Penny Choose: Boots 17 BB Blemish Balm SPF 25

There’s lots of hype surrounding ‘BB creams’ at the moment. Well, they aren’t really the holy grail of makeup and skincare like they’re made out to be, but if you have realistic expectations then this particular version from Boots 17  is really rather good indeed.

Ignore the name ‘All in one magic makeup’ – here’s the real skinny. Like most other products in this category, it’s a tinted moisturiser with some SPF and some light reflecting/luminising particles. It comes in two colours, light and medium, and the shades are nice and neutral, unlike other brands which can be a bit too pink or orange for my liking.

It’s designed for combination skin from the looks of things. This formulation is less greasy than its main competitors, and it’s nicely long lasting, although if you have an oily t-zone you’ll probably need to add a little blotting or mineral finishing powder in that area too to prevent excessive shine.

Although it’s described as ‘foundation plus skincare’, I would say that’s a claim too far. There have been products like this around for a few years, but they’ve just been marketed in different ways (step forward Stila and a few others). This works as a good quality tinted moisturiser – small amounts of pigment give light cosmetic coverage, gently evening out the skintone (redness, sallowness, dark circles) without completely masking anything. That’s probably why they’ve only made it in two shades, as there’s less likely to be a problem with colour matching for a wide range of (European) skintones. You may need a little concealer here and there.

There’s also a light reflecting component, which again evens out skintone and also diminishes the appearance of fine lines. This level of luminosity is just enough to perk up tired skin, without lighting you up like a glitterball and adding excessive shine. The SPF of 25 is very welcome and unusual in this price bracket, although I can’t personally test the claim that any given product offers this level of protection, or that it shields from both UVA and UVB rays.

To sum up, ignore the hype and enjoy it for what it really is – a nice product for day-to-day wear that looks natural, and makes you look like a healthier, perkier version of your usual self. Over time, an SPF of 25 will benefit the skin, and it’s easy to apply and blend in too. If you like the natural look, this is a good all-rounder that could save you a fair amount of time in the mornings.

It has an RRP of £6.99 for 25ml, which I think is an absolute bargain given the formulation. Right now it’s available for an introductory price of £5.99 at Boots, and is also part of their 3-for-2 promotion across the 17 brand. Best BB cream I’ve tried, and interestingly also the cheapest.


Have you tried it yet? If so, what did you think?


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  1. Let me assure you, if Boots say it’s SPF 25 then it definitely is. A lot of rigorous testing by friends of mine goes into that!

    Seriously though, don’t get this BB thing. Wear a highlighter over your tinted foundation?

  2. Hi Tamsin – thanks very much for the insider information. Nice to know it is the correct SPF.

    I think the BB thing is largely hype, and I’ve been using stuff like this for years before they started calling it ‘BB’. Good for a quick start in the morning though 🙂

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