BB cream—also known as Blemish or Beauty Balm—is the latest cosmetic craze, an all-in-one product that creates a dewy, more even complexion. The secret’s out: this makeup must-have acts as a skin primer, tinted moisturizer and sunscreen. It also helps to heal skin irritation and is packed with anti-aging ingredients such as collagen and ceramides.
The brainchild of Dr. Christine Schrammek, this balm was formulated in the 1950s in order to soothe skin and disguise redness after dermatological procedures. It wasn’t until 2005 that BB cream gained momentum as a cosmetic, first in Asia, and then all over the world.
Don’t be fooled by the “blemish balm” moniker: not all BB creams are suitable for sensitive or acne-prone skin. Those with very oily skin may want to try a fast-absorbing water-based formula, such as Dr. Jart Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25.
Eco chicas, rejoice! Dr. Schrammek’s very own Blemish Balm is paraben-free and finds its inspiration in nature, with licorice root, jojoba oil and zinc oxide. Alex Organics Pure BB Cream is the first certified 100% organic BB cream and is recommended by the eco beauty experts at Peppermint Magazine. At $90, it’s not cheap, but it contains botanical ingredients featured in Schrammek’s cream, as well as almighty argan oil, making it perfect for all skin types and gentle on the environment.
The cosmetic industry is notorious for leaving women of color out of the foundation game; BB creams often come in limited shades suited to lighter skin tones. However, Glamour Magazine reports that, starting in January 2013, Iman is adding BB Cream in six shades for a variety of skin tones to her cosmetics range. Finally, perfection for all!