Let’s think about this for a second; how many women do you know actually use a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner and swear it’s the best hair product they’ve ever used? …Exactly.
I’m not saying you’ve never given it a try; we all have. But at the end of the day, my hair just doesn’t feel as soft and clean as it does after I use individual bottles of shampoo and conditioner. So then why would you want to solely use BB cream, the facial counterpart of 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner? You wouldn’t.
BB cream (and all the other alphabet creams for that matter) is just a foundation with clever advertising. It’s known for being an “all-in-one” product, a one-stop shop for all your beauty needs. But just like the boyfriend who says all the right things (but does all the wrong ones), BB cream is essentially a foundation going through an identity crisis.
Well, darlings, we’re here to help. Here are our three things to consider before investing in a BB cream, or any of its cousins.
1. Not (Always) Enough Coverage
BB creams pride themselves on the fact that they give you the best amount of coverage without the heaviness found in a lot of foundations. Beauty companies claim these products give you ample coverage with just dime-size amounts. That being said, a lot of BB creams and foundations share the same coloring agents (such as iron oxide), just in different amounts. So don’t equate BB cream with a makeup-free face because these products are truly just foundation in disguise.
We all have those days or nights when we’d like a little more coverage than usual; but after so many layers of BB cream, your skin starts to feel heavier than if you had just used a liquid makeup in the first place.
I’ve actually found some BB creams to be thicker than their foundation counterparts. Since both products have essentially the same ingredients, why not just skip the BB cream and wear the foundation that’s been working for you for years anyway?
2. Not Enough Sunscreen and Serum
Unlike a lot of foundations, BB creams have high amounts of SPF (usually 30+) and serums in their formulas. As a result, cosmetic chemists (yes, this is a real job!) insist these creams offer numerous anti-aging benefits and have skin-regenerative properties (though some dermatologists argue that a non-retinoid-based product such as BB cream can’t actually offer these results). While sunscreen and serums are both skin care essentials, there is not a high enough concentration of these ingredients to produce results, thus rendering them useless.
The most important thing when it comes to sunscreen is coverage, and since BB cream users are encouraged to use such a small amount on their faces, you’re not really getting as much protection as you would think. And if you’re in the group that ends up slathering on a ton of BB cream because you’re trying to get an ample amount of coverage and sunscreen, well, you’re wasting your money because that bottle is going to be empty before you know it.
If you swear that your BB cream is singlehandedly the best beauty product of the decade, fine. Just make sure you use a separate sunscreen to ensure you’re getting enough protection.
3. Not Enough Shade Choices
BB creams are not a “one-size-fits-all” kind of product. We all have different skin types, tones and preferences with how we like our skin to both feel and look. Unfortunately, there’s not a miracle product that works for everyone; not even an alphabet cream.
So why do cosmetics counters offer seemingly endless options for foundation yet only one BB cream product per label? Because BB creams are trendy and sell. These creams don’t need mica to give you that light reflecting quality that you swear makes you look like Angelina Jolie, and they don’t need talc to absorb excess oil because frankly, you’re going to buy the product anyway. It’s an “all-in-one,” remember?
While BB creams are formulated to blend into your natural skin tone, a true color match is still hard to come by. Sure formulas vary across brands, but if you’re devoted to a specific label, it’s going to be harder to find the right product for you. Some companies have done a better job in the last couple of years to offer more color options to customers, but you won’t find as many choices as you would with a foundation.
Here are the BB creams we found that offer the most diversity with shades:
If you find a BB cream that gives you the coverage you’re looking for in the right shade, I bow down. They’re a lot harder to come by than you’d think. But for the rest of us mortals, a good foundation is a like a best friend: trustworthy, never failing, and one way or another, will always find a way to help you cover up a long night of partying.
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