Product Review: ISEHAN Heroine Make Mineral BB Cream SPF50 PA+++ (UPDATED March 4, 2014)

ISEHAN Heroine Make Mineral BB, 30g, US$13 at Adambeauty.com
ISEHAN Heroine Make Mineral BB, 30g, US$13 at Adambeauty.com

At the time I purchased the Kanebo Freshel Mineral BB cream, I also bought Isehan Heroine Make Mineral BB Cream, but in 01 (Light) since I am kind of in between 01 and 02 in most Japanese BB creams. While the Kanebo Freshel BB cream was much thicker and has a stuffy closet smell (sorry, that’s the closest I can think of), the Isehan Heroine Make Mineral BB Cream has no scent at all, and is much lighter in texture. This one is substantially smaller too – only 30g instead of Kanebo’s 50g – but the UV protection is also slightly higher. The packaging suggests that this Heroine Make line is more for the younger crowd (think early twenties). It’s cute and inexpensive. In Japan, this only sells for 1000 Yen which is roughly US$10.

ISEHAN Heroine Make Mineral BB, 30g
ISEHAN Heroine Make Mineral BB, 30g

ISEHAN Heroine Make Mineral BB Cream provides the strongest UV protection among most BB creams, and the texture is surprisingly light, non greasy, and spreads very evenly without streaking. The problem I had with Kanebo Freshel BB Cream is that it is very thick, but it can also dry on your skin if you follow their instructions of only using a toner prior to putting the BB Cream on; my skin is so dry that it will just soak up the BB Cream and if you don’t blend it fast enough, it will ball up and rub off. Not so with this BB cream from Isehan. The product also contains rose and chamomile extracts, and is fragrance, mineral oil, synthetic dye, alcohol and paraben-free. I was surprised that such an inexpensive product is this skin friendly. It also claims to conceal pores, and has whitening effects, though I personally do not expect actual results from using it.

ISEHAN Heroine Make Mineral BB in 01 (Light)
ISEHAN Heroine Make Mineral BB in 01 (Light)

The shade, 01, runs very light on my BO-10 skin (Kanebo BE-03 or YO-02), and unfortunately this has very little coverage. Perhaps 02 would provide more coverage but the texture is so light and the product runs very sheer so I am not sure whether the darker shade will be any better. I have a few freckles to hide but otherwise my skin is clear, but if you have lots of blemishes, this will only be good as a base, and you will still need concealer/foundation/powder. I always set my BB creams with a light dust of powder, and this is essential because despite it claiming to control sebum, it doesn’t quite do the trick despite setting with powder, and if you use it as a makeup base, don’t expect this to do the sebum control for you. Despite the claims of concealing pores I don’t find this to actually hide the pores.

ISEHAN Heroine Make Mineral BB in 01 (Light)
ISEHAN Heroine Make Mineral BB in 01 (Light)

As the coverage is very sheer, I can’t tell whether the staying power is very strong. I think it’s ok if you aren’t sweating in high humidity. If you are looking for that all-in-one product to get out the door in 5 minutes, you will need to have nearly perfect skin if you want this to be your go-to cream. The coverage just isn’t there, but at least you get a very high SPF so as a sunscreen this isn’t a bad deal. I have been more or less using this as a makeup base, or mixing it with my Kanebo Freshel BB Cream to get the right shade. For the price it’s great to use this as a sunscreen, but if you have either blemished, oily or dry skin, this won’t be your one-step product.

The pictures were taken with pot lights on. I think if you have 0C20 (average) skin tones, go for 02 because 01 is pretty much white.

The cheapest place to get this online outside of Japan is Adambeauty.com.

UPDATE: March 4, 2014
I have been using this, and find this to be very drying and it settles on my fine lines (forehead). It is streaky and dries quite fast, and provides little coverage. Not recommended for drier skin types.

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