Saturday, October 26, 2013

All about BB Creams

What is a BB cream?

According to Wikipedia..
"BB cream stands for blemish balm, blemish base, or beblesh balm.. and in Western markets, beauty balm. It is a cosmetic item sold mainly in East and Southeast Asia, although larger beauty brands are increasingly introducing BB creams to Western markets."

Lets stop there. 
They are, and have been for a while, huge in Asian, especially Korean, markets. They were very expensive, and very hard for us 'Westerners' to get. They offer more coverage and the Korean formula is mineral-based and is intended, not only to cover blemishes, but to treat blemishes- including acne, sun spots, and age spots. It also contains anti-wrinkle, anti-inflammitory, and soothing effects.

Do our American BB creams do that?
 No. Just look at the ingredients. The BB creams you see sold in American are nothing more than tinted moisturizers. I hate to break it to you. I just hate to see people buy these products thinking that their skin is going to change because of the benefits, and then become sorely disappointed. These creams may help your skin, but only because its a light-weight moisturizer, tinted with a bit of color, with an SPF. 

I took a look at the ingredients of a popular drugstore brand BB cream. The one and only active ingredient is Octinoxate 4%. If you do a quick search of this ingredient, its primarily used in sunscreens and lip balms. So, nothing life-changing. I then did a search for the first few inactive ingredients. In case you didn't know, the ingredients listed first in anything- food, facial products, shampoo, etc., are always the most abundant ingredients. So, moving on. I searched the first ingredients. (I won't list them all, because they're all big words no one can pronounce, but you can look for yourself). The first 4 or 5 ingredients are all defined as either skin conditioning or moisturizing agents that are commonly found in your everyday, run-of-the-mill moisturizers, foundations, lip products, and even deodorants.

Nothing 'major' in BB creams causes any more skin benefits than the current moisturizer you're now using; however, the fact that it contains some color (to wear under powder or by itself) to give you some light coverage, AND the fact that it contains an SPF are good things. BB Creams aren't ALL bad. Just don't be fooled into thinking they are anything like the ones sold on the Korean market, or that they are anything more than a tinted moisturizer with an SPF. I actually really like the Garnier BB cream for combo/oily skin; not because it has changed my skin or has done anything amazing, but because it gives decent lightweight coverage, doesn't make me insanely greasy, goes on smoothly, and I can forgo my SPF + moisturizer + foundation routine, and do it all with one product! 


  1. Arbonne's CC cream is a 10-in-1 (Primer, Protector, Concealer, Hydrator, Mattifier, Brightener, Blemish Cover, Pore Refiner, Comforter, & Complexion Controller) and the list of ingredients is very different from the drugstore versions of BB Creams. :) I have the list of ingredients & what they specifically do if you're interested. :) LOVE YOUUU!!!!

    "Phytinol™, Arbonne’s proprietary complex of alfalfa extract and chicory extract, helps nurture and prime the skin, creating a healthier, smoother-
    looking complexion."... thats from our CC Cream information sheet.