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What’s the b-b-big deal about BB cream?

BB cream acts as a primer, foundation, concealer, sunscreen and lotion, all in one!

I recently saw a commercial for this new skin treatment from Garnier. In the ad there are all these different camera shots of the letters BB. There are BB balloons, BB pillows, BB magnets – the ubiquitous BBs are even printed on a latte. The women in the ad tell me that this stuff brightens, tones and does all kinds of other great things for skin, but I was still mystified. How had I missed this trend?

Turns out, BB stands for blemish balm or beauty balm, and the makeup-meets-skincare product has been around much longer than I thought. The craze for the part-foundation, part-moisturizer started in Asia, and only reached the U.S. market over the last year. It gained popularity after Korean celebrities credited it for their flawless complexions. It was created in oder to speed healing after laser treatments. Now, MAC, Hydroxatone, Clinique and, of course, drugstore brands like Garnier have all put out their own versions of the stuff.

Although the manufacturers of various BB creams are calling them "miracle creams," don't toss all your other cosmetics just yet. The thick, creamy substance is a bit like a glorified tinted moisturizer, but some of its added benefits might make it perfect for your skin care regimen.

If you have…

Dark spots and general unevenness. BB cream works to even skin tone and reduce redness because of its primer-like texture, which is a tad thicker than lotion. Whether you apply it underneath your normal foundation or wear it alone, it can neutralize dark spots and give your face an even glow.

A carefree attitude about makeup. If you don't like wearing a lot of makeup but still need some coverage, BB cream might be your go-to cosmetic. Because it combines the aspects of lotion, primer and foundation all in one, it might also save you time in the morning.

A trip to the beach planned. Going to the beach, lake or on a hike this summer? BB cream is the perfect beauty essential if you love spending time outdoors but are not the type to apply a full face of makeup beforehand. Plus, because most varieties contain SPF, they do more than just act as a foundation – they protect your skin from the sun.

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Santana Jordan
By: Santana Jordan

Around the age of 35ish, Santana Jordan realized that most of the makeup information that was readily available was all geared towards teeny boppers. This makeup artist and esthetician specializes in makeup techniques for the over 30 crowd. You know, those of us that need to hide a wrinkle or two – or ten and don’t want to look like we’re on our way to a rave. When she’s not taking the latest makeup trends and making them grown woman friendly, she is working on the launch of a kid’s clothing line inspired by her daughter, Lana Sofiah.