BB Mania

Posted by on Sep 7, 2012

All about BB (beauty balm) creams…. written for Living Local Magazine Spring 2012.

Beauty Balms (or BB creams) are the “it” product in the cosmetics world right now. While they have been hugely popular in the East for decades (some of the earliest formulas originating in Korea), it’s only been in recent years that the West has joined in. This spring you can expect them to be flooding our cosmetic counters.

So if you’re not in the know already, here’s a quick summary:

What is a BB cream?

It’s a multi-purpose product that combines skin care, namely sun protection and moisturisers, and make-up in one.  It looks and feels essentially like a tinted moisturiser, with a little more coverage and some additional skin care ingredients (and potential benefits). In terms of make-up, it’s too sheer to conceal pimples or even out your skin tone. But it will give a subtle tint of colour which is perfect for people who like a natural, “no-make-up” look.

Is it worth the hype?

It depends. BB creams are intended for people who want to take advantage of this all-in-one product, like busy mums or those with only a few minutes to spare each morning. Price-wise, it’s more expensive than an average moisturiser, but cheaper than a full strength high-end foundation. For some people, the time it saves each day makes it worth the expense. If you’ve had previous success wearing tinted moisturisers, I think you’ll be impressed with the new BB creams available. The colour range is bigger (though still expect less than 6 per brand!) and there are some decent oil free formulas which is essential as we head into Spring/Summer.

How do you wear it?

Provided the BB cream has broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection, theoretically you should be able to skip sunscreen and moisturiser and just apply this one product – that’s the point.  If you need additional sunscreen or moisture, apply it underneath the BB cream. If you want more make-up coverage, apply concealer, foundation or other make-up products on top.

Where do you start?

It’s always difficult choosing between brands. I recommend visiting a brand that you are familiar with, that has products you’ve used before and sales staff you like. Check out their range of BB creams and ask for a sample. While you can see the colour and coverage immediately, don’t forget this is also a skin care product. You really need to use it for 3-5 consecutive days to see how your skin will adjust and react.