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Beauty Q & A: What exactly are BB creams?

This is a question that I have been getting in my email a lot lately. The current makeup trend for foundations are these not-so-new creams that have every brand pumping out their own version.

The creation started in Germany and hit a popularity surge in Asia and spread. The term BB usually stands for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm.” The best way to describe them is like a tinted moisturizer on steroids. Instead of just doing the double duty of a hydrating formula tinted for coverage, the BB cream also contains a further form of skin treatment. Some offer antioxidants while others may contain UV filters instead. Not all creams are created equal so look on the label or ingredients list for the product’s specific benefits.

So, the question becomes tinted moisturizer vs BB cream. The multifunctional new kid in town does the work of a tinted moisturizer and then some. However, some might find the overabundance too much their skin. It’s up to your skin.

Now, to choose the right cream out of the surplus of options out there. It will be a trial and error thing. If you don’t want to commit to an entire bottle, look for samples at makeup counters. I’ve often seen drugstore brands include samples in various magazines. Below are a few hints and tips from my experience and input from fellow BB cream fans.

Super Plus BB Cream -$30 – Packed with anti-aging elements, sebum control, UV protection and versatile for all skin types.

White Multi BB Cream – $30 – Promises a 24 hour wear, but may not be able to run the gauntlet. This cream is great for sensitive skin.

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream – $37 – Easier to blend than most creams, but the shades tend to have a gray tone.

VIP Gold BB Cream – $15 – Better for dry skin. Provides great nourishment and contains anti-aging elements.

Intense Classic Balm – $19- This has a little of everything sans an anti-aging effect. It has the sebum control of the Hot Pink Super Plus BB cream, but has better coverage. Great for oily/combination skin types.

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