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BB Creams: Beauty Balms, Blemish Base or Just Brilliant Beauty?

By: Sam Dhatt
Posted: February 27, 2013, from the April 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

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However, BB creams provide an option for those who don’t have the time or the desire to apply multiple products in the morning. For women on the go, the all-in-one formula provides most of the benefits they need to get out the door, offering an anti-aging boost without much effort. By swapping a regular foundation with one that also has sunscreen and anti-aging benefits on a daily basis, mature consumers who might not otherwise use these products should notice a difference.

In most cases, the benefits—whether they be lightening or firming—are gradual. It’s important that consumers understand that the coverage, as well as the benefits, are best layered and acquired throughout time.

Some BB creams treat blemishes or address specific aging issues with the addition of peptides, anti-inflammatory agents and moisturizers. A few brands have added light-reflecting particles and pearl pigments for shimmer to give skin a glow, while others are sticking to whitening agents; stable, oil-free forms of vitamin C; or synthetic molecules that also protect against UV rays while evening pigmentation. Vitamins A, C and E, Co Q10 and grapeseed extract can be included to protect; collagen-boosting peptides to firm; seaweed (Laminaria saccharina extract) and tea tree oil to reduce sebum production; and plant sterols and licorice to soothe and lighten. (For a more complete listing, see BB Cream Active Ingredients.)

Look for a noncomedogenic product and read the label. Research the ingredients listed first to find out what they do to determine whether the product will provide the desired results.

Please note, however, women should only use BB creams in lieu of sunscreen if the BB cream includes broad-spectrum coverage of at least SPF 15,the level determined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a viable sunscreen.

Making the Right Choice

Men are also getting in on the BB action. About two years ago, the Korea Times reported a new trend among males purchasing personal grooming items beyond the typical aftershave, with eye and night creams, and BB creams now on their radar. As with their female counterparts, men like the “bare-faced” coverage these creams afford.

With so many anti-aging creams, serums, primers and moisturizers on the market, many busy consumers are seeking to simplify their beauty routines and welcome the all-in-one application BB creams offer.

Sam Dhatt is an award-winning cosmeceutical chemist who serves as the CEO and president of DermaQuest Skin Therapy and Allure Labs, a product formulation company, both of Hayward, California. During his more than 20-year career, he has developed and manufactured skin care products for more than 700 companies. Dhatt is a frequent expert author of articles featured in many trade journals and skin care publications.