Review: REN Satin Perfection BB Cream

review of ren satin perfection bb cream

Finding a good natural sunscreen is hard. Finding one for your face is even harder. Finding one that also includes a BB cream? Next to impossible. In fact, I have to tell you a secret — prior to discovering REN’s Satin Perfection BB Cream, I didn’t apply sunscreen to my face daily. It was more a ‘when I’m on vacation and going to be sitting in the sun all day’ type of thing. I know, not good, but I guess I justified it with the fact that I am mostly chained to my desk all day and don’t spend a lot of time (like, any) tanning, so I was willing to roll the dice. Though of course, I’d rather not!

Traditional sunscreens are full of gross chemicals; in fact, those same ones that are supposed to protect your skin from UV rays may also be responsible for a whole host of other ailments and illnesses (this post is interesting, as are all the posts in the sunscreen category!). When I choose a sunscreen, I like one that uses what’s called physical sun blockers — it basically just means it uses minerals of some type to physically block UV rays from harming your skin. Think zinc oxide, that white stuff you sometimes see people apply to their nose (or maybe that’s only in old school photos?).

I found out about REN’s BB cream in a beauty roundup a while back, though where escapes me at the moment. REN is a brand known for veering more towards naturals, so as soon as I could, I popped in to my nearest Sephora and grabbed a bottle. Right now, I think the only shade REN produces is the light to medium tone, but even though I worried it might be too light, I decided to give it a try anyway.

At first, I was a little mixed on the stuff. The tone felt too pale for my skin tone, and I thought it made me look ashen. I promptly stuck it in my medicine cabinet and thought I’d never write about it. Recently though, when I was out of all other face creams (and of course, ones that had no SPF), I grabbed the BB cream and tried it out again. And whaddya know, I liked it! I think the issue before was that I was using wayyy too much. I’ve found a little dot — maybe the size of a pencil eraser head — is more than enough for one side of my face. The cream performs well under makeup (while most days I don’t even use it since the BB cream does the job for me, on days when I want a little more coverage, I apply Vapour’s Atmosphere Foundation — the cream stick blends in nicely!), and lasts all day. While it hydrates pretty well, if I feel like I need a little more, I just layer some of that Jack Black Protein Booster Serum underneath, and together, it’s the perfect amount of moisture for summer.

One big complaint though, and one you’d see if looked for reviews of this stuff anywhere: the pump really sucks. It’s not especially consistent with how much product it spits out, and sometimes, if you get a little over zealous in trying to pump out the cream, it either pumps out too much or splatters all over you (I had just put on a white shirt one day when this happened and I wasn’t pleased). Given the frequency with which this complaint comes up though, I wouldn’t be surprised if REN addresses this soon!

Also, if you are like me and have a medium skin tone, there’s a chance this cream may be too light for you. Zinc oxide always makes you look a little lighter, so since that’s the primary sun blocker in this, when you apply it might be a few shades lighter than you were expecting. For me, when I was spending a little more time outdoors earlier in the summer, the shade was a bit off; now though, it’s better and in the winter it’ll be great. If you’re unsure, you can always buy from a place like Sephora, which accepts returns of used products.

All in all, for my first BB cream AND a daily face cream with SPF, this one is great. Like I said, I can’t emphasize how hard it is to find really good natural sunscreens, so when you combine that with the ease of a BB cream? Two thumbs up.

As it happens, I’m also thinking about writing more posts about natural beauty, specifically what ingredients are good and bad, and what all the labeling mumbo jumbo means. Thoughts??

{Image Credit: Victoria McGinley for vmac+cheese}

Leave a Comment


  1. 8.8.13

    I feel very strongly about wearing sunscreen on my face every day (even when it’s cloudy) though as I’ve tried to transition to a more natural skincare routine as well – I’ve also found it hard to find a really great option. I like Coola’s organic sunscreens – there’s even a lightly tinted version that doesn’t really provide much coverage but definitely helps minimize the white cast that sunscreens sometimes give.

    Also, while some sun protection is better than nothing, my understanding is that the SPF in many makeup/BB type products isn’t really enough for adequate sun protection – especially when applying just a small amount. My derm has always recommended a separate sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF!

