Amidst the warmer months, many of us favour a more lightweight coverage than foundation – the answer? BB/CC Creams. A great alternative for summer, these creams offer a makeup base as well as numerous skin benefits: not only do they have a light-reflecting component that give your skin a dewy, luminous look, but they also include SPF, moisturizing and anti-aging properties- all in one little tube!
Formulated in Germany in the 1960s by dermatologist Dr. Christine Schrammek, BB creams were originally designed to protect her patients’ skin after facial creams and surgery. Initially, the formula experienced popularity in Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan from the mid 1980s – with numerous Korean actresses endorsing the product and the widely lusted – after porcelain skin that it offered.
However, BB cream was only introduced to the Western market in 2011, making it appear as relatively novel discovery despite having existed for over 50 years. Meaning ‘Beauty’ or ‘Blemish’ Balm, BB creams are promoted as an all-in-one facial product: the ultimate multi-tasker, it replaces the need for serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation and sun-cream by incorporating all of these elements into its formula. Rather than feeling like you’re wearing layers upon layers of product, this cream offers a texture that’s refreshingly lightweight: more coverage than a tinted moisturizer, BB creams have the added benefit of soothing and healing properties, with many even including hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to regenerate the skin.
Similar, although not the same, comes a newer invention: the CC, or ‘Colour Correcting’ Cream: first appearing on the market as a product of Singapore-based brand Rachel K. Aimed at combating colour-related skin issues, such as acne, sallowness, redness or dark spots, CC cream offers a veil of coverage that neutralizes and evens your complexion. As well as being packed with vitamins C and E, the CC variety often has a higher SPF factor than BB cream and is a less-oily alternative – both creams are hailed as being a substitute for foundation, however, if you’re after more of a natural, lighter look, go for BB cream – if you want more coverage for discolouration go for a CC Cream. Both creams protect, calm and rejuvenate the skin whilst providing coverage- making them the perfect addition to your makeup bag.
Impact Style’s picks: What we’re wearing
Rimmel 9-in-1 Skin Perfecting Super Makeup (Boots, Superdrug £6.99)
I only started using BB cream recently, as I tend to prefer my Clinique CC cream. Despite being a drug-store brand, I was pleasantly surprised by Rimmel – I found that a lot of other BB creams I tested were too oily, watery almost, but this one had a great creamy texture that offers decent coverage without being too heavy. The only downside is that it only comes in three shades so you have to test it before to make sure it matches yours – beware, this cream DOES oxidise and darkens upon use.
However, it’s a great, affordable alternative to some of the more high-end brands- it has definitely worked for me!
The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream (The Body Shop, £12.00)
I use the all-in-one BB Cream from the Body Shop, I’ve been using it for about a year now. I love it’s lightweight texture – I don’t really like wearing foundation because it’s a bit heavy for my skin so BB cream is ideal. The fact that it’s also a moisturizer means I don’t have to put anything on before it, plus one tube of the product lasts for ages. I usually pair it with bronzer on top for a little bit of added colour, but it makes the perfect makeup base for day-to-day use.
Sleek Be Beautiful BB Cream (Superdrug, £8.99)
This is my favourite BB cream to use when I’m having good skin days and don’t really want the full coverage of foundation. It has a smooth texture, and I would describe the coverage as medium, though slightly heavier than other BB creams I’ve tried it still feels light on my skin. It’s really moisturizing, so I would recommend it for dryer skin. It does oxidize ever so slightly, but if I use a primer underneath it, it usually lasts me almost all day. It’s great as it comes in a wide range of skin tones (something a lot of drug store brands don’t offer), and is really affordable. I would definitely recommend.
Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream (Boots, John Lewis, Debenhams £28.00)
Clinique’s New ‘Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30 Hydrating Colour Corrector’ is aptly named. Despite the fact the cream is super lightweight it still fulfills its promise to even out your skin tone and hydrate your skin. Throw in some SPF protection and the fact that the product is oil free as well means not only is it a perfect alternative to a heavy foundation but it looks after your skin as well. What I love about the product is how seamlessly it blends in with my own skin tone, avoiding dodgy foundation lines around your face – it still covers up any skin blemishes despite it’s light consistency. It is on the more expensive side but don’t let its price put you off; I’ve had mine since April and it shows no sign of running out yet since a little goes a long way, making it a worthy investment.
Images: thebodyshop.co.uk, debenhams.com, superdrug.com,