BB creams are the essence of any make-up bag, but that's only if you get it right.
Everyone is on the hunt for the best base. Nailing this means that the rest of your look will be on point. One of the best bases on offer is the bb cream. The best bb cream can be found somewhere around the tinted moisturisers, but they do very different things…
What is BB Cream?
BB cream was the starting point for our obsession with all things Asian skincare. 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 over the last five years they’ve become so popular that they have become a staple product in many make-up bags. A BB cream serves your skin best when it’s incorporated into your routine.
Although BB Creams found their market in Korea, it was actually formulated the first time round in Germany in the 1960’s by Dr. Christine Schrammek, a dermatologist who needed a product to bridge make-up and skincare for her patients after they had a peel or cosmetic surgery.
But when did western markets get in on the action? They rose to prominence in 2012 and now the Blemish balms are a part of our everyday arsenal – almost every brand will offer BB Cream options and in plenty of shades.
But it doesn’t stop there. Spotting a prime marketing opportunity, many of our favourite brands have taken the alphabet theme and run with it. Now you’ll find the best CC cream and DD cream to suit you, and an array of BB creams for 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 sounds counter-intuitive, 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, as 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…
This is a Marie Claire favourite. There are 8 shades and it easily caters for all skin tones. The name is a bit of a giveaway; the formula is almost water-like and so it effortlessly blends out over skin to give a very sheer amount of coverage that still conceals obvious spots and skin discolouration. Apply a couple of drops to the back of your hand with the pipette and then blend over your skin with a densely-packed foundation brush.
Clinique's Age Defense BB Cream is one of the best. It not only conceals imperfections and hydrates the skin, but also helps prevent premature ageing thanks to some hard-working UVA/UVB protection. And to top it all of? It comes with a lovely dewy finish. Perfect.
There are only two shades of this BB so you should try before you buy, but it is absolutely superb for sensitive types. It contains thermal spring waters so it is very gentle and soothing on sensitive skin. If you're prone to redness and irritation, this product won't exacerbate that like a lot of make-up. It is totally brilliant for anyone with acne inflamed skin, severe dryness and rosacea. Plus, of course, it has a high SPF.
Bobbi Brown's BB Cream SPF35 not only protects instantly, but corrects over time too. Inspired by the BB cream trend - a blend of skincare and make-up - which started in Asia, this formula combines moisturiser, treatment, sun protection and foundation all in one. Pick which of the 9 shades suits you and brighten, hydrate and smoothe your skin with its water-attracting molecules, light-reflecting pears and pore-reducing peptides. You won't want to be without it again...
This BB combines the two things we look for most in any kind of skin care or make-up product: a high SPF - to protect skin against UV damage, and mega luminosity. Clarins certainly know how to do great skin and the 3D radiance pigments in this BB make skin look almost Photoshopped.
Origins' first BB cream may glide onto your skin with a light and fresh feel, but don't let that fool you. This is a seriously hard-working, multi-tasking beauty product. Origins A Perfect World BB features a potent blend of ingredients - think antioxidant silver tip white tea, moisturising trehalose and SPF 15 - that delivers perfecting, protecting and hydrating benefits in one lightweight formula.
Thanks to Mac's Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm we can bin our primer, foundation, moisturiser and SPF, because this little beauty does it all. The light formula glides on with ease and gives such great coverage that you might not buy your regular foundation ever again. The balm creamily re-texturises your skin, offers high sun protection with an SPF 35 and adds illuminating optical effects to the skin's surface for that coveted healthy glow.
L'Oreal's Nude Magique BB Cream mimics the texture and glow of flawless nude skin for that natural barely-there look.An instant hit on the MC beauty desk, this balm also keeps skin hydrated for up to 24 hours and protects against the sun with an in-built SPF 12.
An instant skin perfector, Estee Lauder's DayWear Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Creme delivers beautiful glowing skin in one simple step. Available in two skin-perfecting tints, this light-feeling cream can be worn alone or underneath your regular foundation to provide sheer coverage that minimises flaws and maximises your skin's natural radiance.