Everyone’s Buzzing About B.B. Cream

Skin happens. Dark circles, dry patches, acne scars, large pores, radioactive t-zones, rosacea, broken capillaries … need I go on? So, to remedy/conceal these “everybody’s-got’em” skin happenings, us women often begin our mornings with a slurry of creamy, serum-my rituals.

Here’s an example of my morning routine:

1. Serum — Erase traumatizing memories of yesterday’s breakouts
2. Prescription pimple cream — Get the zits before they get me (we’re eternally engaged in this battle … sigh)
3. Moisturize — Undo zit-treatment damage
4. Eye cream — Desperate attempt to hold on to my youth
5. Prime — Spackle my pores before painting over them with makeup
6. Conceal — da Vinci at work…

I sometimes end up spending 30 minutes just prepping my skin in order to face the world with my head held high (I’m still working on the whole living-with-acne-shame-self-esteem thing).

Enter … B.B. cream

A genius Korean doctor realized the plight of women all around the world and successfully developed a “my morning regimen in a tube” product.

B.B. cream, short for “beauty balm” — is basically touted to be 5-8 beauty products in one.

Benefit claims vary across brands, but most B.B. creams promise to replace your:

1. Moisturizer
2. Primer
3. Sunscreen
4. Complexion brighteners
5. Antioxidant-rich serums that fight free-radicals and heal discoloration
6. Light/medium coverage foundation

So is it great?!

Well … I actually kind of like it. I really really kind of like it. Now I said “like,” not LOVE. It’s not a “one product solution” for me, but it probably is for a lot of you out there.

Skin types that will LOVE it:

1. Normal/generally clear

If you belong to this group, you probably don’t spend much time fussing on your skin. You don’t need to (yay for you).

Apply to clean, dry skin, and you’re flawless, freakishly fast (copyright: Jimmy Johns).

Skin types that will LIKE it:

1. Normal/Combination that’s mostly blemish-free

For this group, a good B.B. cream can replace moisturizer, sunscreen and foundation. If you have the occasional blemish, spot conceal and go about your day.

Skin types that MAY LIKE it:

1. Normal/blemished
2. Combination/Blemished or clear
3. Dry/Blemished or clear
4. Oily/clear

If you’re normal/combination with blemishes, B.B. cream helps lay down a good first layer. You’ll have to build up coverage, but at least your skin’s been prepped, primed and redness has been slightly neutralized.

If you’re dry, you’ll need to use your preferred moisturizer before applying B.B. cream. Let it sink in first. After applying moisturizer, B.B. cream and yet more layers of foundation, concealer and powder to conceal blemishes, you might find that B.B. cream adds more steps than it takes away.

Skin types that will HATE or STOP USING it:

1. Oily/blemished skin

If you’re oily, with acne and scars — B.B. cream will only add to the steps you probably take every morning to treat, moisturize and conceal. Plus, because B.B. cream does not allow you to customize the amount and type of moisturizer, sunscreen and coverage, you’ll find yourself either concealed, but slick as ice, or adequately moisturized but under-concealed.

You will most likely want to get on the B.B. cream train because you’ve heard so much about it, but after several tries, you will likely go back to your tried and true sucks-but-it-works routine.

Final Thoughts

[pricing_table columns=”3″] [pricing_column title=”Smashbox B.B. Cream”] smashbox-bb-cream-review
[/pricing_column] [pricing_column title=”Maybelline B.B. Cream”] Maybelline-dreamfresh-bb-cream-review
[/pricing_column] [pricing_column title=”Garnier B.B. Cream”] garnier-bb-cream-review

I, unfortunately, belong to the Oily/Blemished category. I tried Smashbox’s awesomely-reviewed B.B. cream. Good, but half way through the day, my t-zone was shiny and my cheeks looked patchy.

Maybelline’s light-weight texture was promising, but too pink for my super-yellow undertone.

