What Is BB Cream? Do You Really Need It?

by Charlene Flanagan

Any makeup junkie worth her contouring skills knows that BB creams have been around from only the last couple of years; and they either hate it or love it. After all, what is foundation for, right? But did you know that one of the most Googled beauty questions of 2014 was “What is BB cream and do I need it?”

Well, here’s the dirt.

BB creams, or beauty balms, are simply tinted beauty moisturizers or light-coverage foundations. They are formulated with ingredients that help care for your skin, nourish and protect—what with their antioxidants, UV protection and collagen-boosting effects—while giving your skin the understated made-up look (much like a foundation). In simple terms, this skincare-makeup hybrid aims to achieve it all in just one product.


Advantages Disadvantages
  • Great for those who are on a budget, or in a hurry.
  • Value for money, considering that foundations cost much more.
  • Matte finish, so it’s great for those with oily skin too.
  • A small drop of BB cream isn’t going to deliver all that it promises. Depending upon the formulation (SPF : anti-aging : coverage), some claims may be fulfilled far more than others.
  • Anything that a BB cream does, a good quality lightweight foundation can; so it’s not exactly path breaking.
  • Color palette is not wide enough to match all skin tones.
  • No acne-fighting properties, so for those who are prone to breakouts, this one is a risky bet.
  • If you’re a beauty lover, chances are your BB cream will be redundant as you will have other products that do the same jobs in a more targeted and concentrated manner.

On an end note, if you do decide to buy a BB cream, understand that with this product less is more. Applying more than a dime-size can cause irritation, make your face look patchy, or significantly temper your skin tone, which against your neck (or natural tone) will look unattractive and made-up.

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