For a Summer Day Outdoor, Try Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream

Kiehl's Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream

A while ago I was introduced to Kiehl’s new product, Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream (check out my Facebook photo album for more pictures and swatches of all three shades available in Belgium: Fair, Light, and Natural. RRP: 29 euros). I was given Natural, the shade that is the closest to my skin tone to try. Now I am ready to share my experience with you!

Kiehl's Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream instructions

Like many BB creams, Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream promises both some coverage as well as skincare benefits. Besides a very high SPF (SPF50 PA+++), the selling point here is the vitamin C. It should both correct existing skin tone irregularities and preventing the formation of new ones.

Kiehl's BB Cream review

One of the first things I noticed about Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream is the smell. It is fragrance free, so it smells like the chemical components. I wouldn’t go as far as to saying it is unpleasant, but it is a little peculiar. It is not the typical sunscreen smell either. I can still catch a whiff from time to time after a while, so do make sure it’s something you are prepared to handle.

Kiehl's BB Cream packaging

The texture of Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream is not thick, though it takes a little patience to blend it in. It dries down to a velvety matte finish that is not flat, so it is rather natural. With the spring weather, I have been able to get away with wearing just my day serum and this BB cream without having my cheeks drying out or my T-zone greasing up. It evens the skin tone out and covers up imperfections such as post-acne pigmentation spots. Formula-wise it gets a  thumbs up from me!

Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream in Natural squeezed out and lightly-blended:

Kiehl's BB Cream in Natural swatched

Now, a perfect base product is like a unicorn, so naturally there are things about Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream that stop it from being “perfect.” My main concern is with three shades available in Belgium, not everyone is going to find a good match (also, the names of the shades are somehow misleading. If you look at this picture, you will realize the difference between Fair and Natural is more of the difference in undertones). Natural is the shade that matches me the best, but on my face it is a little too “beige” while I need a bit more yellow for it to really work.

Right after I apply the BB cream, the difference between my face and neck is rather obvious. After 10 minutes or so however, it settles down to something that I find acceptable enough for a picnic in the park or stroll on the beach. However, it is definitely not something I would wear for photos (the SPF50 pretty much guarantees a white cast anyways) or when I have somewhere formal to go. As the day goes on, the BB cream will wear off and looks more and more “natural” as a result. However, if you want SPF protection, it is also time to reapply.

Here is the ingredient list:

Kiehl's BB cream ingredients


Bottom line: I would encourage you to take Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream as a sunscreen with added benefit instead of makeup. The SPF50 PA+++ is enough even for a day on the beach (reapplications are required, of course), and the fact that it evens the skin tone out while covering some light imperfections is a bonus. I also enjoy the texture, as it keeps my combination skin pretty happy! However, it does wear off faster compared with most other base products I have tried, and the limited shade selection makes it less ideal for formal occasions.  With everything considered, I personally look forward to wearing it when I spend time outdoor in spring/summer!

Have you seen Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream around? Talking about Kiehl’s, I will soon start testing the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate. Is anyone a fan here?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

Mostly Sunny disclosure

  • Angela @ The Unprofessional Beauty Blog

    I’ve wanting to try this ever since it came out, and I’m still really tempted to get it. But I’ll have to finish up my HUGE pale of products before I buy more. On another note, my mom is actually using the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate right now and she loves it.

    • Sunny

      Haha I know that problem! I try to discover base products I like (enough) and stick to them. Glad to hear your mom likes that one! My second bottle of Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum is on its last leg, and afterwards I’m making the switch to see how my skin likes it!

  • Kiss & Make-up

    I really like the inside SPF in it, but I just wonder how long you benefit from it after putting the cream on… We always get told to reapply sun lotion every few hours, so how about this BB cream?

    • Sunny

      Hey girl, I think it’s the same with anything with an SPF. If you stay outdoor you will have to reapply every few hours to stay shielded!

      • Kiss & Make-up

        Boo :-( I wish they’d invent something that would keep you protected all day long! I mean, I am not going to ruin my whole make-up by slapping on sunscreen every few hours. Whoever would come up with a solution would be a GOD :-)

        • Sunny

          LOL but you can easily avoid your eye area and do your cheeks? For example if you’re on the beach, after some hours your blush is probably gone anyways no?

  • Selphia

    I agree with you about the smell. I thought it smelled like rusty metal and some strange herb. The finish is lovely on pore problem areas as it smooths things out nicely but the scent is eh…

    • Sunny

      Aww I’m so sorry to hear the small really gets to you! I’m not a fan but for the SPF and the added benefit of a more unified skin tone, I can most probably put up with it!

  • beauties

    Not my thing I guess :)

    • Sunny

      Well if you go outside on a sunny summer day you might need it 😉

  • Icaria

    Oh you lost me with the smell. I don’t think this is something I could stand. Sad because the Vit C made this quite apealing. Still, next time I stop by their store I’ll try it.

