........A Chicago area beauty blogger's foray into day-spas, med-spas, and countless beauty counters........

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B.B. Creams: Not Replacing Skincare Products

I think we need to get real about B.B. creams (blemish balms / beauty balms). They're no miracle and they're not going to "change" your skin like good quality skincare products with high grade, high potency ingredients. They're not going to make it so you can give up your antioxidants or your retinols or your acne creams, or whatever your anti-aging /clear skin rituals are.

That said, what B.B. creams are is CONVENIENT. They're tinted moisturizers with a kick. Most have a hint of color and SPF and are of course moisturizing. Each brand out there varies in what it does---some have primer, others have antioxidants, many have pearly pigments to reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines, some have peptides or a high concentration of water to plump skin.

Some brands have only 2 colors and others have up to 5. They blend with multiple skin tones because they're not heavily pigmented and they're much lighter coverage than foundation. These creams usually absorb into the skin enough so that no powder needs to be applied to set them like with foundation.

B.B. creams tend to be advertised as something that will "change" your skin, but for the most part, they don't contain enough anti-aging products, if any, to do anything except mask skin flaws. In Garnier's version for example, the active ingredient is octinoxate, a sunscreen.

They're great if you're on the run and want light coverage since you apply them like a moisturizer instead of blending as you would foundation, but yes, you do still need to invest in a skincare program if you want anti-aging benefits or are fighting acne. For a night out you're probably still going to want to wear foundation instead for more coverage and a flawless look.

The prices range from around $10 at drugstores up to $60 at department stores, averaging around $39. Dior makes one, as do Smashbox, Stila, Garnier, Clinique, Too Faced, and a few other brands have jumped on the B.B.cream bandwagon. I've tried a few and the color does run if you're working out and sweat a bit, and they also run if your face gets wet. The color comes off on pillow cases and towels too. They're convenient and easy, particularly for people who don't typically like to wear much makeup, but they don't have the all-day wear of a foundation.

In general, B.B. creams are a good product and easy to use, but they're not replacing skincare programs or foundation as commercials would have us believe. They're pumped up tinted moisturizers for light wear and quick application......and there's nothing wrong with that!