BB Creams: What is All the Hype?

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BB CreamsIf you have picked up a beauty magazine in the last year, you have probably seen the sudden explosion of a group of beauty products called the BB cream.  It’s hard to forget this super catchy name, and patients have been asking me “what are BB creams and should I get some?”

The “BB” in BB cream stands for Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm.  It’s sort of like an amped up version of a tinted moisturizer with slightly denser pigment.  The massive trend started in Asia, where Dermatologists in Korea developed healing balms with tint or coverage to use on patients who had recently undergone procedures such as laser, and needed a moisturizing balm that could also cover up redness and irritation.  The trend was quickly picked up by celebrities in Asia, and has exploded across the globe into European and American markets as well.  BB Cream products are typically formulated with broad cosmetic coverage, sunscreen, and healing ingredients such as grape seed extract, antioxidants, or brightening ingredients such as alpha-arbutin.   BB creams are designed for sensitive skin or skin that needs evening of pigmentation due to redness, acne, or sun spots.

BB Creams So is it worth the hype?  Well, as with all things, it depends on the brand and your unique skin type.  BB Creams are particularly compatible with the increasing demand for simplicity in beauty routines. Because BB creams offer a natural cosmetic coverage with sun protection and anti-aging ingredients, it truly can be an “all-in-one” product.  The key is to find a product that color matches well to your skin, and does not leave a chalky residue.  It should feel light and natural, while offering enough coverage to hide blemishes.  Some of my favorite brands include the Hanskin Premium Magic BB Cream from Korea (wonderful coverage), available on, Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream (a lighter consistency), and Too Faced Tinted BB Cream Glow (great match for light to medium skin tones).   Most BB creams are very reasonably priced given that they can multi-task as a foundation, moisturizer, and sunscreen.  So I say, treat yourself to a tube and throw it in your bag for those mornings when you find yourself with barely enough time to brush your teeth before heading out  . . .  It’s a beauty secret for those of us on the go!


. . . Shared by Dr. Chiu and The Derm Institute Team