CULT BEAUTY: Why should I care about BB Cream?

Everyone is talking about BB Cream. And yet we feel a lot of you out there are still confused about this wonder product that claims to do it all. Read on if you want some answers.

BB Cream stands for Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm and it has come a long way from its original incarnation in the 1960s in a German skin clinic. Blemish Balm was first designed as an anti-inflammatory treatment for sensitive faces after dermatological procedures. The product travelled to Korea and gained steady popularity in Asia because it gave a smooth, flawless complexion, and regulated skin function.

From the 1990s, Blemish Balm evolved into BB Cream and was developed further for the Asian market as an easy all-in-one base with numerous benefits such as tint for coverage, SPF, anti-ageing properties, moisturisers and more. Fast forward fifteen years or so and all the big cosmetic houses wanted to get in on the BB action, consequently almost every brand today has their version of a BB Cream. Some focus more on lifting and firming (such as Lancome), others on flawless coverage (Dior) and Chanel decided to call theirs CC Cream which has then spawned a whole other market of colour corrective products (more on that another day).

But back to the matter at hand – why should you care about BB Cream?  Well most formulas are actually pretty great, since they have medium coverage (generally less than foundation but more than tinted moisturiser), most of them have sun protection and if you find the right one for your skin, you can use just one product in the morning rather than several. We always recommend you go to the beauty counters and test out the shades and formulas, but for a bit of a headstart here are our favourites:

Stila Stay All Day HD Beauty Balm (Mecca Cosmetica, $52)

This version is very moisturising and long wearing, and gives a youthful glow to the skin. It gently corrects but doesn’t give a whole lot of coverage. If you’re lucky enough to have good skin already, this BB will be a nice weekend alternative to foundation.

L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique BB Cream (Priceline, $26.95)

We were actually pleasantly surprised when we tested this formula. Compared to some of the others on the market this is actually very good value for money. Only downside is that there are just two shades on offer so best to try before you buy.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream (Mecca Maxima, $52)

Smashbox has provided us with a BB cream that offers more coverage than others and has a slightly thicker texture. At the same time, it keeps oil at bay throughout the day and gives a smooth, perfected finish. Probably best for an oily-combination skin type.

La Roche Posay Uvidea XL BB Cream (Priceline, $32.99)

This BB has been created for sensitive skin and succeeds in offering a lightweight blendable cream that is hydrating yet also offers light coverage. What really makes this version stand out is its high SPF 50+, much welcomed here in the Australian market. The formula also claims to reduce pigmentation and signs of ageing over time so it’s a win-win!

Bobbi Brown SPF30+ BB Cream (David Jones, Myer, $60)

Bobbi Brown is a brand which is famous for creating foundations that look like skin, and their BB Cream is no different, giving light to medium coverage without looking heavy. It comes in 9 shades and is full of lots of skincare benefits, not to mention the high sun protection. Recommended for use on oily-normal skin types, it has already been winning awards left, right and centre. Top pick!


Dress by FME Melbourne 

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