We'll start with the hype. The idea of BB creams is that they function as a light makeup for everyday use, but also contain both sunscreen and powerful skincare ingredients that will improve the look of your natural skin over time. There are different versions for all kinds of skin types and benefits, from acne-clearing to anti-aging and oil-absorbing to moisturizing.
BB creams became extremely popular in asia, particularly Korea, and gained a good reputation for the makeup/skincare/sunscreen claims. Naturally, western brands started to pick up on the craze and have taken advantage of it by marketing many things as BB creams and trying to one-up each other with skin-perfecting claims.
I tried the Garnier BB Cream (one of the first drugstore versions) last fall, but was pretty unimpressed with it. It felt heavy and greasy on my dry skin and definitely didn't make my skin any better. I thought I might give another brand a try, so I started doing some research on what might be the best inexpensive brand out there. Reading blogs and watching YouTube videos of those who had tried many of the western versions, the same conclusion kept popping up - don't waste your time, the Korean versions are so much better.
Turns out that many of the western brands (especially the lower-end versions) are essentially re-packaging tinted moisturizers and marketing them as BB creams. There's nothing wrong with tinted moisturizers, but it's becoming more difficult to determine which versions actually have skincare incorporated. I ended up doing some more research on some Korean brands of BB cream and ordered one to try myself. Before I get to that, here are the pros and cons!
Korean BB Creams
Pros - powerful skincare ingredients, better coverage, may improve skin over time and lighten dark spots, not too expensive.
Cons - many brands only come in only one color, must purchase online, there are problems with fakes being sold on eBay and Amazon.
Western BB Creams
Pros - more easily accessible, wide price range, most brands offer at least several skin tones to choose from.
Cons - may not include many skincare ingredients, less coverage, better versions are expensive.
Based on this info, I decided to order the Skin79 VIP Gold Collection BB Cream (buy here), which is an extremely popular brand in Korea and is a formula made for drier skin. Skin79 also makes a bright pink bottle that is the most popular for normal/combination skin. All of the Skin79 products seemed to have rave reviews on YouTube so I figured it was worth a try. And at about $20 I wasn't going to break the bank either.
I've been using the Skin79 for about a week now, and I really like it so far. I have been a BareMinerals user for years, but sometimes it feels to drying on my already-dry skin, so I was looking for an alternative. This stuff definitely does the trick. It's moisturizing (no dry spots throughout the day) without feeling heavy on my skin, and gives enough coverage for everyday use. It doesn't really look like I'm wearing a layer of foundation at all; I would say it looks natural but like I just have slightly nicer skin than I actually do. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who likes a natural look and has skin on the drier side.
Have you guys tried any BB creams that you liked or didn't like?