Question: What are BB creams?

Answer:  I love new beauty ideas that are based on good science and BB creams are just such a concept.  BB stands for ‘blemish balm”  where blemish is defined as a skin defect ( eg dark spots and splotches and acne scars), not  just  traditional breakouts.

The original BB creams were developed by a Korean dermatologist to help his patients care for laser treated skin.  After having both IPL and frying off my freckles with a YAG laser, I had difficulty finding  appropriate  moisturizers and sun protection products.  The treatments made my skin especially vulnerable to sun damage, yet traditional chemical sunscreens were irritating while  zinc based formulations left my  skin with a weird white sticky film. 

BB creams are a genuinely clever idea.  They are a zinc based high SPF moisturizer/sun block combo that have a flattering tint.  The result?  On the skin it looks  like a traditional, flattering foundation rather than  mime  make-up.  Most of them are enriched with anti-aging ingredients  like anti-oxidants and peptides that also promote healing.

BB creams from Dior, Mac, GArnier and Estee Lauder are promoted not so much for post- laser sensitive skin but as a skin brightener to erase dark spots and splotches.  By coating the skin each day with a high 40-50 SPF, the existing melanin in the skin will be breaking down and new melanin will be prevented.  The results should be a fresher, clearer complexion.

There is good theory here but does it really work?  General skin lightening aka brightness or luminosity, is a hard thing to measure and even harder to capture in a home photograph.  To see if  BB creams can actually make a difference, I am going to take a  Visia imaging scan that can actually see the melanin deposits in the skin.(  I’ve posted this type of photo  before and there results are  pretty startling.)  Then I will use a BB cream for a month and then do another Visia photo.  If the BB cream actually changes the melanin content of the skin, we’ll all see it.

5 thoughts on “Question: What are BB creams?

  1. I can’t wait to see the results! I have invested a fortune in these kinds of creams and can never really tell if they are working. Thanks for taking the challenge!

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