L’oreal BB Cream (Youth Code) vs. Garnier BB Cream (Skin Renew)

Posted on June 21, 2012


I was walking around Walgreens when I spotted L’oreal’s Youth Code BB Cream! You may or may not know… but I LOVE BB Creams and I’ve done many reviews on them. I quickly snatched one up and hurried home… giggling like a school girl.

Experience 5 complexion-perfecting benefits in a single step. Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator instantly evens, illuminates, perfects, moisturizes, and protects skin. In one week, tone and texture are improved and skin is healthier looking. Contains Broad Spectrum SPF 15. Available in 2 shades (Light & Medium). Buy at the Drugstore.com for $16.99

As soon as I opened up the cap, I thought… “Wow, it’s really similar to Garnier’s BB Cream!” Just like Garnier’s BB Cream, L’oreal’s BB Cream provides a dewy, sheer coverage. Although the box says “Illuminator,” there’s no shimmer or sparkle in the cream.

In this review, I’ll do a side by side comparison of Garnier and L’oreal’s BB Cream. They’re so similar, I thought it would be helpful for you to know the differences (and similarities) between the two drugstore brand BB Creams. :)

L’oreal BB Cream (Youth Code) vs. Garnier BB Cream (Skin Renew)

  • Price: Garnier $12.99 | L’oreal $16.99
  • Packaging: Exact same 2.5 oz flip cap bottle.
  • Smell: Garnier has a nice fragrance, but the fragrance sometimes irritates my (uber sensitive) eyes for the first 5-10 minutes after I apply. L’oreal is not completely fragrance free, but it has no apparent fragrance and does not irritate my eyes.
  • Color: The “light” shades are almost the same! But if I’m being super picky, L’oreal’s BB Cream is a little pinker.
  • Coverage: Light. Gives a subtle sheer coverage. If you want more coverage, I’d recommend Smashbox’s BB Cream or a traditional foundation.
  • Consistency: It’s scary how similar they are. Almost wonder if they just changed the fragrance and packaging but used the same formula! Tricky, tricky… but we’re on to you! (FYI: L’oreal owns Garnier)  Sorry, I’ve digressed. Both are very moisturizing and leaves the skin with a dewy finish.
    If you have oily skin, I don’t recommend these BB Creams during the hot summer. You might want to give them a try during the colder months :) Also, depending on how oily or dry your skin is, you can use (or skip) a separate moisturizer.
    * To find your perfect BB Cream match, please check out my other BB Cream Reviews: Smashbox & Stila | Clinique, Dr. Jart, boscia, Dr. G | Estee Lauder | Garnier.
  • Sun Protection: I highly recommend using a separate sunscreen to protect against all UV rays. Remember, SPF does not mean complete sun protection. Read this post to learn the ABC’s of UVA, UVB and SPF.
    ~ Garnier: SPF 15 | Active Ingredient is Oxtinoxate 4% = UVB rays protection
    ~ L’oreal: SPF 15 | Active Ingredient are Oxtinoxate 4% and Titanium Dioxide 3.6% = Oxtinoxate protects against UVB rays and titanium dioxide protects against UVB and short UVA radiation. Too bad it doesn’t protect against long UVA rays which cause sun damage and premature aging.

Bottom Line: So which of these 2 BB Creams do I like better? It’s a really close call because they feel so similar… But if I had to choose, I’d choose Garnier. It’s cheaper and the color matches me (slightly) better. Even though it has less sun protection than L’oreal, I’d use a separate sunblock anyways so it doesn’t matter. I just wish Garnier didn’t irritate my eyes!

What BB Cream have you tried? Let me know in the comments below!

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