fairly watery-texture BB cream, rather than a thicker one. And also try to get the sponge as clean as possible (meaning no left over product from the previous BB cream) before you put in your new product. And if you do try it, let me know how it goes!

  13. wooow! Thank you for your article. Now I've found the reason why my face ended up being dehydrated and rough (break out without acne) after using any kind of BB cream, bb cushion , and primer. It's because the 'silicone family' I think.

    can you suggest me what foundation and physical sunblock products without silicone family?

    1. @Vivi: Wow, that's a tough ask because silicones are quite commonly used! But for foundations, you can check out this handy list compiled by another blogger, The Notice: and if you google around a bit, there are quite a few lists of "silicone free foundations", so hopefully that helps!

      For sunscreens, there aren't that many unless you go to indie brands. I think most of Avene's and Korres' sunscreens are silicone-free, and Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector Sunscreen for Body SPF 50 is also silicone-free. Otherwise, most of the brands I know of are a bit more niche: there's Ren Satin Perfection BB Cream Sunscreen SPF 15, Devita SPF 30 Moisturizer/Sunscreen, Juice Beauty SPF30 Sheer Moisturiser, and Pratima Neem Rose Face Sunscreen (SPF 30). I think Kimberly Sayer also has an SPF30 sunscreen that is silicone-free. Hope this helps!

  14. Hello~! Thank you for this awesome breakdown!

    I recently used the Iope cushion compact, and the texture was a dream~ however, after 2 days I had a MAJOR allergic reaction (like THOUSANDS of mini pustules covering my entire face). Distraught and heartbroken, I went to a dermatologist the very next day, and it turns out I was allergic to acrylic!

    I should have known because once I got my nails done with acrylics, and then all my fingers and cuticles swelled up and was super itchy for days~ but I forgot all about it because that was years ago, and I never even imagined that same material would be put in makeup!

    So I was wondering if you know of any cushion foundations that DONT have acrylic in it? I swear the texture was the most beautiful airbrushed, flawless, dewy I have ever had in ANY makeup (and I've tried high end to even higher end!) But none have come close to that Iope cushion.

    I even bought the AmorePacific cushion, hoping that since it's supposedly higher end with better skincare it might be different. But it's hard for me to ignore that it has the same acrylates in it's ingredients as the IOPE cushion that I haven't even taken it out of the box..... Call it willful ignorance, but I can't forget that texture~!

    1. @juicyfruit: Wow, that's got to be one of the most unusual skin sensitivities I've seen so far! Ouch, it sounds like your fingers must have hurt from those acrylics! If you bought the AmorePacific cushion, and if it has exactly the same ingredients as the IOPE one, then chances are (given that AmorePacific does own IOPE, along with Laneige, Etude House and a bunch of other brands), it may give you the same reaction. But if you realllly want to try it out, I strongly suggest just doing a test patch - maybe on your inside wrist or behind your ear or somewhere, in a small area. If it's fine, then you can cautiously proceed.

      Over the long run, though, you might want to avoid the acrylic-ish ones, which are generally pretty easy to tell from their names: Acrylates/Ethylhexyl Acrylate/Dimethicone Methacrylate Copolymer, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, and so on, just to be on the safe side! Unfortunately it does seem like a lot of BB/CC/whatever-double-lettered-thing-is-going-on Creams do use quite a few of those, so you may want to choose really carefully! Hope this helps, and good luck!

  15. Darn saved my pocket...i was ready to spend a huge money to buy i**e cushion..coz i hate my bb cream..but after reading your blog..i will search another brand of conventional bb or let search for traditional foundation..i really dont care bout the packaging as long as had the good really save my wallet...thank you

  16. I'm a guy and I just got into the world of korean skin products/bb creams. For me I feel like its really easy to get lost admist the myriad of products and the hype, marketing etc etc surrounding them. Your article has been an eye opener for me and I'm now more conscious of the contents when buying something. You also saved me a bunch of money haha. Thank you so much!

  17. Awesome.
    I haven't tried any cc cream, let even cc cushion. Most bb cream doesn't work for me and I don't think the newer generation (which cost more) would do better. Happy that I know I am right :))

  18. Wow! Thanks for this post. I am an ingredient conscious person unlike most consumers. You saved me from buying these cushions. I was heavily influenced by a beauty drama that I was watching. Thanks for shaking me out of that stupor. I think I will stick to foundation and brush no matter how untravel friendly it is. I see you took your time and effort. Cheers to bloggers like you!

  19. What about the It Cosmetics cushion compact

    1. @Corina Gonzales: Are you referring to the It Cosmetics CC Veil Foundation Cushion Compact? Looking at the ingredients list, it might at first appear good, because of all the skincare ingredients, but most of these are actually in really tiny amounts, and are listed after the preservative Phenoxyethanol, which means that they are present in amounts of 0.8% or less, which will not be sufficient to have an effect on the skin. The main ingredients are also a bunch of silicones and polymers although there are some emollients too. So I don't think this is significantly different from other cushion products, although it might be more moisturizing. I hope this helps!

