Originating in Asia, BB Creams – also known as ‘Blemish Balms’ or ‘Beauty Balms’ – have become extremely popular over recent years.
What is BB Cream?
Designed to combat a range of skincare concerns, from redness to fine lines, these little miracle workers are half way between a moisturiser and a foundation. Since regular heavy makeup can be detrimental to the skin, BB creams are an ideal way to care for your complexion with a light formula and a number of beneficial ingredients. They also contain SPF to counteract harmful UV rays, in addition to providing the perfect amount of coverage when trying to achieve that subtle, ‘no makeup makeup’ glow.
But where do you start, and, most importantly, what should you be looking for in order to get the most out of your BB? Fear not. We’ve rounded up the best BB creams for all skin tones and concerns to help you make sense of it all. Your new-found knowledge starts here!
Best BB Creams for Dry/Sensitive Skin
This French pharmaceutical brand is a favourite for those with sensitive skin, and La Roche Posay’s Hydreane BB Cream is no exception. Enriched with the brand’s own Thermale Spring Water, it moisturises and covers, allowing the product to melt into the skin. Hydreane’s high concentration of ingredients is ideal for dry complexions, helping to reduce redness and protect against environmental aggressors (a plus for sensitive skin types). Coverage is light, whilst SPF 20 and UVA mean protection from harmful rays, which age and damage skin.
Vichy’s Idealia BB Cream is frequently reviewed as boasting a silky, moisturising texture, making it one of the best BB creams for dry skin. The product’s unique complex of Kombucha and UV filter systems, mixed with light reflecting pigments, means that skin is protected from potential environmental damage whilst appearing luminous in the process. This BB cream also brightens the skin, lessoning the appearance of redness and helping achieve a healthy, dewy complexion. If dryness is making your skin appear a little lacklustre, this BB cream is the one for you! Like most BB creams, Vichy’s Idealia BB Cream also contains SPF.
The clue is in the name with this product: No. 7’s Beautiful Skin BB Cream comes in a very rich formula, allowing for a dewy, fresh finish. The nutrient rich ingredients also help to banish blemishes, and its unique 3-in-1 formula claims to enhance and blend to every skin tone. This BB Cream is also hypoallergenic, making it extra gentle on the skin, and is definitely one of the most hydrating BB Creams out there – no moisturiser needed!
Best BB Creams for Acne Prone Skin
L’Oreal BB Cream targets five key skincare concerns. Enriched with deeply hydrating ingredients Glycerin and Allantoin, this BB provides 24 hour hydration and brightens the skin. L’Oréal Paris Skin Perfection BB Cream works to refine and lessen the appearance of uneven texture and large pores, plus it targets dark spots in order to achieve an even, glowing complexion. Another pro to this product is its light texture, making it one of the best BB creams for sensitive skin and perfect for those wishing to avoid heavy products.
bareMinerals is a good option for acne prone skin, as the mineral pigments are unlikely to clog pores. This BB Cream is light in texture, and works to diminish the appearance of discolouration, uneven skin tones and imperfections. Combating both flakiness and the appearance of pores, bareMinerals Prime Time is one of the best natural BB creams and ideal for combination skin types that can be prone to both dry patches and oil.
If you suffer from breakouts, Clinique’s Anti-Blemish BB Cream is the product for you. This BB Cream has been specifically targeted for acne prone skin, with a lightweight texture for buildable coverage. Combining oil control with UVA/UVB protection, it gives even coverage whilst treating the surface of the skin, and turns matte once dry. Unlike many BB Creams, Clinique has avoided using a mineral sunscreen formula in this BB, allowing the texture to be ultra-lightweight. As heavy products are often responsible for causing breakouts, this is a big plus for those with oily and acne prone skin.
Best BB Creams for Mature Skin
The multiple properties of this BB cream work to address the common concerns of skin ageing. Whilst brightening properties maintain the skin’s glow, anti-oxidant bio-peptides and adenosine protect the skin from harsh environmental factors which speed up the ageing process. Dr Jart+ Premium BB Cream works to restore firmness and elasticity, containing an ample amount of mineral activities such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Fragrance free, this product is also suitable for sensitive skin.