If I had to choose one, I’d say Garnier’s B.B. cream ($13-ish) was my favorite. If I had different skin, I’d use Garnier’s B.B. cream every day. It was creamy, hydrating, brightening and gave me nice, even coverage. Not enough coverage to wear alone, but on those fabulous “good skin” days when I have just a few isolated blemishes to conceal, I proudly go for my Garnier B.B. cream in light/medium.

To-Go Tip:

Like any beauty product, results vary according to your taste. Try out a bunch. If B.B. cream isn’t for you, the next mattifying super-product might be. Don’t buy things and hold on to them because their “supposed” to be great. Use what works for you.[clear]

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  • http://www.facebook.com/beautifulyouPNW bmarie

    I definitely hear you on the BB issue with ‘grumpy’ skin types… it just isn’t the right fit. But it does seem awesome for those who have dry/normal skin! I so wish it would work for me. Sigh.

    I know this wasn’t the focus of the article, but you brought up your skincare routine, so I thought I’d mention it- have you looked into oil cleansing at all? I have oily/acne prone/sensitive skin, and up until about 4 days ago haven’t seen much improvement in a long time, other than just maintaining a decent level of ‘okay’. I started oil cleansing, and while my skin isn’t perfectly clear yet or anything, it’s seriously the most improvement I’ve seen in years. Literally. My skin is baby-butt smooth, and I’m already seeing decreases in blackheads and pore size. I think I still have a way to go before my skin is fully ‘adjusted’, but it’s worth reading about, at least!

    Here’s my progress so far:

    Hope it helps!

    • http://theuntrendygirl.com The Untrendy Girl

      Hmmmm…oil cleansing. It’s interesting that you bring that up. Just the other day, a friend of mine mentioned that she started using Boscia’s “Makeup Breakup” oil cleanser and she LOVES it. I don’t believe that putting the right kind of oil on your skin would make it break out — if that were true, there’d be a serious cystic acne epidemic all over the world. I’m really thinking about trying it. What brand do you use?

  • http://www.facebook.com/beautifulyouPNW bmarie

    p.s., your site is great! I am just checking it out for the first time, and I really like the message behind it 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  • Hope

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just came to your site about 5 minutes ago after searching google about contouring. In that 5 minutes, I have learned SO much! I too have been wondering what the heck this BB cream stuff is! Now I know! And I LOVED the tutorial about the contouring and the one about the make up brushes. Everything so far has been concise and easy to understand making it all extremely helpful! So again, thank you! This site is going on the favorites bar!

    • http://theuntrendygirl.com The Untrendy Girl

      Thank you Hope!
      Reading a comment like yours makes everything I put into this blog SO worth it!

  • andrea

    hi i actually use covergirls bb cream and i love it although i dont know if it does all that it promises but my skin feels really good and it has good coverage thanks for the info about bbcreams !!!

  • http://www.pinterest.com/elananna Anna Marie

    I fit into the last category. However, I find that I enjoy BB Creams. It does add another layer, but I find it’s been helping with my hyperpigmentation and brightens up my face. If I wear BB Cream, I don’t use a primer, as I find this makes my skin more oily. Also, if I have a day at home, I usually just wear lotion, BB cream and set it with translucent powder. It feels less heavy than my normal routine (which is very similar to yours, though my acne regimen consists of a retinol cream for nights).

    I haven’t bought any U.S. BB creams, as my undertone is too yellow-based. My sister had one that I tried once, but it made my skin a complete oil slick, not to mention was too dark my skin tone. But Korean ones that work with my oily/combo/acne-prone skin are Skin79’s Gold BB (I know the hot pink one is really popular, but it didn’t work well with my skin) and Lioele’s BB Beyond the Solution Cream. I’ve also tried a few others, including Missha’s (fine, but not my personal favorite). I also just ordered Rachel K’s CC Cream. This is supposedly the next generation BB cream and is more mattifying, causes less breakouts and offers more coverage. A couple other brands have some out as well (like JuiceBeauty). Here’s hoping.