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Skin life blog


BB creams:
what’s the hype?


BB creams are generating a real buzz in women’s magazines. Their hybrid formula, combining make-up and skincare, is said to provide a natural, flawless complexion. Florence Benech gives us the lowdown on this new “miracle” product and helps dispel some commonly held myths.

European BB creams are exactly the same as Asian BB creams

False. The BB (blemish balm) creams developed in Korea originally offered high coverage make-up to whiten the skin for that porcelain complexion that’s so highly prized in Korea, while also moisturising and providing sun protection.

These three basic features are also found in European BB creams, but they tend to offer lighter coverage and a rosier tint for that radiant look that European women prefer. And we’re now witnessing the arrival of second-generation BB creams: “In 2013,” explains Florence Benech, “new technologies will give us creams that penetrate deeper into the skin and help combat dullness.”

BB creams work for all women

True and false. They are suitable for normal to dry skin and can also be used on sensitive skin if indicated on the label. But mature skin needs more nourishment and should be treated with specially designed products.

Foundation, tinted moisturiser and BB cream are interchangeable

False. Tinted moisturisers don’t generally offer UV protection. They tend to be highly pigmented and aren’t suitable for all skin types. Foundations come in a wide range of colours with varying coverage, but they don’t offer skincare benefits and only provide minimal UV protection.

Although BB creams are often only available in two different tints, “That’s enough because they offer light coverage and blend into the complexion,” points out Florence Benech. “They subtly improve skin texture with mineral pigments and two pearlizers: red to brighten dark skin, and gold for lighter skin. They provide a really natural look.”

A BB cream is a beauty essential all year round

True. BB creams moisturise in winter, they’re light and refreshing in summer, and they offer protection from UV rays all year round. They’re easy to apply and also easy to remove using a simple cleansing lotion or milk.

You should choose your BB cream based on your skin colour

False. “Always choose a BB cream that offers the skincare you need – with moisturising, smoothing or anti-ageing properties. Check on the label to see if it’s suitable for your skin type – has it been tested on sensitive skin? Is it hypoallergenic? Only then should you starting thinking about the colour,” concludes Florence Benech.

Professional advice to help you choose the right tint

“Opt for a tint that’s close to your skin colour – don’t go for something darker to try to make people think you’ve got a tan!” explains Florence Benech. Try the cream out on a patch of skin that’s similar to your facial complexion, for example on your inner forearm if your face isn’t tanned, or else on the back of your hand.”

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