With its creamy consistency, L’Occitane’s Precious BB Cream contains mineral and essential oils to lessen the appearance of ageing. Hydrating enough to use instead of a moisturiser, and with protection against harmful UVA/UVB rays, it provides extra protection from free radicals like pollution. The key to L’Occitane’s Precious BB Cream is its Immortelle Essential Oil, known for its advanced anti-ageing and nourishing properties. A best coverage BB cream that provides a dewy finish, this will leave skin feeling protected and smoothed.
When it comes to anti-ageing, Stila’s Stay All Day is packed with ingredients to combat as many concerns as you can think of. Some of Stila’s key ingredients include Bamboo Leaf and Stem Extract to firm skin, and innovative microspheres shown to reduce skin imperfections and wrinkles by up to 84%. Oil and paraben-free, this product has a smooth texture to perfectly blend with skin for a silky finish, whilst working to reduce redness and pore size. Truly a multiuse product!
Top 3 Splurge BB Creams
Pushing £40, Top Secrets isn’t exactly one of the cheap BB creams, but we can forgive this given its effectiveness. Targeting five main concerns – correction, uniformity, moisture, radiance, and protection – Top Secrets Skin Tone Perfector combines a light, multi-action formula for a flawless finish. Inspired by the original Asian BB creams, YSL targets and treats the skin as well as providing coverage, to reduce hyperpigmentation and dark spots, imperfections such as scarring, and dullness. This is also one of the best rated BB creams in regards to colour matching – sometimes difficult to find with BB creams.
The priciest product in our list of best BB creams, you’d expect Complexion Perfector to be one of the best over the counter BB creams. Luckily, this continually receives rave reviews, and wins numerous awards for its soothing properties. Acting as a moisturiser, foundation, sunscreen, concealer and anti-ageing cream, this BB provides protection from UVA/UVB rays. It promises to correct skin tone, blur lines and wrinkles, plump skin, and improve pigmentation, making it an all-rounder for skin concerns. Perhaps most importantly, the Complexion Perfector contains no silicone, an ingredient known to coat the skin and trap dirt and bacteria beneath it.
This product is definitely at the luxury end of the BB spectrum, and it’s not difficult to see why. Guerlain’s Super Aqua Serum BB Hydra, which purifies cellular water, improves circulation in the skin, restoring hydration. 97% of women found improvement in the skin’s finish and evenness on application, whilst 100% found their skin to be brighter after using the product for a period of time. The subtle colouring in this product provides an instant glow, ideal if you experience dullness or dry patches.
Top 3 Budget BB Creams
Known as the first Western BB cream, Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector is still popular today. It comes in a range of varieties for different skin types and shades – including a Garnier BB cream for dark skin – meaning there really is something to suit everyone. This product helps to blur fine lines and imperfections, offers 24-hour hydration, protects the skin with SPF 15, and boosts glow. Reviews of this BB Cream say it covers better than foundation, whilst blending in perfectly with the skin. Easily one of the top 5 best BB creams for the price tag.
As the name suggests, Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB Cream offers eight key benefits for the skin, including hydration, blurring imperfections, and providing SPF 30. For the price, it’s certainly a worthwhile product. The sheer finish it gives makes it ideal for a wide range of skin tones, and it doesn’t crease like many creams can do throughout the day. It’s also fragrance free, which is great news for sensitive skin.
If you really desire that glowy finish, PhotoReady is a perfect budget-friendly alternative to some of the pricier BB creams. Its translucent photochromatic pigments bend and reflect light, leaving the skin looking radiant, in addition to providing the traditional benefits of hydrating, smoothing and blurring.
Top 3 BB Creams for Colour Variety
An additional mention goes out to these brands for their wide colour variety – offering BB cream for dark skin and pale skin alike.
Advice for Finding the Perfect BB Cream
- Work out your skin type and what you want from a product. For example, if you have oily skin, look for a BB cream with a matte finish.
- Look for a BB Cream with SPF.
- Decide how much coverage you want. Are you happy to go for a tinted BB cream with a light consistency, or do you want full coverage?
- Don’t use too much product- and avoid pairing a BB cream with a moisturiser.
- Mix with your foundation for fuller coverage.
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