Don't forget to check the beauty sale pages at Macy's here and
Nordstrom here for new beauty deals plus free shipping!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Review: Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

Let me start this review by saying that I've been reading about Maybelline Baby Skin for a long time now and I've been dying to try it for myself. It's been available in Asian countries for quite some time, and it's so popular in other countries that it even has a "spin-off" version called Baby Skin Pink Transformer SPF35 (this link will take you to the Maybelline Hong Kong website). Hopefully that product will make it to the US eventually, but for now let's focus on the original, which IS available in the United States now.

I picked this up over a month ago at CVS and I've been quietly testing it ever since. I'm finally ready to give you my verdict, so let's get started.

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser
(retail: around $6.99, 0.67 oz)

 photo 024-3.jpg

 photo 0132.jpg

 photo 030-1.jpg

 photo 031.jpg

 photo 035.jpg

 photo 026-2.jpg

 photo 027-2.jpg

Here are the ingredients for some higher-end primers that have been compared to Baby Skin:
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (retail: $36, 1.0 oz)  
Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Trisiloxane, Silica, Dimethicone/ Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Extract, Propylene Glycol, Water (Aqua, Eau), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Cola Acuminata Seed Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract. 
Benefit The Porefessional (retail: $30, 0.75 oz)
Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/ Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isononyl Isononanoate, Silica, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isododecane, Phenoxyethanol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Titanium Dioxide, (CI 77891), Cyclohexasiloxane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Fragrance (Parfum), Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Limonene, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, BHT. N° 04932 
And since I know that several of you use Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel in place of primer, here are the ingredients for that product as well:
Monistat Chafing Relief Powder Gel (retail: $7.49, 1.5 oz)
Active Ingredients: Dimethicone (1.2%)
Inactive Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trisiloxane 

Comparing all four products, you can see that the biggest difference with Baby Skin is the absence of Cyclopentasiloxane (a form of silicone) which is the MAIN ingredient in all of the other products. So it's hard to say that Baby Skin is a dead-on dupe for any of the above products, considering that the main ingredient in those products is NOT in Baby Skin. However, if I were pressed to compare it to one product in particular, I would say that it most closely resembles Smashbox Photo Finish Primer when it comes to texture and feel. Monistat is a bit thicker/heavier in texture. The Porefessional is also a bit thicker and it's also scented as well as tinted (although the tint in The Porefessional pretty much disappears after application for me).

 photo 006a.jpg
Maybelline Baby Skin

 photo 007-3.jpg

This primer is completely transparent (no tint) and even though it looks thick when you squeeze it from the tube, it becomes very thin and easy to spread the moment you apply a little pressure.


NOTE: It was incredibly difficult to capture the results of this product in photographs--I really had to lighten up these photos (which made my skin look extra-horrible) but I wanted you to better see my pores:

 photo 014a.jpg
Before: clean, bare skin
After: one application of Baby Skin on bare skin

I hope you can see that my pores appear "blurred" as promised and also appear much smaller after one application of Baby Skin. In person, the overall effect is even more dramatic--my skin looks and feels incredibly smooth and quite similar to when I use Smashbox Photo Finish Primer.

Due to the high silicone content in this primer, you'll have no application issues when it comes to your foundation. For me, this product makes my foundation glide on the skin quite easily, with no patchiness or streaks.

I also wanted to show you what this primer does when I apply a foundation that normally has a tendency to pool up in my larger pores if I apply it using my fingers (Revlon Whipped Foundation):

 photo 019-2.jpg
Revlon Whipped Foundation applied with fingers over Baby Skin

Notice that there's still quite a bit of pooling. For me, this primer doesn't create a buffer that prevents pooling (with foundations that normally pool up on my skin). This doesn't happen when I use a stippling brush for application, but that method generally doesn't encourage pooling, with or without a primer, for me.

The run-down:

WHAT IT DOES: This is a basic, fragrance-free silicone-based primer designed to minimize the appearance of pores. You apply this product after moisturizer/sunscreen but before foundation. You can wear it alone or under makeup. It does not claim to make makeup stay on longer, but that is often an added benefit of silicone-based primers (for some people--not all).

