BB creams: The quick fix buy for instantly flawless skin

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BB creams are the essence of any make-up bag, but that's only if you get it right. Shop our pick of the best all-rounders, now

Sometimes you just have to ask yourself, what on earth did we do before finding the best BB Cream became a thing? Answer: we either went full coverage, bare, or somewhere in the middle with a chalky tinted moisturiser. You know, those ones that made your skin drier than the desert.

BB cream was the starting point for our obsession with all things Asian skincare. Particularly any skin trends and products to come out of South Korea. Fitting, considering flawless, reflective, almost ethereal skin, is the goal there. And with the countless products that make up their daily skincare routine, they easily achieve that level of perfection they’re after.

Known in Asia as a Beauty Balm, or occasionally, a Blemish Balm, the best BB cream is essentially a one-product-does-everything kind of thing. You’ll find super-hydrating ingredients like shea butter or hyaluronic acid, normally a broad spectrum SPF, and other skin loving ingredients like antioxidants. Plus, of course, a touch of pigment to even out your skin tone without looking like you’re wearing a heavy foundation. Consider them a tinted moisturiser, and then some.

In fact, so popular are they, some women have replaced their entire face kit. Serum, moisturiser and SPF included. However, we’ll be keeping our routine exactly ho wit is. After all, a BB cream serves your skin best when it’s incorporated into your routine. Not as a substitute for proper skincare. Korean women use a BB in place of a foundation and that’s really how it should be used.

Although BB Creams found their market in Korea, it was actually formulated the first time round in Germany in the 60s by Dr. Christine Schrammek. She was a dermatologist who needed a product to bridge make-up and skincare for her patients after they had a peel or cosmetic surgery. However, South Korea was the first to adopt the product. And now BB Creams make up 13 percent of their cosmetics market.

So, when did western markets get in on the action? In 2012 and now, the Blemish balms are a part of our everyday arsenal. Most brands offer BB options and in plenty of shades.

But it doesn’t stop there. Spotting a prime marketing opportunity many of the brands overflowing our department store shelves have taken the alphabet theme and run with it. Now you’ll find the best CC cream and DD cream alongside your beloved BB cream. Which has been beneficial, because these days the BB formulas are much better than they were then. So much so, there’s a BB cream to suit every skin type, whether your skin is dry, oily or a combination of both.

Best BB cream for oily skin

Look for ingredients like salicylic acid, which is known for its ability to break down the bond that holds dead skin cells together and traps oil. Also, try BB creams that contain retinol to promote skin cell renewal. And don’t underestimate the power of hyaluronic acid. It’s sounds counterintuitive, aiming for ingredients that hydrate your skin. But, if your skin is hydrated, it won’t try to compensate with oil.

Best BB cream for dry skin

Once again, hyaluronic acid will be your best friend. It’s able to hold 1,000 times its weight in water, making it a great hydrator. Look for humectant ingredients too. They attract from your environment and draw it into your skin.

Now that you’re armed with the knowledge, find your best BB cream in our edit…

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