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I’m sure I’m not the only on who’s been fascinated by BB. BB, or “beauty balm,” is the new makeup/anti-aging sensation that many brands (Garnier, Smashbox, and Clinique, to name a few) are starting to make.
BB cream originated in
Asia Germany, and then was popularized in Asia. In Asia, any skin imperfection is considered a blemish, hence the name. In the U.S., BB tends to stand for “Beauty Balm.” BB is a multi-tasker that acts as moisturizer, foundation, and sunblock.
Before trying BB, I was most interested in that last item. Why? Well, let me tell you a little story. Several months ago, my mom’s doctor discovered a basal cell carcinoma on her nose. Basal cell is very common and very treatable type of skin cancer, but it scared me because my mom has always been super vigilant about sunblock as an adult. I, on the other hand, was always pretty lax about it in my teen years. And I’m pale, so I know I’m pretty high risk.
(My mom was treated and the BCC was extracted, but not without several procedures and having to wear a large bandage on her face for weeks.)
After my mom’s experience, I vowed to wear broad spectrum sunblock (SPF 30 or higher) on my face every single day. One problem: I didn’t own any.
I had been using Trader Joe’s 15 SPF face lotion, which is good, but not great. That’s when I started seeing ads for BB cream that promised to even skin tone and protect with 30-40 SPF protection. One specific BB that caught my attention was Hydroxatone’s BB Cream, thanks to Dori’s impressive before and after videos (watch Part I and Part II). I was fascinated that she was able to wear it before a race and still look impeccable afterward.
I emailed Dori (she works for Hydroxatone) to ask her if she thought their BB would make my oily skin any oily-er (I usually need very mattifying products!). She said the Hydroxatone BB was mattifying, and she also generously offered to send me a sample in exchange for my review. I was super excited and agreed. Dori recommended I go a shade darker than usual because Hydroxatone’s BB runs light. I’m pretty fair and usually go for light makeup shades, but I went with medium on her advice.
It was a good choice — the shade works perfectly on me. And even more exciting, the BB does everything it promises to do!
It has broad spectrum SPF 40, which is the primary reason it was so appealing to me (always look for broad spectrum, kids), but it also evens my skin tone and smooths. I did a quick before and after to show you the difference (please excuse the Photobooth pic and wet hair). I just dot it all over my face in a very light layer and then apply more wherever I need a little extra coverage. This is without any other product at all on my face:
Without looking overly makeup-y — you guys know what I mean! — the BB smooths, evens, mattifies, and protects. You can tell in this before and after that my under-eye circles are less visible, my skin is less blotchy, and everything just looks more creamy. Even more wondrous: It doesn’t make my skin oily or contribute to breakouts at ALL! It actually seems to help control the oil. I’m officially in love.
I’ve worn the BB every day since I got it, and I definitely plan to buy more once my first bottle runs out. I know lots of other brands have come out with their own versions of BB, but I’ll probably stick with Hydoxatone’s since I know it works for my skin.
Have you tried any BBs yet? What did you think?