The BB Cream Buzz

When I first saw there were products called BB creams, I had to google what exactly that “BB” was. (Blemish Balm or Blemish Base, according to Wikipedia). BB creams started as a product to aid in healing and concealing after laser procedures. These all-in-one foundation-moisturizer-sunblock formulations gained their fame once Asian celebrities started using them. They are finally making a huge impact on the US beauty market. The idea of a multi-tasking foundation is not new. Many tinted moisturizers with SPF play a very similar role, but the buzz around the “BB” is pretty big.  In the drugstore market, Garnier was the first to put out their own version. Always looking for a good product at a good price, I thought I’d put it to the test. The official name is Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream, by Garnier.

My overall reaction is positive. Here’s a quick run-down…


  • *Nice texture; not too thick and not too runny.
  • *Significant skin-evening effect for me, and the light-medium shade blended well.
  • *Long lasting; even after a full day it retained its effect.
  • *Only SPF 15. I’d prefer at least SPF 30, and with an active ingredient like Titanium Dioxide  or Zinc Oxide (this has a chemical blocker called Octinoxate).
  • *Multiple chemical preservatives that can be irritating to sensitive skin
  • *Only two options for skin tone. I know the idea is that a transparent cream should blend with many shades of skin, but I can imagine that some very light or very dark complexions would have trouble making one of the two offerings work.

I think that the best part about this product is the simplicity. As a new mom, I really appreciate having fewer steps in a “beauty routine” (and let me use this term loosely). As a dermatologist, let me warn against the label’s promise to  “renew” skin. That claim is quite a stretch. Regardless, I liked my results and will continue to use it, adding a squirt of my own daily facial SPF to make it more protective.


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