Online Exclusives

BB Creams Are A-OK

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | January 27, 2012

Are multi-tasking beauty balms the bomb?

BB cream, also commonly known as “blemish balm or beauty balm,” is an all-in-one cosmetic product that is extremely popular in Asia and is now gaining popularity in the US and Europe. The skin care SKUs are said to multi-task, providing multiple beauty benefits in a single formula, including UV protection, sheer coverage and hydration, in addition to many other advanced skin care benefits depending on the formula.

Estée Lauder's Daywear collection targets women who crave antioxidants in their skin care.
According to Dr. Nadine Pernodet, Ph.D., executive director of skin biology, research & development, The Estée Lauder Companies, “While the BB creams originally gained popularity and became a massive trend in Korea, its origin traces back to Germany. In Germany, dermatologists prescribed BB creams after patients had undergone laser treatments due to their skin-regenerating and soothing properties, and they also provided light coverage to minimize the appearance of laser scars, acne or other

Estée Lauder Daywear BB Crème SPF 35
This trend is now hitting the US with a variety of rollouts for Spring 2012. Leading the way is Estée Lauder’s Daywear Anti-Oxidant BB Crème SPF 35 ($38). Worn alone or under foundation, Estée Lauder’s new DayWear Anti-Oxidant BB Creme SPF 35 protects, perfects and moisturizes skin in just one single step for beautiful, healthy, even-looking skin, said Pernodet. Available in two tints to suit a wide range of skin tones, this multi-benefit, oil-free, lightweight creme also helps control skin’s surface oil.

“Our new DayWear Anti-Oxidant BB Creme SPF 35 is perfect for today’s modern woman that is looking for one product that moisturizes, protects and perfects the skin in just one single step,” she said. “It provides sheer coverage to minimize flaws and maximize skin’s natural radiance to achieve perfect-looking skin, and it is suitable for women of all skin types. Additionally, it is great for women who are looking for an oil-free formula that helps control surface oil and shine.”

So, what’s the difference between a BB cream and a classic tinted moisturizer? According to Pernodet: “Our new DayWear Anti-Oxidant BB Creme SPF 35 is an oil-free formula available in two shades to adjust to a wide variety of skintones and offers multiple skincare benefits to protect, perfect and moisturize skin all at once. The formula provides sheer coverage and SPF 35 broad-spectrum sunscreen protection. Additionally, it helps to control surface oil and shine. Our DayWear Sheer Tint Release Moisturizer SPF 15 is a tinted moisturizer with pigments that have been carefully blended to create a sheer ‘universal’ shade that provides subtle color for a healthy glow and SPF 15 sun protection.”

Also hitting the market this Spring is a first-to-mass BB formulation from Garnier. Out in February, Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector ($12.99) combines “intense hydration with tinted minerals and vitamin C for results you can see and feel instantly,” according to the company. The non-greasy formulation is said to even tone, brighten complexion, renew radiance, deliver 24-hour hydration and provide SPF 15 UVA/UVB.

A combination of hyaluronic acid, lipidure Microspheres and glycerin retains water in the skin, allowing it to maintain “superior moisture levels and improve softness and suppleness of skin for 24 hours.”

In the prestige marketplace, stores like Sephora and Ulta will stock two new BB creams from Stila and Too Faced this Spring. Stila HD Beauty Balm ($38) is touted as an all-in-one high definition, age-defying beauty balm. This primer for all skin tones visibly improves the look and feel of skin, creating an impeccable canvas for seamless makeup application, said the company. It glides onto skin, leaving a silky, powdery finish that smoothes the look of pores and provides “ultimate” oil and blemish control. The formulation contains a blend of microspheres shown to hide imperfections and reduce wrinkle depth, an exclusive complex to reduce redness and irritation, bamboo and pea extracts to diminish the appearance of fine lines and natural, skin-protecting emollients shown to increase antioxidant activity.

Garnier's BB cream is first to mass, said the company.
Meanwhile, Too Faced’s Tinted Beauty Balm Multi-Benefit Skin Care Makeup ($32) offers multiple skin care and makeup benefits in one simple step, according to the company. A “multi-mineral complex” (magnesium, potassium, zinc as well as ginseng and ginko biloba) improves skin's overall appearance and light-diffusing pigments tint and add radiance. The product is available in four shades, from Vanilla Glow (light) to Beach Glow (deep). This hypoallergenic blend also features broad-spectrum, chemical-free SPF 20.

Also back by popular demand (the SKU originally appeared on QVC) is the SmashboxCamera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 ($39), a “five-in-one set secret for achieving flawless skin on camera and beyond.” Appropriate for all skin types, this product is free of fragrance, dermatologist tested, and non-acnegenic.

These SKUs follow recent launches from Clarins and Clinique. Clarins’ Beauty Flash Balm ($45) is the brand’s “bestselling radiance maker.” According to the company, it helps eliminate signs of fatigue in a flash. Olive and witch hazel extracts help smooth the skin’s surface, diffusing the look of lines and wrinkles. Soothing bisabolol helps restore skin’s youthful glow.

Clinique’s Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30 ($37) is available in two hues, 01 (fair) and 02 (golden). This “instant morning routine” offers SPF protection, antioxidants for prevention and enough coverage to banish imperfections, said the company.

Read about more BB creams and other rising skin care trends in the May issue of HAPPI, which will include our annual look at the skin care market.

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