Review | Clinique Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30/PA+++

New from Clinique is this BB cream, exclusively available in the Asia Pacific travel retail market. A multi-tasking product as most BB creams are, it promises to prevent the premature signs of aging with UVA/UVB and environmental protection, while concealing imperfections instantly. Developed specially for women who travel, Clinique hopes that this compact companion addresses their skincare and beauty needs.

A few weeks back, Clinique Singapore sent me a tube to try. Here are my thoughts on this product.

The Pros

  • It has good coverage

I must admit that my skin looks more even-toned with this on. My minor blemishes are also covered by this cream. It apparently contains ‘multi-polarized pigments’ to enhance the complexion – I can’t see the reflective pigments but this product seems to give my skin more clarity.

  • It is packaged well

The tube packaging is not only hygienic and travel-friendly, it also allows dispensing control. I really like its flat and compact size.

  • It has an excellent SPF value

I appreciate its high sun defence value and would use this often…if not for the fact that it doesn’t suit my skintone (see below).

The Cons

  • It is simply too pink and fair for me

I have a few BB creams that start off ashy but they would adjust to my skintone. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t. It is pre-dominantly pink and light on me; very mask-like. In fact, I’d say it is very similar to Skinfood Gingko Green BB Cream in 02. If that shade suits you, this would work on you too.

For what it’s worth, I’d used a little more than necessary in my first testing of this and to balance the stark fairness, I actually had to use a MAC pressed powder in NC42. You can see this combination on me in my Clarins Barocco post (I’d worn it to the luncheon at Cova) – as you can tell, it has very good coverage and my skin looks smooth. Unfortunately, it requires a little too much work for me; blending a darker powder with this.

I’d also used it very thinly – and thinned out by moisturiser – on another occasion but with a regular powder. It didn’t look stark but the disparity in skintone between my neck and face was still there.

  • It can be a little too thick

Although it is supposed to be a lightweight formula, I’d say it has a medium consistency that can be a little heavy, if not blended out well. You can thin it out with a moisturiser but this might reduce its SPF properties.

The brand also recommends it as a makeup primer to extend foundation wear but it is simply too heavy to be used as a base. Do note that it is not recommended for the eye area.

  • It doesn’t stay the oilies

Its oil-control properties are so-so – I have to blot within two hours. I’d imagine that it’d do well for dry cabin air, though. :)

Where tone and texture is concerned, I much prefer MAC BB Cream, also exclusively available at travel retail counters. It’s more yellow and slightly lighter, which suits me better. That said, this version from Clinique may appeal to fairer people with a cooler skintone, as well as those who want a little more coverage and moisture.

Here are the key ingredients and benefits of this product:

Mica, Iron Oxides, Polymethylsilsesquixane, and Silica

  • Pigments reflect light multi-dimensionally to conceal and correct imperfections.
  • Provides colour correcting benefits for a brighter and more even skin tone.
  • Absorbs excess oil to ensure longwear and oil control, providing better adherence of foundation.

Octinoxate, Octisalate, and Abovenzone

  • Absorb harmful UV rays and provide SPF 30 PA+++ broad spectrum protection.

Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide

  • Provide added protection by deflecting UVA and UVB rays.

Vitamin E

  • Protects skin from environmental aggressors.


  • Calms and soothes irritated skin while helping to stimulate it, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

Glycyrrhetinic Acid

  • Reduces skin irritation associated with internal and external stress.

Trehalose, Carboxylic Acid, and Sodium Hyarulonate

  • Improve hydration, balances moisture, and provides skin with comfort throughout the day.

Laminaria Saccharina Extract

  • Derived from seaweed, it reduces the excess production of oil.

As with most Clinique products, this cream is is allergy-tested, 100% fragrance-free, oil-free, non-acnegenic and dermatologist-tested. Retailing at US$31 for 40 ml, it can be found at Clinique counters at Asia Pacific airports and duty-free stores.

Image source: Clinique Singapore


  • TheUndercoverGypsy says:

    I’ve been curious about the influx of BB creams amongst the Western brands (EL, Lancome, etc)…but well, apart from the avobenzone, which I’m severely allergic to (which is, incidentally, the only reason I haven’t splurged on a YSL Rouge Volupte, sigh) this really does look very, very light (probably even worse on my NC35/37 skintone). I think I’ll stick to the City Block SPF25 that I’ve been using for a while now…

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi TUG,

      It’s not a bad trend to follow; I like the multi-functioning aspect of it, especially the high SPF values. :) I’m sorry you’re allergic to avobenzone but glad you have an alternative in the City Block. This would be too light for you, for sure. I wanted to like it because of its SPF but I think it’ll work better for someone fairer and pinker. I think this would suit quite a few Caucasians, actually!

  • Kas says:

    You know, I’m not a BB cream user (cos the shades are totally wrong for me) but I really like how informative and clear this post is :D

  • azysmoozy says:

    hi there! how much does it cost?

  • keiko says:

    I have tried 3 brands of BB cream, not impressed with any of them.I am sure I can give this a miss too, since I have read a few reviews that it’s not good in terms of oil-control.

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Keiko,

      Skin79 Hot Pink is pretty good for oil control. This one, on the other hand, will probably suit people with dry skin.

  • karenteo says:

    the colour is typical of clinique. always more towards the pink side. was very tempted to try the mac bb cream at the hk dutyfree recently but i still have tons of fdn to finish. i think mac should be more suitable towards asian skin tone?

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Karen,

      Actually, I was wondering if you’d like to try this! ;) You’re pinker than I am, for sure. The MAC is wonderful in terms of colour tone; it definitely suits me! :D Just heard from Beno at MAC that the MAC BB cream will be available at Tangs from this Friday. Easy access, at last!

  • karenteo says:

    it suits me? I thought it will be too pink for me too!
    I read that the mac bb cream will only be available for a limited time at tangs…it’s not going to be permanent right?

    • makeupmag says:

      You’re pinker than I am, Karen! :D

      I’m not sure about the status of the MAC BB cream but I suspect it won’t be a permanent item, unless there’s a huge demand for it.

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