WHAT IT DOES FOR ME PERSONALLY: Due to the nature of my skin (which is very oily), silicone-based primers don't usually work for me as well as primers that are more lotion-like and not as silicone-heavy. That said, I had good results with this one, and it actually worked better for my particular skin than Benefit's The Porefessional (more on that in a moment). I find that less is more with this product, and when I apply a very thin layer to my skin, it absolutely helps make my pores look less noticeable, and it also extends the life of my foundation by a few hours. As you can see above, it doesn't work that well to help stop my foundation from pooling up in my pores, but that's really only an issue with foundations that ALREADY pool up in my pores. In other words, this product doesn't cause my foundation to pool up. Also, it does not provide me with any oil control, but it also doesn't add any oil to my skin. But remember, I have very oily skin to begin with and I've been testing this during the winter, so it may be different in summertime.

HOW IT COMPARES TO OTHER PRIMERS:  For me, this product most closely resembles Smashbox Photo Finish Primer in both its physical appearance (both are transparent, fragrance-free and have a thin consistency) and performance. I think the Smashbox primer works a bit better for me personally, but I think Baby Skin is the closest drugstore primer yet to Smashbox (even closer than Hard Candy Sheer Envy primer, which is another one that's similar). In comparison to Benefit The Porefessional,, they're quite different in appearance (The Porefessional is tinted, scented and also a bit thicker in texture). I did an experiment the other day where I applied Baby Skin to one half of my face and The Porefessional to the other half. I then applied my foundation, concealer and powder as usual. After eight hours, I asked my boyfriend to carefully look at my face and tell me which side looked better (I didn't do any touch-ups throughout the day). He said it was obvious that the right side (the side with Baby Skin) looked better and I agreed with him after examining my face in the mirror. My skin just looked softer, smoother and more of my make-up was still intact on the Baby Skin side. As for how Baby Skin compares with Monistat Chafing Gel (also fragrance-free), I personally prefer Baby Skin, because it doesn't feel as heavy or thick, and I find that it removes more easily with just my regular facial cleanser than Monistat does. Performance-wise, Baby Skin is similar to Monistat, but I think Baby Skin works a bit better for my particular skin.

FINAL VERDICT:  Overall, this primer definitely helps minimize the appearance of my pores and, true to its claims, it really does "blur" them. It also helps create a smoother base for my foundation, while extending the wear of my foundation by a few hours. It doesn't stop pooling with foundations that already pool up in my pores, and it also doesn't control oil when it comes to my crazy-oily skin (but it doesn't seem to add any oil either). If you're already a fan of silicone-based primers and you're looking for an inexpensive alternative to Smashbox Photo Finish Primer or Benefit The Porefessional, I think you might want to consider this one. If you already love and use Monistat Chafing Relief Gel in place of primer, I'm afraid that Baby Skin probably won't provide you with anything that you're not already accustomed to, but I personally prefer Baby Skin to the Monistat product. 

Are you a silicone-based primer lover? If so, have you tried Maybelline Baby Skin yet? I would love to know how it's working for you!

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.


  1. I have used it for about a month. My skin is super oily. And I love this pore reducer. My pores are huge but this is amazing. I would highly recommend trying this out.

  2. Hmm I remember being so happy when Monistat came out with the anti-chaffing gel, but never once thought to use it as a face primer. I'll have to try it instead of Baby Skin to see if I even like the feel of it on my face as I have never used a primer like that.

    1. That might be a great way to start, since you already own it! Good luck! :)

  3. I'm not finding any difference between this one and Maybelline's earlier Instant Age Rewind primer, except the Baby Skin one is clear instead of slightly pink. They feel exactly the same to me, kind of greasy. :-(

    1. Interesting! I never tried the old one so i have no basis for comparison. I'll try to find the ingredient list online and compare!

    2. I agree withe Sue. Almost identical products.

    3. I also thought it was Maybelline primer in New packaging..

  4. Great review! I too have oily skin. I was wondering, what is your all time favorite primer to prevent pooling?

    1. Thank you! For me, the best is my Holy Grail primer, which is Black Radiance Complexion Perfection (i reviewed it a couple years back).

