Like skinny jeans, feather extensions and Carly Rae Jepsen, some things go from nowhere to everywhere without anyone really knowing why. In the beauty world, the latest mystery product to become a must-have is BB cream (sometimes standing for “Beauty Balm” or “Blemish Balm”). Skincare consultant and owner of Beauty Muse Bridal, Dana Chasen Thomases offers information and tips on the creams that are currently flooding the market.
Summary: Somewhere between primer and foundation, BB creams are multitasking treatments for light coverage, anti-aging and skin brightening.
History: BB creams were first developed in Germany in the 1960s as skincare treatments, and were repopularized in Korea by actresses who used them after laser treatments. Cosmetics companies, increasingly taking cues from the Asian market, brought them to the U.S.
Ingredients to Look For: SPF (in the form of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide), antioxidants (like Vitamin C), skin brighteners (kojic acid or arbutin, both plant-based, are good alternatives to the harsher hydroquinone).
Keep in Mind: To benefit fully, apply a liberal amount. “And read the label closely,” Thomases says. “There’s lots of marketing going on.”
Parting Words From an Anonymous Skincare Saleswoman: “BB creams are dressed-up tinted moisturizers. Treat them as cosmetics, and don’t choose one that promises to adjust itself to your skin tone. ”