It seems a new product takes the beauty industry by storm every few years, and now BB cream is the newest trend.
Short for “beauty balms” or “blemish balms,” BB creams are actually not new to the market. They have been popular in Asia for decades, but they are only recently gaining recognition in the U.S.
“The BB cream came into popularity in the U.S. in 2012, and quickly became a mainstay in cosmetic aisles due to the claims to conceal, protect from the sun, hydrate, moisturize, minimize lines, and clear blemishes, for all skin types,” explains Wendy Lewis, editor-in-chief of BeautyInTheBag.com.
What are BB Creams?
Is it a foundation? Is it a moisturizer? Is it a miracle worker? In a word, yes. The combination of skin nurturing ingredients coupled with an array of shades to choose from make BB creams a multitasking dynamo.
“Younger women tend to love BB creams,” says Lewis. “And more mature women who do not like to wear heavy foundation may switch over to a BB cream to get some light coverage and skin rejuvenation benefits.”
“There are several ingredients that most BB creams have in common: a moisturizing component, pigment that frequently blends into all skin tones, and sunscreen, and they are frequently mineral based,” explains Dr. Julie Moore, a dermatologist with Loyola University Health System.
Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream includes broad spectrum sun protection (SPF) and ultra-hydrating ingredients.
BB creams blur the lines between skincare and makeup with ingredients like peptides, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and E, which are used for their anti-aging properties. Others employ soy and licorice to add a hint of color.
For women seeking anti-aging properties, look for age-defying blends like Clinique Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30.
CC cream, a sister product of BB cream, stands for “color control” or “color correction,” and is ideal for those seeking to even their skin tone. Active ingredients in many CC creams include hyaluronic acid and SPF, for an ultra moisturizing and tone correcting effect.
Applying BB Cream
Apply BB cream on clean, toned skin with a foundation brush, says Genn Shaughnessy, makeup artist for MUAH TV. It can either be left as is or set with a foundation powder using a powder brush. If you apply BB cream with your fingertips, be sure to apply it sparingly.
“As an artist, I'm partial to brushes,” Shaughnessy says. “You tend to waste product when using sponges or fingers and the brush will always give you a smoother, more even finish.”
Foundation brushes should be wide enough to easily apply the product, but precise enough for under-eye application.
“The key benefit is that these creams do more than one thing for your skin, which saves time that women do not always have,” adds Lewis. “BB Cream can be called the ultimate kitchen sink product with extra benefits in terms of adding a radiancy to your complexion, reducing discoloration and brown patches, helping to clear pimples, and prevent free radical damage with sun protection factor.”
$75 and Under
Lancôme Rénergie Éclat Multi-Lift-Multi Action Tinted ($75)
Diorsnow BB Creme SPF 50 ($58)
$50 and Under
$35 and Under