      Also here are the IT Cosmetics Cushion ingredients:
      Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Butyloctyl Salicylate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol
      Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Silica, Glycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated
      Polydecene, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Caprylyl Methicone, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone,
      Aluminum Hydroxide, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hexyl
      Laurate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Magnesium Sulfate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol,
      Ethylhexylglycerin, Quaternium-18 Bentonite, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract, 1,2-
      Hexanediol, Disodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape)
      Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Punica Granatum Seed Oil, Cholesterol, Niacinamide,
      Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Colloidal Oatmeal, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Water,
      Lactobacillus/Honeysuckle Flower/Licorice Root/Morus Alba Root/Pueraria Lobata Root/Schizandra
      Chinensis Fruit/Scutellaria Baicalensis Root/Sophora Japonica Flower Extract Ferment Filtrate,
      Perfluorohexane, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis
      Leaf Extract, Chrysanthemum Indicum flower Extract, Magnolia Kobus Bark Extract, Glycine Soja
      (Soybean) Sprout Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Artemisia princeps Leaf Extract, Diospyros
      Kaki Leaf Extract, Morus Alba Fruit Extract, Perfluorodecalin, Pentafluoropropane, Curcuma Longa
      (Turmeric) Root Extract, Steareth-20, Hydrolyzed Silk, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate,
      N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Carnitine HCl, Folic Acid, Niacin,
      Ascorbic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine HCl, Retinyl Palmitate, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Tocopherol, Chrysin ,
      Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Chlorhexidine Digluconate.

  20. I found this post after trying to figure out if there are some hygienic issues with those cushions. I wanted to buy a case for a DIY one, because I mix two foundations to get my perfect shade and it would be nice to have a pretty container to store the mixture in and apply evenly. But I'm such a germaphobe that I can't decide :c

  21. I just found your blog today-- it's awesome, very informative. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I would love to hear your opinion on A-TRUE Real Black Tea True Active CC Cushion SPF50+/PA+++, if possible.

    *Saccharomyces/Xylinum/Black Tea Ferment(3,840mg), Cyclopentasiloxane, Titanium Dioxide, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Octocrylene, Zinc Oxide, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Butylene Glycol, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Stearic Acid,1,2-Hexanediol,Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Chlorphenesin, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Iron Oxides (CI 77499),Saccharide Isomerate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Adenosine, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract, Maltodextrin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance
    * Compagnie Coloniale Black Tea Fermentation

    I would like some make-up product that would even out my skin tone and provide extra care. I was going to order this CC cushion but after reading your posts, this one and the one on UV protection tips (the point how make-up products may mess up the protection provided by your sunscreen), I am no longer sure it's a good idea. I don't need make-up badly, some suncreens even out my skintone enough (blue Sunkiller from the previous year was my favorite, great for oily skin).

    I admit I am a sucker for anything tea-related-- this is why A-TRUE is so appealing to me. But, they also have sunscreen in their offer-- maybe instead of getting the CC cushion, I should just try their sunscreen...?

    *Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water(19,715mg), Cyclopentasiloxane, Octocrylene, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Titanium Dioxide, C12-15 Alkyl benzoate, Quaternium-18 Bentonite, Glycerin, Niacinamide, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Zinc Oxide, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Dimethicone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Ozokerite, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Aluminium Cunt Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Chlorphenesin, **Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract(148mg), **Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Extract(5.02mg), **Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract(1.67mg), Tocopheryl Acetate, Adenosine, BHT, Panthenol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Perfume
    * Compagnie Coloniale® Black Tea Water
    ** Compagnie Coloniale Black Tea Blending™ Formula

    Thank you very much.


  22. I have really sensitive skin what cushion bb / foundation should I use.
    Please help me

  23. awesome post, i have been told by my doctor to avoid products containing the word/letters "methyl". as much as i like the convenience and the dewy moist coverage of CC cushion compacts, your post definitely help me avoid as such. thank you!

  24. thank you for sharing as I was almost thinking of upgrading XD now I'm contemplating that I should save my wallet for a better foundation

  25. Thankyou for analysing all these korean brand bb cc or whatever cushion !
    Because I am suffering from sensitive skin and I don't even know what is the factor that causes my skin to become reddish,itchy and dry. After reading this analysis I will choose my own makeup product more wisely.

  26. Hi i agree with your opinion on cushions and in my experience most cushions oxidize quicker and make my face oilier than regular bb creams in tubes. My guess is because cushions need a more watery oily? texture than products that come in tubes to be able to pick them up with the sponge and to achieve that texture they may have more water and/or oils than thicker consistencies. just my guess.
    also all these cushions bb cc creams from korea don't offer very good colors. their color range is limited and even if you find a close match many times the color itself does not resemble skin color.
    you might be interested in cushions if you want to touch up your base throughout the day or you want to add a little bit of sun protection without ruining your base too much because they are thin, you can pat instead of draggin the sponge, and many have like spf50. but even then i think it is still not worth it 1)i don't trust the spf in this and 2) so many other options if you want a product for touchups and the cushions aren't any more portable than full size tubes or other compacts.
    the only real pro i see with cushions is that they all have mirrors inside so its convenient to open up and apply them when you are out.


Thank you for commenting! I read each and every single comment! If you ask a question in your comment, please check back to this post, as I will reply in a comment to this post as well :) Please note that comments with soliciting links to shops or websites will be removed. Thanks!


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