While my love for BB creams has faded since a couple years ago BRTC Blemish Recover Balm came to the forefront of my foundation routine in a strange way! I first bought this February last year, trying to find a good oil control BB cream. I was hoping this would be the answer to my oily t-zone and have all the trademarks of a good BB cream.
So did it live up to my expectations? The answer is complex and there's more to it as you'll find out!
What is it?
BRTC is well known in South Korea for their BB creams and it's one of the more medical based cosmetics lines that were in part created along how the traditional BB creams were invented for. Packaging is simple and mature, not dainty and girly like a lot of other BB creams.
If you don't know already the history of the BB cream (Blemish Balm) originated from Europe as a skin perfecter used after cosmetic surgery and treatments to conceal redness and protect the delicate skin. Later the Asian BB creams created their variations based on an all-in-one foundation product ranging from medium to full coverage in pale self correcting shades, touting some crazy claims like whitening, anti-aging, acne treating, and strange ingredients doing just about anything.
So where does BRTC lie along the BB cream spectrum?
Product & Results
Coming in only 1 shade BRTC's Blemish Recover Balm is an extremely pale colour with a very greyish cast. This makes it effective at counteracting redness but not a good colour match on the whole for most people. I didn't find it self adjusted to my skintone. It can look a bit too thick and pasty and doesn't generally suit heavy application being hard to blend. Applied lightly the coverage is medium and slightly dewy. It smells of tea tree oil that fades on application.
Overall this product doesn't suit foundation needs persé and in my opinion shouldn't be used as such. Instead I like to use it to smooth complexion and as a primer because it has excellent oil control property. Used as a primer for my t-zone under Make Up Forever's HD Foundation my nose stays shine free for a couple of hours, dewy for a little more. Coming from me that's saying something where normally I manage to oil up 30 minutes in and a literal oil slick in just an hour.
BRTC's claims are interesting and rather short for a BB cream. There's a bit on having a patented blemish complex which may explain it's oil control effect and a blue complex for moisture. A lot of these claims originate in herbal or botanical extracts. However knowing Korean cosmetics these claims can't really be proven to be true.
It also has SPF 28 ('good' by Australian standards* but average in the BB world).
It costed $18 on Ebay which is a rich price for a BB cream (most cost only around $7 on Ebay) but considering how little you use it's a modest price.
Would I buy this again?
Normally when I review a product I always critique its intended use. With BRTC's Blemish Recover Balm it's different because for me I've found its use lies in being a primer. BB creams used to be just that, a underlying face perfecter and not usually a foundation in itself so for this I'm happy to recommend this as a primer!
*Interesting note on SPF in Australia is that although we might have one of the worst UV beaming down anywhere in the world, for a long time we used to only have up to 30 SPF (the myth being that it was the highest possible). Of course now we have 50 SPF from overseas brands which should be the baseline for any sunscreen fanatic out there!