Just Exactly What is a BB Cream?

Lately I’ve had several people asking me about those “BB” creams they’ve been seeing on TV. What the heck does that mean? A friend inquired the other day…. And do I need one?
If you are a fan of skipping the foundation in favor of a tinted moisturizer then yes you might be just the right candidate for a BB cream. Refinery 29 did a fabulous product comparison on their site just the other day. Here’s what they had to say about the products.

Chances are you’ve probably heard a lot about BB creams in the past few months. In case you’re still not sure what these mythical skin creams really do, here’s the deal: BB creams are a type of tinted skin treatment that became a phenomenon in Korea and quickly spread across Asia and into the U.S. The BB cream is similar to a tinted moisturizer— if your tinted moisturizer had taken a bunch of performance-enhancing drugs, bought a Porsche, and was now dating a supermodel.

“Tinted moisturizers are too basic — they provide simple moisture and low-level sunscreen, with a few vitamins or extracts thrown in. They work best on perfect skin that doesn’t need much love. However, most of us (unless you’re genetically blessed) want more coverage,” says Sena Kang, general manager of North America for Dr. Jart+. “BB creams are the next generation of product because they contain high-performance treatments like anti-agers, antioxidants, brighteners, and botanical actives combined with high-level sunscreen, coverage, and moisture.”

We’ve seen a steady surge of BB creams invade our beauty counters of late, so we thought we’d take these so-called miracle creams out for a spin to see if they live up to the hype. See what our R29 guinea pigs had to say about these super-charged creams and find out if they’ll be trading in their tried-and-true tinted moisturizers this spring.

Clinique imported its wildly popular BB cream to the U.S., adding two new shades to the lineup, all featuring a host of skin-healthy ingredients. It wears more like a really fantastic moisturizer than a heavy foundation. Clinique Age Defense BB Cream $37 at Macy’s

“I honestly haven’t used tinted moisturizer since high school, so this was basically a first for me. Back then, I was a regular fake-baker, so I could wear just tinted moisturizer on my face and nothing else (oh, to be young!). Nowadays, I don’t wear much face makeup — I just brush on some mineral powder.

Result: “One thing I really liked about the cream is that my face looked pretty much the same at the end of the day as it did when I left the house, which, if you consider the length of my days, is quite a feat. It would be great for a night out when I often come home looking positively dreadful. I did feel more aware that I was wearing makeup, however, and it made the before-bed exfoliation routine super necessary.”

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 $39 Available in April

Of all the creams we tried, this one wore the most like makeup, providing the most coverage. It also comes in a wide variety of shades — 5 in total, including options for medium and dark skin tones — which is unique considering most BB creams on the market are only available in varying shades of pale.

Result: “My skin felt normal and the product kept me looking fresh all day. I like that I don’t need a sunscreen on top of this because it already has SPF 35 in it — it’s always awesome to carry fewer things in my purse! My only gripe is that the tint wasn’t an exact match to my skin tone, and I may not replace my current product until Smashbox has more variants for different complexions. But nevertheless, a promising product to keep an eye on.”

Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 PA+++ $39 Sephora

One of the original balms to launch in the U.S., this prestige cream is already a hit in Asia and has been spotted gracing the faces of models backstage at Fashion Week. It has a slightly thicker, more balm-like consistency than the other creams we tried, but has tons of moisture and skin-healthy ingredients packed into its formula.

Result: “Honestly, there is nothing I disliked about this cream and, although I’m a bit attached to my Yes To moisturizer for being a natural product, I will definitely continue to use Dr. Jart+ regularly because of how it corrected my complexion and hydrated my skin like nothing else has, all without making me feel covered up. In fact, the first thing I did when I came into the office was tell our beauty editor that she’d have to pry it out of my cold, dead hands if she wanted it back. Suffice it to say, I liked this product so much I am willing to go super-cheesy and say this PA+++ gets an A+++ in my book.”

Garnier BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector, $11.99, available at Target.

The only drugstore option currently available in the U.S., this cream’s selling point is that it’s easy on your skin and your wallet

Result: “I’m willing to try out a different brand of BB cream because I’m so attracted to the idea of it, but given my finicky skin and makeup preferences, I can’t say that I’ll use the Garnier one again — but it might be perfect for girls with less sensitive skin looking for an inexpensive coverup!”

Source: To read more visit refinery29.com Photos Erin Yamagata

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