The 5 Best BB Creams

By on December 1, 2013

Not every woman needs the full, and often thick, coverage that most foundations create for the face. Those lucky ladies who are blessed with smooth skin, small pores and clear complexions may be able to forgo liquid makeup altogether (we’re jealous!), but that doesn’t mean they should leave their face completely bare. Moisturizing is a must, and protecting your skin from environmental elements, such as harmful UVA and UVB rays, toxins in the air, and pollution that can produce free-radical damage, is key.

That’s where BB creams come in. The two Bs stand for a number of different terms, including “Beauty Balm,” “Blemish Balm,” or “Blemish Base.” They were originally formulated and sold in Asia, where they were an enormous beauty product sensation. It took some time, but eventually the U.S. caught on, and now you can find these multifunctional creams everywhere.

BB creams are all-in-one formulas that are part tinted moisturizers, part primers, part concealers, part skin protectors and part problem-area treatments. They’re truly are amazing, multi-tasking products that are lighter than makeup and contain skin-sational extras, such as minerals, anti-oxidants and vitamins, which benefit the complexion in ways other creams cannot. They create a clear, smooth and glowing complexion that’s achieved in just one simple step.

Even if your face does require more coverage than what a BB cream alone can provide, they are still great for use underneath traditional liquid makeup and/or powders. They’re infused with so much skin-saving goodness, why not incorporate one into your usual beauty routine? Here are five of our favorite beautifying “Blemish Balms,” “Beauty Balms” or quite simply (and now widely know as) BB creams.

1. Estée Lauder DayWear Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit BB Crème, $39

This long-lasting BB cream is packed with anti-oxidants which help fight free-radical damage that can lead to premature signs of aging, such as dark spots and wrinkles. It also has an SPF of 35 to provide protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays. The formula is oil-free and also absorbs excess oil, to help keep skin clear and blemish-free. It’s also very light, so it’s a perfect BB cream for skin that doesn’t require too much coverage. It does contain a touch of tint, however, which helps even out skin tone and conceal minor imperfections on the face. And it does stay put all day, giving you up to 24 hours of fabulous, facial perfection.

2.  Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream, $14

Garnier’s BB cream has become a cult favorite in the drugstore aisles, perhaps because it targets such a wide a variety of skin concerns. It’s intensely hydrating and smoothes dry skin on contact. It contains a host of healthy minerals, and is infused with anti-oxidant-rich vitamin C, which boosts the radiance and luminosity of the skin. Additionally, a mighty mixture of hyaluronic acid, lipidure microspheres and glycerin retains water in the skin, maintaining maximum moisture and keeping previously dry derma soft and supple.

3. Stila Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm, $38

Stila’s HD Beauty Balm is perfect for priming—it glides onto the face incredibly smoothly, leaving an even, imperfection-free canvas for easy makeup application. Its high-definition formula helps reduce pore size, absorb excess oil, and keep skin clear and free of pesky pimples. Stila’s BB cream is an excellent anti-age fighter, as well It contains micro spheres, which have been shown to hide skin imperfections and reduce wrinkle depth by up to 84%; it’s enriched with bamboo and pea extracts, which help diminish the appearance of fine lines; and it’s infused with natural, skin-protecting emollients which have been shown to increase anti-oxidant activity by up to 89.7%.

4. Dr. Brandt Skincare Flexitone BB Cream, $39

What is Flexitone, you ask? It’s Dr. Brandt’s exclusive tone-blending technology, which helps correct redness, irritation and uneven skin texture. This cream is perfect if you tend to suffer from occasional breakouts, flaky skin or dry bumps. Dr. Brandt’s cream also provides excellent sun protection, with a broad spectrum SPF of 35, contains Pearl Powder, which increases luminosity and adds a healthy looking glow to the complexion, and Perilla Oil Complex, which moisturizes the skin continuously. Plus, it brightens and beautifies with one universal shade, so you don’t have to worry about searching for the perfect match.

5. Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35, $44

One of the earliest BB creams to hit the U.S. market, Bobbi Brown’s formula is simple yet supremely effective and beneficial. It’s nice and lightweight, making it a perfect choice for those lucky ladies who can skip using foundation or cream powders. With an SPF of 35, it protects the face against damaging UV rays, keeps skin smooth and supple with its mega moisturizing properties, and treats existing spots or blemishes with a mild infused formula. Plus, if you suffer from an uneven skin tone or random redness, Brown’s BB cream now has nine corrective shades to choose from, ranging from Extra Light to Rich, all of which were carefully formulated by Bobbi herself.