I am an unabashed low-key traveler when it comes to beauty products. At most I only pack mascara, eyeliner and concealer. Most days I completely go without makeup entirely. So when I heard about BB cream, I knew I had to give it a try. I wanted to make sure to pick something that wouldn’t mess with my sensitive skin and eczema, so I did research beforehand. I’ve definitely added BB cream to my small travel makeup kit.
What is BB Cream?
BB cream stands for blemish balm, a cosmetic popular in Asia that is now growing in popularity in the United States. A good BB cream should be a tinted moisturiser with a minimum SPF 15. You may need to wear concealer or powder in addition, but BB cream is a great base layer, particularly since it doesn’t look like you’re wearing makeup. It also evens out your skin tone.
Why Should I Pack BB Cream?
We’ve said many times how much we love a twofer and BB cream is no exception. Putting BB cream on first thing in the morning means you won’t have to worry as much about getting sunburned. With that said, if you plan on being out all day, I recommend reapplying every few hours. It’s easy to pack, as the tube doesn’t take up more room than your standard lotion. The cream works as a sunscreen, lotion and anti-aging treatment in one. I also love that a little bit goes a long way. One tube, if used correctly, should last you a couple of months.
What Brand is Best for Me?
Pick your favorite beauty brand and they likely have their own BB cream. Each brand has something different to bring to the table and there is a cream for each price range.
Olay Fresh Effects Skin Perfecting BB Cream: Olay has recently released its Fresh Effects line with the BB cream, skin cleanser and lotion. Each of these products is relatively cheap and keeps your skin from drying out.
- Best for: Sensitive or shiny skin
- $11.00 on Amazon
Clinique Age Defense BB Cream: Some of us love Clinique and their BB cream is no different. It comes in a variety of shades and is SPF 30 with an age defense solution to keep wrinkles at bay.
- Best for: Fair or aged skin
- $40 on Amazon
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream: This cream claims to be 8-in-1, with benefits like SPF 30, hydrating and evening skin. It’s also lightweight, which doesn’t feel heavy on your skin and clog your pores.
- Best for: Sensitive skin
- $8 on Amazon
Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream: This product matches skin well and doesn’t make you look like you got a bad spray tan.
- Best for: Normal skin
- $10 on Amazon
Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream: For our vegan readers, the Pacifica line of products are made cruelty and gluten free, as well as 100% vegan. It uses minerals to match your skin tone.
- Best for: Vegans and sensitive skin
- $16 on Amazon
Melissa @ Suitcase and Heels says
I have a small obsession with BB creams and recently came home from Korea with 4 different ones. I have the Maybelline one but I find that it doesn’t give me very good coverage. It moisturizes ok doesn’t do much to even out my skin tone (I tend to be redder around the nose).
My person favourite right now is the Anti-Trouble BB cream from Innisfree (http://www.bbcosmetic.com/innisfree-apple-juicy-deep-cleansing-foam-150ml.html#.UYKDg8oYKKI) I’m also a fan of their No-Sebum BB since it keeps my combination skin from getting too shiny during the day. This stuff has staying power too.
If you can find a place to buy BB cream from Korea, I highly recommend it. There’s a catch though, it generally only comes in light colours so if you have darker skin you’ll be out of luck.
Heather Scoggins says
I agree with Melissa the Korean BB creams are much nicer then most of the ones made here. My favorite is the Skin79 pink label, works like a dream. I’ve tried the Maybelline, Garnier, and Hard Candy drugstore BB cream lines. None are good for oily skin, it seems as though Garnier has made in oil free kind so they may be worth checking out.
Garnier does have a special BB cream for oily skin (I got mine in the UK, they have it here in Austria too, not sure about everywhere else), which I personally like a lot. (It doesn’t moisturise as well as the other one, but the shade is much better – the other one is a bit reddish – and has a matte finish.)
I use the Estee Lauder one in the summer (SPF 35), which is really great for oily skin, but it’s a bit pricy so I use the Garnier one when I don’t need an SPF that high during the colder months.
Thank you for this post, Caroline! I love BB creams/tinted moisturizers, and I really like that you included some at different price points. Do you have a favourite?
I really like the Estee Lauder Daywear BB cream, but it comes in so few shades and it is pricey to buy on its own (I always get it at GWP time, which makes it a great deal). I would love to try the Korean ones as they invented the stuff and I have heard rave reviews about their formulas. Thanks for the recommendations, Melissa and Heather! I will check Korean shops here and see if I can find those ones.
I love the MAC cosmetics prep+prime BB. It has spf 35, it’s not oily, doesn’t make my acne-prone skin worse, has a nice dewy finish and is light reflecting so makes me look my best. One tube lasts me just under 6 months so it’s well worth it, the price tag is perhaps more than olay/maybelline, but it’s worth it.
I love Kiehls BB Cream. It has SPF 50 which is great for my super fair skin.
I use the Garnier BB cream. It’s excellent, and works well with my light warm skin tone and dryer skin type. I use the “light” which is the palest tone they offer.
I’ve been very happy with it, and the 50 ml tube is fine for carry on.