    • 8.8.13
      vmacandcheese said:

      Ooh, thanks for the tip on Coola! I’ll have to check it out.

  2. 8.8.13

    I’ve been on the lookout for a BB cream with natural sunscreen — thanks for the introduction! My only concern is that if you’re only using a very, very small in order to not look ashen, are you getting enough sun protection? Especially because it’s only SPF 15?

    • 8.8.13
      vmacandcheese said:

      I’m not too worried. I also barely go outside during the day since I work from home!

  3. 8.8.13

    Aaah – twins… I haven’t been wearing sunscreen daily til more recently either. I know its important but sometimes I feel like I’m inside all day so what is really the point? I love REN though, want to try this!

  4. 8.8.13

    Ooh that sounds good for days when I’m inside all day hanging out on the weekends. If I’m out and about running errands and going to work, I always wear Josie Maran sunscreen on my face under any makeup. It is SPF 40 and for me in humid Florida it works like a light moisturizer and doesn’t look white at all but I am very fair skinned anyway. I am really loving it! Before that I was using Eminence Organics Cocoa Latte tinted moisturizer with SPF 25. Which was nice because I didn’t always wear makeup with it since it was a darker color and evened out my skintone on it’s own. :)

    • 8.8.13
      Kasia said:

      I loveeee the Josie Maran sunscreen!! By far the best product I’ve tried, thinking of trying out other things from her line since I know it’s much safer than other brands.

      • 8.9.13
        Laura said:

        I also love the Josie Marian facial sunscreen! It’s not white and works as a nice primer for makeup!

  5. 8.8.13
    Laura said:

    I’ve been using the Ren Radiance Perfection Serum for a few months now and I love it.
    I’ll definitely try the BB Cream!

  6. 8.8.13
    Kate said:

    I would love it if you reviewed more natural beauty products and their ingredients! I’ve used a couple BB & CC creams, all of if which make me really greasy. I’m still on the lookout for everyday coverage/protection. Also, what do you think is a good amount of SPF for daily use?

  7. 8.8.13

    I’ll have to look into REN. I wear Josie Maran’s sunscreen on my face daily and I love it!

    • 8.9.13

      I love Josie Maran’s products as well! The auto-matching foundation is legit and the argan oil is the best!

      • 8.9.13
        vmacandcheese said:

        I love her products as well, but lately I haven’t been able to find them anywhere (either face cream OR the body sunscreen). Do you guys know if they were discontinued…???

        • 8.9.13
          Laura said:

          They have it at sephora!

          • 8.9.13
            vmacandcheese said:

            They haven’t had it the last few months and didn’t have it online for a while…looks like the face cream is back but not the body sunscreen (fingers crossed it’s temporary!)

  8. 8.8.13

    i’m not familiar with this one so thanks for the review, v!

    it’s absolutely necessary to combine my face makeup with spf as there is no way i would put on two products in the morning. bad beauty editor. i’ve been addicted to nars tinted moisturizer for years and it’s still my fave. it has a built in spf, too… so it’s like a bb cream without the trendy name, i suppose!

    if you ARE looking for a 100% natural sunscreen, consonant is a great option


  9. 8.8.13
    Jen Ramos said:

    Love a good BB cream… Finding the perfect one for you and then mixing it with your foundation makes for an absolutely flawless face!! Definitely have to try this one out…


  10. 8.10.13
    jenna said:

    it’s always beneficial to wear a moisturizer with some sunscreen in it even if you do work indoors. the overhead light actually can cause dark spots or melasma to worsen and you can always catch rays from windows. I know I sound like a freak, but working alongside a derm for years will do that to you!

    one of my faaaaavorite daily facial sunscreen is elta md 46. you can find it on amazon I believe but it’s an all natural SPF made with zinc oxide and won’t make you break out or feel greasy! just in case you were looking for one :)

    do more reviews! I love to hear of new products out there I may not be aware of.


  11. 1.20.16
    Monica said:

    Thank you for your precious rewiews. What do you think about Khiels bb cream with sunscreen 50? Thank you! I’m 55 and my derm told me to always wear a spf. Monica from Riviera Ligure…???? Italy????!