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February 2, 2012

What’s with all the BB Creams?

Dear Bets:

What the heck is BB Cream? I’m confused and intrigued!
-Katie H.

I wondered the same thing a few months ago when a tube came across my desk. What is this BB Cream and why do I need if I already have a tinted moisturizer? Then I tried some. And I loved it. And now I can’t imagine life without it . . . . But back to your question. BB Cream stands for “blemish balm.” It’s been popular throughout Asia for years, but—to clear up the confusion—not just for blemishes. In Asia the word “blemish” translates as any type of skin imperfection: wrinkles, uneven skin tone, sun damage, acne, rosacea, etc. BB Cream is designed to prevent and diminish ALL of these issues. See what all the fuss is about?

For my maiden voyage I tried Boscia’s BB Cream ($38). It’s mostly natural, has a mineral SPF 27, and coincidentally was the first BB to land stateside after huge acclaim in overseas. The cream is incredibly lightweight, like a fluffy, tinted primer. It comes in one shade, which magically blended  into my fair skin (and presumably most others), creating this shockingly flawless, yet sheer canvas. You may need to lay down a moisturizer first if you’re dry, but you most certainly won’t need foundation!

Although BB creams usually contain some powerful hydrator, like Sodium Hyaluronate, they are more matte than a tinted moisturizer—one big reason that those of you with will oily skin, larger pores, and /or acne-prone skin will love this concept. I still used a tinted, but opt for BB Cream if I want something even lighter-weight OR only have time for one product OR am dashing to the grocery store and don’t want to look like I just rolled out of bed but don’t want to wear any makeup.

Does that help?  There are now loads of BB Creams on the market, including from CliniqueSmashbox, and Dr. Jart, a brand I’d never heard of but keeps getting raved about. Should you brave this new BB world, please report back on your discoveries!

  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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