    2. Hey G! I was kind of hoping you would do a comparison to the Complexion Perfection (which I LOVE! thanks for introducing it to me) because I have determined that we have similar skin types. Products that you love for your skin are products that I love for mine and I was curious to know if you liked this one better than the Complexion Perfection.

    3. I've been using the Black Radiance as I also have support oily skin, and I was havingas little trouble with the way it would peel up if I hadn't put it on immediately after moisturizing (and sometimes even if I did).

      I found a review on MakeupAlley on the Neutrogena shine control primer and how someone would mix it with a little bit of the Monistat chafing gel to help smooth it out. I've been doing the same the last couple of days, and it works wonderfully!

      It may also be because I've found what I believe is my HG foundation. I'm seriously loving Rimmel's Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation. That stuff is fantastic. I hope you do a review of it soon, G!

  5. I have oily and shiny skin too. I was using Loreal Miracle Blur and liked that, but I'm liking Baby Skin better as it is keeping the shine away longer. Monistat was ok for me, but didn't seem to last long for the shine and seemed heavy.

  6. I recently picked this up at my bed, bath and beyond and have been really enjoying it. Like you I have super oily skin and found out with my first day of using this that a little goes a long way! I love the Porefessional, but I love the price of this product so much more! :) thanks G for posting about this when you did so that I could be on the hunt for it!

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. For me this works best when my foundation is applied with a beauty blender! :) I love it

  9. I find whenever I use primer, I have difficulty washing my face at the end of the day. My face wash won't lather and I feel like my face isn't really getting clean. I often avoid using primer for this reason. Any tips/tricks you use to combat this?

  10. I really like this too. For the price, you can't beat it. I love The Porefessional but it's pretty expensive so I'm glad there is a drugstore primer now that is decent. Great, in-depth review, G! :D

  11. I recently purchased this primer and I love it. My skin is normal to dry and it performs better on my skin than the Benefit one does.

  12. I have been trying this one out and I do like it. I just wish my skin tone was more even (too may sunspots) or I would wore this all by itself.

  13. This was such an informative review - I am so impressed! I plan on testing out Baby Skin for myself - but I feel better prepared after reading this post. Thank you!

  14. Silicones tend to dry my skin out, do you have any favorite non-silicone based primers? Drugstore or Higher end?

    1. You could try the Pixi Flawless and Poreless:

    2. Thank You! I'll make sure to pick this one up next time im at target!

  15. To add to G's excellent review, can anyone from the community compare this new primer to the ELF primer?

    1. I also use the ELF primer, so if someone could comment on how Baby Skin compares, that would be awesome.

  16. Awesome thank you for review, I grabbed this at Bed Bath & Beyond recently, but didn't open it yet...I have oily skin as well so I love your reviews :)

  17. I'm more on the dry side so I love silicone based primers! They make my skin look flawless! I'll definitely have to check this out!

  18. I just got the Garnier Miracle Blur and have been comparing it to my Benefit Porefessional. I absolutely love the results it is giving me!! It comes out like more of a lotion with a little less of a greasy feel than the Smashbox primer to me, so I have been loving it!!! I do want to get my hands on the Baby Skin, but I think I am going to stick with the Garnier one for now.

  19. Thanks for the link! The Maybelline Hong Kong website has a bevy of scrumptious looking, alas unavailable, delights like PURE MINERAL BB WATERGEL!!! WHAT EVEN IS THAT???

  20. G or anyone does the new Covergirl TruMagic clear primer fit into all of these comparisons?

  21. So, are the results temporary or permanent?

  22. Which is your favorite primer? I also have oily/combo skin and experience pooling. I would love to know :)

  23. I'm 12 years old and am I allowed to use it?

  24. Does anyone else find that their foundation won't blend if you apply any more than just the smallest smidgen of primer? Any suggestions?


I love and encourage comments here at Nouveau Cheap, and I do not censor comments unless they violate my comment policy, which you can view here.

Please refrain from comments that contain:
• Links to your own blog or website
• Advertisements or referral links

Thanks very much for your help in keeping this a spam-free zone.

© 2009- Nouveau Cheap. All rights reserved.