Last week I wrote about the latest and greatest in foundations. For part 2, this week I'm focusing on BB (beauty benefit) creams (also known just as beauty balms), which are, thus far, the biggest cosmetic trend of 2012. But what exactly is a BB cream? Basically it's a very lightweight foundation that also provides benefits for your skin, including moisturizers and sunscreen. They don't all offer the same things though, as Fashionista points out: "BB creams can do any or all of the following, depending on which one you choose: hydrate like a moisturizer; fight acne and aging like a specialized treatment; nourish like a serum; brighten like a toner; smooth skin texture like a primer; cover blemishes like a concealer; even out your skin tone like a sheer foundation; refine fine lines and wrinkles like an eye cream; add luminosity like a highlighter; and protect against UVA/UVB rays like a sunscreen." Sounds great, right?
The first BB cream was invented in the 50s by a German dermatologist who wanted something that would help heal her patients' skin and protect it from the sun after chemical peels but that also would hide redness. These creams have been all the rage in Asia for years but only now have swept through North America. Last year Sephora introduced Dr. Jart's BB cream (a bestseller in Korea) and MAC released a beauty balm, and this year we see even more BB creams from Estée Lauder, Clinique, Smashbox, Garnier and Stila.
It's hard for me to believe one product can do all the things these claim to, plus I rather enjoy taking the time to apply my regimen of moisturizer, sunscreen, primer, and foundation. However, if you're pressed for time or simply don't want to be bothered layering on various products, these BB creams could be perfect for you. What do you think? Have you tried or will you be trying out a BB cream?