    • Sunny

      Yeah you should sniff it and see if it bothers you too much. I can put up with it because of the SPF, also between this and a very artificial fragrance, I would personally opt for this!

  • Becca @ The Beauty Sample

    Oooh this looks really, really nice! It looks pretty thin and fluid from the swatches–I like that. And a soft matte finish? Yes please!! 😀

    • Sunny

      Hey Becca, it takes a little time to blend it into the skin (it’s thicker than something with a lower SPF, which is to be expected), but it’s not fussy! I’d call the finish velvety matte, so it might be right up your alley!

  • Lara

    Hi Sunny, when you say the BB cream ‘settles down’ , does this mean it oxidizes to some extent i.e. the color looks different when first plied and in some time, it sort of changes color? Ive made a few mistakes and ended up woth foundations that oxidze even though the sales lady at the counter told me otherwise. The foundations turn darker after a while and look strange! Ive stopped using them but wasted a lot of money. Pls tell me this BB cream doesnt do the same.

    • Sunny

      Hey Lara, no this one doesn’t oxidize. I meant settling down as in drying down and melding a bit better with the skin. It doesn’t become darker or orange throughout the day on me! The oxidization thing depends on your skin type as well as the climate you live in. Some products that don’t oxidize on me here in Belgium do so in Taipei. It’s harder to avoid it when it’s humid/warm! Hope this helps! If you have doubts always get a sample before purchasing full-size :)

  • Jacqueline

    Thanks for your review Sunny, I was seriously thinking about trying this but I’m having second thoughts. I would rather have more coverage because I don’t want to layer it over another base product. It would kinda add more things to my routine.

    • Sunny

      You’re welcome, Jacqueline! This one has OK coverage for low-key occasions, but you can’t really compare it with a more cosmetics-oriented BB cream or foundation!

  • Liz

    Most BBs don’t work for me — not enough coverage and too slick. Doesn’t mean I won’t go testing anyway and I hope for a nice skin period when I can enjoy BBs. So jealous of those who can!

    • Sunny

      Hey Liz, this one is really more like a sunscreen with added benefit than makeup, so if you’re looking for coverage maybe it’s not the best thing you can find!

  • Caise

    oh it sounds like a perfect product for me:) I definitely need to try it out

    • Sunny

      Good to know, Caise! I think you might be able to get some sample sachets first too, just to make sure it really works for your skin type/tone!

  • Tracy@Beauty Reflections

    I don’t get why they decided to get rid of their Tinted Moisturizer as it was FABULOUS. We still have some here and I am going to stock up on it before it goes away. This looks nice, but that TM had such great coverage!

    • Sunny

      Wait they’re getting rid of that? A lot of the times I don’t get it either! Do stock up before it goes!

  • Larie

    What’s the sunscreen ingredient, Sunny? I’ve been interested in this one, but haven’t had a chance to hit up a Kiehl’s store yet.

    • Sunny

      Hey Larie, I think in this case the sun filters include homosalate, octocrylene, and ethylhexyl salicylate. I hope they look OK to you and you’ll manage to get a sample sachet soon!

  • Lily

    I read somewhere that Vitamin C in base products tend to oxidize and might turn orange on some people. I guess testing is a must. That said, having tried so many BBs and CCs, I still prefer my Bobbi Brown BB Cream. Stays on nice and dewy even on a hot humid day :-) And it smells pleasant!

    • Sunny

      Hey Lily, this one doesn’t oxidize on me, but maybe that theory makes sense. Kiehl’s is usually pretty generous with samples, so I think it’s definitely possible to try a sachet first! I still haven’t tried the Bobbi Brown one! I’d say my tube of Hydra Life is on its last leg. Once I use that up I can look into something new.

  • Kristen @ Glambunctious

    This seems to offer amazing SPF coverage! I’m not a big BB cream gal because I need more coverage in my regular day-to-day life, but for a beach trip or something, this would be awesome!

    • Sunny

      Hey Kristen, I agree! This will be great for a day in the sun!


    I tried a sample of this but it broke me out kind of, am too scared to use it again Lol! I also found the texture a bit too thick – but it doesn’t have much coverage.

    • Sunny

      Oh nooo I’m so sorry to hear that, Jenni! I’m glad you tried a sample first though! I’d say this has enough coverage for light pigmentation spots, but anything more than that probably not.

  • Undraa

    Thank you for the review Sunny. I was tempted to buy this BB cream and thank god I waited to read your review.

    Now I am sure that I will not purchase and should be looking for other alternatives. Do you advice any other brands?

    Thank you.

    • Sunny

      Hey girly, my favorite BB cream remains Dior Hydra Life! I can only wear it when I have some tan, but in that case the shade is a good match. The problem is there is only one shade, so it’ll be a hit or miss. I don’t know if other Dior BB creams have the same formula, but maybe it’s worth a look?