I realise I’m going to be quite unpopular with the BB Cream-wearing crowd after this, but I can’t just sit by and nod and smile and pretend that I’m willing to be privy to the whole madness that is BB Cream, or CC Cream, or any other alphabet cream they choose to come up with. I know DD and even EE creams exist but that’s just nonsense if you ask me.
I have been sceptical about these seemingly all-in-one products for a long time, ever since I told you way back in the day that I didn’t want to talk about BB Creams. Where possible, I still don’t. Unlike many people, I have not been sold on the idea of BB Creams at all. Sure, I use them. But I use them as I would any other makeup, and I treat them as I would any other makeup i.e. It goes on only after my skincare and must be properly removed at the end of the day.
Despite what we are fed and led to believe, BB Creams are NOT skincare. BB Creams are NOT sunscreen and BB Creams are not a miracle skin perfecting product.
And this is my biggest beef with this seemingly miraculous product. I still stand by everything I said back in 2010 about BB Creams. I use them, and my BB Cream horizon has expanded and I even have some faves, but some recent revelations from people have surprised me so much that I’ve realised that BB Creams could actually be doing more harm than good to the general public. Naturally, you don’t have to agree with me In fact, I’d like to hear your thoughts on this after I’ve had my say.
BB Creams are NOT skincare, they are makeup
I cannot stress this point enough. The statement put to me that bowled me over was when people asked if you could apply BB Cream at night, or if you can sleep in your BB Cream or better yet, whether you need to remove your BB Cream at all at the end of the day.
When asked why they thought the way they did, the answer that came back was “Because BB Cream is skincare, isn’t it?”
Fact is, it is not skincare, no matter how long the list of benefits to the skin it carries. The original concept behind BB Cream was to allow women to wear makeup post-laser treatments when their skin was thin and sensitive. A product that combined makeup (foundation) properties and a healthy dose of skin caring benefits was introduced. This was the BB Cream or Blemish Balm Cream. These days, BB can mean anything from Beauty Booster to Blithering Baloney.
This product does not replace your creams and moisturisers at all. By telling people that a BB Cream has 8-in1 or 10-in-1 benefits that includes whitening, hydrating, anti-aging, makeup etc is almost BS. In the same breath, we are advised to use only a small amount so it doesn’t look heavy on skin.
Now think about that for a minute. How on earth are you expected to derive any skincare benefits from a tiny dollop of cream? If you have believed this, and if you have been abandoning your normal skincare for BB Cream and if you are wondering why your skin is dehydrated and dull, herein lies your answer. You just aren’t doing things right. Ditch the BB Cream, go back to your skincare and moisturisers and creams and you’ll see much better results.
BB Creams do not offer sufficient sun protection
Another statement that has bowled me over is the use of BB Cream in place of a proper sunscreen product. This, I almost blame squarely on the brands who tout their SPF and UV protection properties in their BB Creams, leading people to believe that “Wow! Look, I can skip one step and save on sunscreen! Yay!”
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
High SPF only lulls consumers into a false sense of security. Again, the product may contain a high SPF factor, up to SPF50. But how much of a BB Cream do we put on our skin? A tiny bit. Remember? We are only supposed to use a thin layer so it doesn’t look fake and thick. So, how do you expect to get any or sufficient sun protection under our tropical sun, with just a thin layer of protection between your skin and the skin damaging UV rays?
So, the proper thing to do is to wear a separate sunscreen. Treat the SPF in the BB Cream as a bonus, if you must but it is definitely NOT a replacement for sunscreen, and definitely NOT sufficient for daily wear. I personally discount any reference to SPF in a makeup product. You just won’t use enough of it to be beneficial. If you really want an all in one product, get a tinted sunscreen instead. That is a sunscreen first, makeup second.
BB Creams must be removed at the end of the day
No brand tells you this, but BB Cream is makeup. My advise is to treat BB Creams as you would makeup, and get a proper makeup remover to remove it at the end of the day. This applies to any colour you put on your skin. No matter how beneficial it is, it is still makeup.
The problem I have when seeing BB Creams being pushed, is that the brands will extol the virtues of the skincare benefits and this confuses the customer into thinking that this product is a skincare item that can be left on the skin. Just take a look at the box of your BB Cream. The blurb is almost exactly what you’ll see on a box of face moisturiser. Some even tell you to “Use it as the last step of skincare”. Now if that’s not confusing, I don’t know what is! So, if its skincare, you don’t need a makeup remover right? Perhaps, just a quick wash with a regular face cleanser at the end of the day will do it?
Nope, that’s not the case.
I’ve personally found that the texture of BB Creams tend to sometimes be a bit heavier and oilier than regular foundation. It is also more sticky and sticks to skin. What this means is that the potential to clog pores is also higher. Also, not many people just wear a BB Cream and head out. They will likely pat on some powder or dab on some concealer… you get the picture. It is not skincare, ladies. Let’s wise up, yes? Use a proper makeup remover.
BB Cream is nothing but foundation
Ultimately, this is the take away of it all. A BB Cream is nothing more than a foundation. It could be sheer, medium or full coverage but the primary purpose many people wear BB Cream, if you ask them, is because they want their skin to look better and more eventoned. This is what foundation was designed to do. No one wears a BB Cream because “I am too lazy to use a proper moisturiser and sunscreen”.
When people tired of heavy foundations, along came tinted moisturisers, the pre-cursor to the BB Cream. But these days, foundation runs the gamut of textures from sheer to full coverage and everything in between. Many have included SPF and there are foundations that offer skin caring benefits as well.
Why not use something that has a targeted purpose instead of an all-in-one-master-of-none product?
I’m not saying don’t use a BB Cream. I’m saying, use one if you like but be aware as to what it is. Don’t believe all the miraculous all-in-one claims. Don’t wear it and then tell people you aren’t wearing makeup. You are. You have just been confused to the extent that you never realised it.
I don’t deny that I do use BB Cream (I just found one I like from Guerlain!) but I do not subscribe to the seemingly wonderful skincare benefits they tout. For me, a BB Cream is nothing but base makeup and I treat it accordingly. It goes on after my sunscreen, which is the last skincare product to go on my face. Some work for me beautifully, many don’t. But I think we’ve had enough. The Age of the BB Cream is past and brands should just go back to working on their foundations and making it better instead of churning out crowd-pleasing products, that are the alphabet creams.
Here’s what I’d like to see the brands do : Market a BB Cream as makeup. Scrap the CC Cream. Improve on foundation textures and benefits. Keep the skincare benefits of BB Creams secondary. Stop confusing the public. Our skin will thank you for it.
How much of a BB Cream’s claims do you believe?
None, in my case. I only measure how it works as foundation and discard all skincare/sunscreen benefits. I don’t expect anyone to agree with me on this. But if you’d like to share your views, please do. The soapbox is now yours