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

By: Sam Dhatt
Posted: January 2, 2013, from the January 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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But do they work?

Like other products, the answer lies in the ingredients. As with any formulation, the active ingredients and their concentration determine a BB cream’s efficacy. Depending on the formulation, the efficacy of anti-aging actives could be less than one that concentrates on a particular concern, such as brightening, or treating fine lines and wrinkles. Clients who are more interested in treating a single condition might not be satisfied by using a multifunctional BB cream.

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 clients 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 your clients 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 grape seed extract can be included to protect; collagen-boosting peptides to firm; seaweed (em>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.)