BB creams. What is with all the hype about BB creams lately? For those of you who are new to this concept, BB stands for ‘Blemish Balm’ or ‘Beauty Balm.’ It was originally created by German dermatologists for laser surgery patients, but since then has been reformulated and is the hottest product in Asia. The beauty trend has now spread through all of Asia and is quickly making its way to Europe and North America. It is an innovative, multifunctional product that marries beneficial skincare ingredients with the coverage of a great makeup. It is an all-in-one foundation, concealer, moisturizer, sunblock, acne-reducing, skin whitener and anti-aging product — all mashed into one awesome tube.
BB creams are lightweight lotions or creams that conceal pigmentation, discoloration, acne and other blemishes like a foundation; provide high levels of SPF protection like a sunscreen; give light hydration and treat your skin in just one simple step. It is suited for all skin types but mostly targeted for sensitive and acne prone skin. It delivers a very natural look and provides perfect coverage like a foundation, but, since it is not as thick, it doesn’t clog pores.
As it covers up flaws, it also rejuvenates the skin underneath. Some have anti-acne ingredients to fight acne while some have skin whitening properties — a big fave are the ones with anti-aging actives in it.
The color seeps into the skin naturally with some light dabbing of your fingers. It is a daily cream that many women use to skip tons of other cosmetic products. With our busy lives, it surely is a one-step time saver and economic skincare solution. In Asia, the beauty idol has flawless, porcelain skin while in North America the ideal perception of beauty is more natural, healthy-looking skin. So, BB creams over here are more sheer and come in warmer tones than the versions sold in Asia.
So, how do you use them? It’s simple, start your routine by washing your face with a cleanser. If your face is very dry, apply a light moisturizer (Note: BB creams provide only light hydration). You just need a little (less than a dime size) for your whole face. Lightly massage it onto your face until it seeps into the skin. It is a day cream, so don’t forget to wash it off before bedtime. When choosing a BB cream, consider your skin type, skin tone, coverage you require and any other special needs.
Some of the best Asian brands for BB creams are BRTC (Bio Remedies Therapeutic Cosmetic), Missha, Dr. Jart, SKIN79, Etude House and Hanskin; Dr. Jart has the second highest grade ingredients next to BRTC. Recently, big banners like Clinique, M·A·C, Dior and Estée Lauder have marketed their own versions of BB creams, too.
There has been debates whether BB creams are the same as tinted moisturizers? The concept is somewhat similar but the ingredients and performance of the two products are very different. BB creams offer high levels of UVA/UVB protection (SPF 30-70), have less variety of shades (maybe 2-3), can treat skin conditions like acne, and most important, are much cheaper in price.
So gals, are you going to give BB creams a try this spring?
– Upasana Sahu, cosmetic chemist
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