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All beauty editors and experts seem to be raving about these days are BB creams! As an independent, 21st century gal, I’m ashamed to admit I had no idea what a BB cream does. As cosmetic companies galore have been throwing these must-have products our way, I figured it was about time I did my research!

Root out your bobby socks, short sleeved blouses and poodle skirts from the back of the wardrobe ladies, as we’re heading back to the fifties where the BB cream was born! German dermatologist Dr Christine Schrammek created an ointment for patients who had undergone laser and peel treatments. The cream was created not only to smooth and protect the affected skin but also to reduce the redness of the area. Placing her entrepreneurial hat firmly on her head, Dr Schrammek then marketed the cream and sold it as a blemish balm.

So the initials ‘BB’ stand for just that – Blemish Balm, and the product has been marketed as the Willy Wonka of the beauty industry. The first ladies savvy enough to grab this golden ticket opportunity were the women of Korea!

Introduced in to South Korea and Japan in the 1980s, BB cream has been named ‘the secret of the Korean actresses’ due to its skin-regenerating properties and anti-inflammatory, soothing effect.

Not one to miss a trick, Garnier launched what they claimed to be their ‘miracle skin protector’ BB cream in early 2011 on this side of the pond, leaving beauty buyers scratching their heads.

Reading up on the vast promises of a BB cream, you’d have expected the bottled to have floated down from heaven, halo and wings perfectly intact! It claims to brighten skin in the same way a primer does, even out complexions like a lightweight foundation, cover blemishes like a concealer, has the hydrating properties of a moisturiser, soothes skin like an anti-inflammatory, contains UV protection and the sort of anti-ageing ingredients a wrinkly old prune would die for!

Since then, the make-up meet’s skin-care products have flooded UK and Irish beauty markets. Dior and Clinique quickly followed Garnier and at present, Smashbox, L’Oreal, MAC, Estee Lauder, Vichy and Maybelline have all put their respected brand names to a BB cream. There’s even been a men’s brand created for the sometimes neglected male market.

The emphasis is less ‘I’m on my way to a club with a full face of slap’ and more on creating a flawless, no-make-up look with the added properties of an SPF protector.

The product is feather-light and sheer to apply and many users believe the BB cream has been the one and only answer to their skincare woes. They don’t cover up as well as a foundation so although they may reduce redness, if you’re acne prone, do not expect full coverage.

With so many brands and beauty experts pioneering BB creams as the must have beauty buy of 2012, the make-up junkie within you can embrace the new craze, whatever skin type or price range you have to work with. So get up, get out and embrace the natural look!


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  1. Judith says:

    I’ve started using BB creams & love them