WTF Is a BB Cream Really and Should You Use It?

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Makeup can be confusing AF sometimes. By now, you've probably heard of the BB cream, which claims it's the only product you need for your skin. But along with the BB cream came the CC cream, the DD cream, tinted moisturizers and just about every other lettered balm out there. But what the heck is this product and should you be adding it to your arsenal? Is BB cream really worth it and is this the end of foundation forever?

Um, no.

WTF Are You, BB Cream?

The 'BB' in BB cream stands for beauty balm or blemish balm. The product promises to be an all-in-one skincare/makeup hybrid that will moisturize, prime, treat acne, conceal and add SPF all while replacing your normal foundation.
Liquid foundation make-upBB cream was first developed by a German dermatologist but quickly gained a following in South Korea, spreading all over Asia. By 2011, BB creams could be found on shelves in the United States and have since become a popular replacement for tinted moisturizers and foundations.

Most BB creams have SPF. Depending on the product, BB creams can also contain skin treatments like vitamins A, E and C, moisturizing hyaluronic acid or glycerin and licorice, which evens out skin tone. Some products will even add light-reflecting components for an extra shine while others claim to make your skin smoother.

Basically, the BB cream thinks it's the top dog of all makeup products. But is it really?

Maybe Not...

Like vlogger Wayne Goss says, BB creams are great if you have naturally nice skin. They'll work with your skin adding antioxidants to hydrate it (depending on the brand, of course) and are much lighter than foundation. But if you're looking for some serious coverage, you may want to look elsewhere. BB creams are very similar to tinted moisturizers but just a bit heavier. And because the formula is a lighter, it won't always cover face discolorations and give you an even tone. You can def forget about using BB cream as your one-stop for concealer; serious blemishes and under-eye circles will show right through.

Be careful if you're relying on your BB cream as your main protection from the sun, too. Because they're so light, BB creams offer minimal protection from the sun. Double up with a tinted moisturizer that also has SPF for extra protection.

BB creams also come in a very limited range of color options. If your skin is darker, most BB creams are not very accommodating, coming in only three to five medium-dark tones depending on the brand. Foundations on the other hand, come in about a million.

What About Those Other Letters?

You're probably wondering what a CC or DD cream is at this point. To put it simply, they're just improvements on your basic BB. CC creams are your "color correcting" option that tries to fix the blemishes and discolorations most BBs will miss. CC creams are even lighter and fluffier in texture than your typical BB but have better coverage. The peeps at Fashionista say they've never really noticed a difference between the two creams; it, once again, completely depends on the product brand and is a matter of trial and error.
Cosmetics / CosmeticosDD creams, or the third cousin twice removed from the BB, claim to combine the best aspects of both BB and CC for a "dynamic do-all" product. It's got the correcting of the CC and the moisturizing benefit of the BB but primarily focuses on anti-aging.

Our advice when it comes to this mess of letters? If you want something that won't way down your skin but will add a bit of color, try a BB cream or a tinted moisturizer and then add a concealer to get rid of spots still showing. But if you're used to your typical foundation, no need to give it up. BB creams may be the new craze, but their reach is kind of limited.


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