Ask the ESSENCE Beauty Editors: 'What Is a BB Cream?'

Nicole gives the low-down on the BB cream beauty craze.

Q: I've been hearing a lot about BB creams. What are they and what brands are best for women of color?  —Michelle

A: The easiest way to understand a BB cream is to think of it as a new version of tinted moisturizer. BB stands for "blemish balm" so in a literal sense, BB creams are designed to hide dark spots via their skin-perfecting tint. All BB creams contain moisturizing ingredients and an SPF of at least 15. They've been in heavy rotation in Asia for years but just recently we began to see a few BB creams sprinkled on beauty counters stateside.

Now here's where BB creams get tricky. Our editors tried a handful of the latest BB creams sold in the US and most of them were too light for our coffee and caramel-colored skin tones. Several BB creams only come in one universal shade, which unfortunately is bound to leave us darker skinned girls looking ashy. Of all the brands we tried, the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream and the Origins A Perfect World BB Cream both came in colors that suit our complexions and offer lightweight, concealing coverage.

Have you tried any BB creams you love?  Share your thoughts in the comments section!  —Nicole


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