So, what exactly is a BB Cream?
BB Cream stands for blemish or beauty balm. They were first developed in Germany by a dermatologist who wanted a single cream that would protect skin and provide coverage after laser treatments. The all-in-one formulation became a sensation in South Korea and spread throughout Asia, where the demand is huge (and has been for many years.) Beauty brands are increasingly introducing BB Creams to the UK, with focus particularity around the summer months when we can benefit from the lighter alternative to foundation. BBs often come in a tube and have a look/feel/texture not unlike a high quality tinted moisturiser, with a richer undertone.
What does a BB Cream do?
A BB cream is an all-in-one cosmetic product to replace serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation and sunblock. Many women choose to wear this as it's a much quicker way of achieving flawless skin; there's no need for five different steps or products in the morning, as one tube does the job of them all in one step. The coverage is often mineral-based, and is intended to both cover and treat blemishes; BB Creams also often have anti-wrinkle, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.
How do I use a BB Cream?
You don't use this alongside a foundation or base - it is your base. It can be worn alone as a tinted moisturizer, over serum and moisturizer as a regular foundation, as well as under powder for fuller coverage. Basically it's up to you! Most ranges don't have a huge number of shades to choose from, mainly because most formulas are designed to oxidize to match your skin tone for a really natural effect, so it's best to experiment and find what works for you.
What are the best BB Creams in the UK?
From my experience, Dr Jart's BB Creams cannot be beaten - mainly because they originated in Asia and have all of the same qualities as the original balms, as opposed to the Western copies which can often be a tinted moisturiser disguised as a BB Cream to capitalise on the buzz surrounding the term. Other brands doing a great job include No7, Elizabeth Arden, L'Occitane and Clarins who offer thicker and more maleable formulas that bring radiance to skin.
What brands should I be staying away from?
It's really easy to be mislead on the UK high street, with every cosmetic company understanding the hype around BB Creams and rushing to get their own versions on shelves. However, so many of them aren't BB Creams at all - they're tinted moisturisers with a bit off added stuff in to change the texture and get customers excited. Generally speaking, the cheaper the product the less likely it is to be an actual BB Cream; those beneficial ingredients don't come cheap!
Has that convinced you to give BB Creams a go? Are you already a fan of this innovative concept?