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what is bb cream

What is BB Cream? Here's Everything You Need to Know.

Are your mornings a frantic scramble to get yourself sorted and out the door in time? Then, if you've never heard of BB cream before, it's high time you did!
The ideal answer to a no-fuss, minimalist beauty routine, BB cream is a quick and easy hack to help yourself to a precious few extra minutes each morning. In essence, it's a multitasking skincare product that combines the benefits of several beauty essentials in a single product.
Imagine how much time you can save by swapping out multiple products and steps for one do-it-all cream!

BB cream model


  • BB Cream is a versatile skincare/makeup hybrid giving you light coverage with a natural finish, and additional benefits including sun protection and hydration.
  • Choose the right BB Cream for your skin. Options exist for oily, dry, and combination skin types.
  • Application is easy using your fingers, a brush, or a sponge, for a flawless finish.
origin of BB cream


First developed in Germany in the 1960s, BB cream initially kept a fairly low profile. Then, during the 1980s it became a skincare sensation in South Korea and Japan, accounting for a significant portion of the cosmetics market in those countries.

It was only in 2012 that BB cream really took off in Western markets, and since then it's been gracing bathroom cabinets and makeup bags all around the world.

magnifying glass


Depending on who you ask, the 'BB' in BB cream stands for Beauty Balm, Blemish Balm, or Blemish Base. But it’s not just about covering blemishes.

As a light foundation, BB cream certainly evens out skin tone and minimises imperfections, giving you a natural, luminous finish. Coverage is lighter than a more traditional foundation, giving a sheer, natural finish that enhances your complexion without the matte finish and heavy feel of a full-coverage foundation.

But it's more than just a makeup product: BB cream also hydrates like a moisturiser, primes your skin, and some provide sun protection with an included SPF sunscreen. Whether you've got oily, dry, or combination skin, BB cream is a multi-tasking marvel—you could say it's a beauty balm with benefits!

Let’s look a bit deeper...



One of the biggest advantages of a BB Cream is its ability to hydrate, nourish, and protect skin. BB creams typically contain moisturising humectants and occlusives such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin. They also frequently contain a source of essential minerals and trace elements, such as La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, which has antioxidant, prebiotic, skin softening and soothing properties. Other antioxidants, such as vitamin C, carnosine, and vitamin E to protect the skin against free radical damage from environmental aggressors, are also common features.

girl with sunscreen on face


Speaking of protection from the elements, BB creams also often come with some form of SPF sunscreen protection, helping protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays. Many are rated at SPF15—although this may be adequate protection in other countries, in Australia the recommendation for effective sun protection is a minimum SPF rating of at least 30. All La Roche-Posay BB creams come with a broad-spectrum SPF50+ sunscreen to exceed these recommendations.

sunscreen drop


Avoiding the cakey look of heavy foundations. BB creams offer light coverage to subtly enhance your complexion, giving skin a healthy, natural glow. Depending on personal preference and skin type, BB creams can achieve a range of finishes from a natural, dewy look to a smooth, matte appearance. Regardless, these creams work effectively to hide dark circles and blur imperfections, thanks to the fine mineral pigments at their core.

So, whether you’re going for a 'no-makeup' makeup look or prepping your skin for a more elaborate makeup application, BB Cream has you covered!

cleanser effaclar duo + m


Just like with any other skincare product, you should choose the right BB Cream to suit your skin type and any specific concerns. Here's a couple of suggestions:


If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you'll need a BB cream that:

●     is oil-free and non-comedogenic (doesn't block pores), to avoid making these issues worse

●     controls excess oil and shine without causing further irritation.

Using a BB cream daily is often recommended instead of a traditional foundation because of the way it still covers imperfections, but without risking clogged pores.

La Roche-Posay Uvidea XL BB Cream SPF50+ instantly covers imperfections while giving you SPF50+ broad-spectrum sun protection, helping prevent development of sun spots and other pigmentation issues. Light, non-oily and hydrating, it easily melts into your skin for a smooth, soft-touch finish and long-lasting wear. And it's available in two shades of coverage to suit your skin phototype.



On the other hand, if your skin is dry and sensitive, you should choose a BB cream that is ultra-hydrating and contains both moisturising and soothing ingredients.

Anthelios Ultra BB Cream SPF50+ is a lightweight, nourishing formulation designed specifically for dry, sensitive skin. Lightweight, non-greasy, non-sticky, ultra-hydrating, and easily absorbed, it's comfortable to wear every day. This BB cream evens out your complexion using micro-pigments that melt into the skin, providing a universal tinted finish adapted to your skin tone.

toning mist


Applying BB Cream correctly is the way to achieve a flawless finish. It’s not complicated, but let’s walk you through the steps.


For a start, it’s important to prepare your skin. Cleansing your skin thoroughly is the cornerstone of creating beautiful, glowing skin.

Next, hydrate your skin with a mist spray. This ensures that your skin is moist and silky, ready for BB cream application.

Finally, consider additional moisturising for your skin, if you think you need it, and to provide a smooth base for the BB cream to blend into evenly, enhancing its skin-perfecting benefits.

bb cream


BB cream can be applied using:

●     Fingers: This is recommended for creams with a balm-like consistency, because the heat from your hands helps to melt the product, allowing it to spread easily.

●     Brush: Use a brush for an even, smooth finish. Remember to be careful around the eyes, using just gentle pressure. Blend thoroughly to avoid lines or streaks.

●     Blending sponge: A blending sponge can also be used to distribute the cream. Apply minimally to prevent caking.


Once you’ve applied your BB Cream, you could also add some finishing touches to ensure a long-lasting finish. Setting your BB Cream with loose powder can help control excess oil and create a natural, non-cakey finish. For enhanced durability, a makeup setting spray can also be used.

Don’t forget to keep a concealer stick or compact powder on hand for easy touch-ups throughout the day. Et voila! You’re all set.



You might have come across another skincare acronym – CC Cream – and be wondering, “What’s the difference?”

Although both BB and CC creams share similar capabilities...

●     minimising the appearance of fine lines

●     nourishing skin

●     evening out skin tone

●     covering blemishes

...they also have some key differences. So, what are they?

It all comes down to coverage and colour correction (hence 'CC').

Where BB cream gives you sheer coverage and a natural look finish, perfect if you want to avoid heavy makeup and ideal for everyday wear, CC cream provides greater coverage for concealing imperfections and offers the benefit of built-in colour correction.

So, if you’ve got stubborn blemishes, visible redness or skin discolouration, a CC Cream might be a better bet than a BB cream.

BB Cream is a versatile beauty product that simplifies your skincare and makeup routine. From its origins in Germany to its worldwide popularity, BB Cream has revolutionised the way we approach skincare and makeup. Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, there’s a BB Cream that’s perfect for you. And with the right application technique, you can achieve a flawless finish that lasts all day.

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