The BB cream (Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm) has been popular in the Western beauty world for the last 2 years now however, this has long been a staple in the Asian beauty market for the past 5 years. So what's all the rage?

These creams promise a long list of benefits. It boasts to be a moisturizer, a sunscreen, a primer and a treatment serum all in a single cream. They claim to:

  • Even out and lighten pigmentation

  • Reduce blemishes

  • Cover-up erupted blemishes

  • High broad spectrum SPF

  • Anti-aging

  • Improves skin texture

  • Hydrating

  • Adjust to your skin tone

So what's the verdict?

I'm not entirely convinced that it is any better than a tinted moisturizer or a foundation used on top of your normal sunscreen. I keep buying and trying these creams based on the idea of de-cluttering my dresser and saving me time in the morning but I've found almost all of them:

  • Don't blend into your skin well

  • Leave behind this sticky residue feeling

  • Make me look ashy (a sign of the wrong color)

  • No significant improvement to my skin texture, blemishes or pigmentation

At the end of the day, it feels greasy and I just can't wait to wash it off. I love the idea of the BB cream though - one cream that does it all leaving you with porcelain skin, but alas, I did not see much improvement in my blemishes or lighter pigmentation even after a good month of using it. Some BB's are better than others, but for the time being, I think I'll be sticking to my sunscreen, foundation and night serum routine.

  • L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

    L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream (US$10.95)
    One of the better ones I've tried although there is no sun protection. Used on its own, it didn't give me the coverage I liked to cover up my pigmentation but used under my foundation, it made me glow. I'd probably use this as a primer but not as a BB cream.

  • Dr Jart Premium BB Cream

    Dr Jart Premium BB cream (US$39)
    This comes in one universal shade which made me a bit nervous. It was one of the very first BB creams I tried. It has a thick consistency and takes a bit of work to blend into skin. Its universal shade did make me look a little ashy (grey/washed out), but it did give me a flawless complexion. It made the texture of my skin look healthy and had very good oil control for the entire day. It did leave my skin a little sticky, but a small tradeoff for a good product!

  • Hera Mineral Multi BB SPF 40++

    Hera Mineral Multi BB SPF 40++ (US$40)
    This absorbed into my skin better than some others with no sticky residue but it again left me with an ashy looking appearance that blush could not fix. It comes in only 2 shades (No 1 Bright Beige and No 2 Natural Beige). It also has a strong fragrance which I didn't mind, but it may be intolerable to others who are sensitive. I like that this was a mineral based cream and it had adequate SPF.

  • Bobbi Brown BB cream SPF 35+++

    Bobbi Brown BB cream SPF 35++ (US$60)
    This absorbed into my skin better than some others with no sticky residue but it again left me with an ashy looking appearance that blush could not fix. It comes in only 2 shades (No 1 Bright Beige and No 2 Natural Beige). It also has a strong fragrance which I didn't mind, but it may be intolerable to others who are sensitive. I like that this was a mineral based cream and it had adequate SPF.

  • La Roche Posay Melt-in BB cream

    La Roche Posay Melt-in BB cream (US$25)
    I was really looking forward to trying this BB cream. La Roche Posay makes great sunscreens so it made sense for them to venture into BB creams. The SPF was impressive, however it came in only 2 shades; 01 Light or 02 Medium. This left me with an ashy looking face and a sticky residue on my face. It also made me look very greasy after a few hours of wear.