Like mineral foundations before it, the BB Cream took the world by storm and gradually became accepted as a fundemental part of many beauty regimes. After the first UK BB Cream was launched by Garnier some years ago, many more brands followed suit and ensured the rich texture and hydrating qualities were loved by their customers. Although I take for granted that everyone knows the wonder these products can offer, it seems that many of you are still confused as to what a BB Cream actually is – and why you need one. So seeing as it’s the forth most googled beauty question, here’s the lowdown on BB Creams and how you should be using them.

So, what exactly is a BB Cream?
BB Cream stands for blemish or beauty balm. They were first developed in Germany by a dermatologist who wanted a
single cream that would protect skin and provide coverage after laser
treatments. The all-in-one formulation became a sensation in South Korea
and spread throughout Asia, where the demand is huge (and has been for many years.) Beauty brands are increasingly introducing BB Creams to the UK, with focus particularity around the summer months when we can benefit from the lighter alternative to foundation. BBs often come in a tube and have a look/feel/texture not unlike a high quality tinted moisturiser, with a richer undertone. 

What does a BB Cream do?
A BB cream is an all-in-one cosmetic product to replace serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation and sunblock. Many women choose to wear this as it’s a much quicker way of achieving flawless skin; there’s no need for five different steps or products in the morning, as one tube does the job of them all in one step. The coverage is often mineral-based, and is intended to both cover and treat blemishes; BB Creams also often have anti-wrinkle, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.

How do I use a BB Cream?
You don’t use this alongside a foundation or base – it is your base. It can be worn alone as a tinted moisturizer, over serum and moisturizer as a regular foundation, as well as under powder for fuller coverage. Basically it’s up to you! Most ranges don’t have a huge number of shades to choose from, mainly because most formulas are designed to oxidize to match your skin tone for a really natural effect, so it’s best to experiment and find what works for you. 

What are the best BB Creams in the UK?
From my experience, Dr Jart’s BB Creams cannot be beaten – mainly because they originated in Asia and have all of the same qualities as the original balms, as opposed to the Western copies which can often be a tinted moisturiser disguised as a BB Cream to capitalise on the buzz surrounding the term. Other brands doing a great job include No7, Elizabeth Arden, L’Occitane and Clarins who offer thicker and more maleable formulas that bring radiance to skin.

What brands should I be staying away from?
It’s really easy to be mislead on the UK high street, with every cosmetic company understanding the hype around BB Creams and rushing to get their own versions on shelves. However, so many of them aren’t BB Creams at all – they’re tinted moisturisers with a bit off added stuff in to change the texture and get customers excited. Generally speaking, the cheaper the product the less likely it is to be an actual BB Cream; those beneficial ingredients don’t come cheap!

Has that convinced you to give BB Creams a go? Are you already a fan of this innovative concept?

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  




  1. Philippa
    May 27, 2015 / 8:54 am

    I like using lighter products like bb creams in the summer (:ABlogByPhilippa

  2. Laura Wood
    May 27, 2015 / 11:55 am

    This is a really useful post! What do you think is the best way to tell the difference between a "real" BB cream and one that is just a tinted moisturiser? X

  3. Antonia
    June 6, 2015 / 12:45 pm

    This is such a helpful post! I've always found BB creams to be a bit confusing. I definitely prefer wearing a lighter base in summer so I usually opt for a 'BB cream' but i've found them to be hit and miss – there's some that i've tried that are definitely a tinted moisturiser instead of a BB cream.Antonia x | Fifi and the Diamonds

  4. Daisychains16
    June 6, 2015 / 2:36 pm

    I'd never really tried a BB cream before until I received a sample in a magazine and it's now something I would definately use over foundation! Tayla | http://www.daisychains16.blogspot.co.uk

  5. Daire
    June 8, 2015 / 9:02 pm

    The Body Shop has a lovely Aloe Vera BB cream that gives you a little tingle as soon as you put it on – definitely my fave so far!

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