Old Idea-New Craze: What is a BB Cream?

Last year you had probably never heard of a BB Cream and this year they are everywhere- from full page ads in beauty magazines to prime retail space in your favorite store. BB stands for “Beauty Balm” (or sometimes “Blemish Balm” depending on formulation) and though the introduction to the U.S. is new, the concept was developed in the 60s by a German Dermatologist and has been wildly popular in Asia for decades.

BB Creams are toted as “all in one” skin care products that moisturize and tint while providing anti-aging benefits and SPF protection. Where tinted moisturizers provide hydration and a darkening of the skin, BB creams claim to also protect against sun damage and fight the signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots.

Are they all they claim to be? Denver Dermatologist, Dr. Richard Asarch, M.D. warns, “be educated about ingredients when choosing your skin care products. BB creams are being marketed as miracle products by companies that want to sell them to you. Dermatologists have been recommending products that address aging skin, hydrate and protect with SPF for several decades. The concentration of ingredients in physician grade products is significantly more effective than over-the-counter brands with big marketing budgets.”-Dr. Asarch practices at the Asarch Center for Dermatology and Laser in Denver, CO- www.asarchcenter.com

Are BB Creams too good to be true? I have tried many of these products and while some do not work at all and others have an off-putting texture and color, I find there can be a happy medium between the BB creams you find in your local drugstore and expensive physician grade formulas. Furthermore, If you opt to use a tinted moisturizer, why not try a BB Cream and see what you think? The SPF protection alone may be worth it.

Here are some of my finds to fit any budget:

GARNIER SKIN RENEW BB CREAM MIRACLE SKIN PERFECTOR, $12.99- Available at your local drugstore, this BB Cream is easy to find and affordably priced. Offering UVA & UVB protection and light coverage, like a liquid foundation- it is a good value in this price point.


L’Oréal Paris YOUTH CODE BB CREAM ILLUMINATOR, $16.99- Still affordable, but better at matching skin tone and providing coverage, this BB Cream is worth a try if you want a fresh, dewy look vs. full coverage foundation.




STILA STAY ALL DAY 10-IN-1 HD BEAUTY BALM, $38- If you are looking for a matte finish, this is the BB to try. With ingredients to both address aging like peptides and anti-oxidants and ingredients to diffuse light and hide your imperfections, I can skip my foundation all together.


CLINIQUE AGE DEFENSE BB CREAM SPF 30, $37- Moderately priced, the Clinique BB Cream provides light coverage and is available in 3 shades that blend really well with most skin tones. With added anti-oxidants and an SPF of 30, this cream offers better protection than the drug store brands.


What’s Your 303 Option?

 This section is dedicated to local brands, right here in Denver.


With age fighting anti-oxidants and SPF 45, this sheer formula lives up to its promise to erase imperfections while enhancing your natural skin tone. Even better, it is made right here in Denver, CO!

You can find Osmotics products in Denver at Nordstrom, Dillards and Soft Surroundings at the Park Meadows Mall or Nordstrom at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.

Share your thoughts with me!

Have you tried any of these BB Creams?

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