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I have been slow to jump on this bandwagon because I figured it was a passing fad but BB Creams appear to be here to stay.  There seems to be a new one popping up every month, so it’s hard to keep track of which ones are truly a miracle product and which are just hype.  I like the idea of a multi-purpose product because I am so busy that I am often out in the car when I realize I only have moisturizer on my face, and my sunglasses aren’t going to cut it as cover up.

What Is It?
BB Cream stands for blemish balm, but clever marketers have changed it to beauty balm so that those of us with clear skin will still be tempted to buy it.  It was originally formulated by a German dermatologist to treat her patients after chemical peels or laser treatments.  Her clients were South Korean and Japanese actresses, which is why BB Creams quickly became a beauty staple in Asia.  The product combines four products, foundation, moisturizer, sunscreen, and skin care or anti-ageing components.

Active Ingredients
Some of the skin care ingredients you may find in a BB Cream are Hyaluronic acid, to help the skin retain moisture; Vitamin C for brightening; Hydroxyprolisilane to heal and improve elasticity; Abyssine to reduce skin sensitivity, aloe and chamomile to help heal.

How Do I Choose One?
First you must know what your skin needs.  There are BB Creams for dry, oily, sensitive and combination.  You can even buy one by Vichy that is formulated for menopausal skin.  Read the labels and read reviews before you buy.  Many formulations are for oily, acne prone skin, and while they may look great on your dry skin at first, you may end up even drier.  The original creams also had skin lightening properties which are really popular in Asia.

Figure out your skin tone and try to get some samples to find a color match.  Most lines are only offering a couple of color selections and some people end up buying two colors and blending a perfect shade themselves.  It provides a little more coverage than tinted moisturizer, but less than foundation.  You will probably still want a little concealer if you have trouble spots.

Choose your sun protection level.  Most of the BB Creams contain some sunblock, usually between 15 and 30 SPF.

How Do I Apply It?
If you have normal to dry skin, you will have best results applying it after you use your regular moisturizer.  You can use your fingers or a foundation brush to apply.  The benefit of using your fingers is that you will warm the product a little and help it settle into your skin.  Begin by applying a little to spots that need a little extra coverage, like dark undereye circles.  Put a little on the back of your hand and using your fingers apply a dot of product on your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin.  Instead of rubbing it in, gently pat the cream to help spread and blend it, until it disappears.  Allow the cream to dry a little and then set with powder to make it last longer.

Cayla Crenshaw is a beauty expert and freelance writer who loves to find alternative items that she can use as beauty products. She often writes and can be found blogging about anything from the newest beauty products to eco friendly beauty.