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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The BB Basics

Photo by SodanieChea, some rights reserved.
In the last few weeks, BB cream has become a household word – sort of. There are a variety of advertisements extolling the value of a good BB cream, and some extolling the value of a not-so-good BB cream. But what is it? I’ve answered a few key questions below.

What is a BB cream?

Originally developed in Germany in the 1960s, BB creams rapidly gained popularity in Asia over the next few decades.

BB creams are billed as an “all-in-one” solution to replace serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, foundation and primer. Most of these creams are mineral-based, and are often used to cover and treat acne, age spots and sun spots.  

Do they really work?

Although BB creams are a great solution for women without the time or money to use separate products that are already proven to work, they are not a perfect substitute. To the extent that you can use a separate, proven moisturizer, foundation or other product, do. We already know that the separate products work. Until more research is done specifically on BB creams, there is not enough information to say that they are a perfect substitute for all other facial creams.

Who should use BB creams?

BB creams are best suited for women who are too busy to consistently keep up with a multi-product facial routine, or who do not have the budget to do it regularly.

Additionally, in the U.S., BB creams have become more of a substitute for foundation due to their good coverage.

Bottom line, if you aren’t already using moisturizer and sunscreen every day, a BB cream is a step in the right direction. If you already have a routine that works, don’t change it unless you have to.

Which BB creams are the best?

It depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re on a budget, the over-the-counter drugstore BB creams will run about $12 to $15. Maybelline, L’Oreal and Garnier all sell these creams. I like the L’Oreal brand, as it offers the best sun protection with 30 SPF. Department store beauty counters sell creams for $35 to $40 or more. The comparison is similar to that between a drugstore foundation and a department store foundation.

Deciding which brand of BB cream to try varies with each woman’s need. Pay attention to whether the cream offers coverage, light reflection, antioxidants or better sun protection, and then decide what works best for you. There are even vegan and cruelty-free varieties.

Have more questions about BB creams? Leave them in the comments below and we’ll answer them!

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