D-I-Y BB Cream

What is BB cream?  It is an all-in-one beauty product.  BB stands for beauty balm or blemish balm.  This multi-tasking hybrid of skin care and makeup reportedly does the job of 6 other products: skin treatment, moisturizer, sunscreen, primer, concealer, and foundation.

Many BB creams contain broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher, which is the daily use recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.  BB creams tend to contain zinc oxide or titanium oxide, which provide water-resistant sunblock.

Regarding skin treatment, BB creams can contain:

  • Anti-aging components (eg: peptides & antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, & E)
  • Moisturizing components (eg: hyaluronic acid & glycerin)
  • Ingredients to help even out skin tone (eg: licorice & arbutin)
  • Light-reflecting particles to give skin a luminous finish (eg: mica)
  • Silicone-based ingredients to help smooth the skin, like a foundation primer (eg: dimethicone)

DIY do-it-yourself beauty blemish balm moisturizer foundation skin

Where Has BB Cream Been All My Life?

German dermatologist Dr. Christine Schrammek developed the first BB cream in the 1960s in order to help protect her patients’ skin after undergoing surgical procedures.  It was further developed by Korean cosmetic companies in the 1980’s.  In 1985, BB cream was introduced to South Korea and Japan, where porcelain skin is highly valued.  In Asian markets, skin-whitening properties are an important element in the popularity of BB cream.  In 2011, Western cosmetic companies such as Garnier launched BB creams tailored for Western markets.  For example, Estée Lauder’s formulation for North America does not include whitening properties.

Pros of BB Creams:

  • Save time and money in beauty routine
  • Contain SPF
  • Conceal blemishes better than tinted moisturizers
  • Can be used under a lightweight foundation to help conceal acne scars
  • Help achieve fuller coverage without having to use a heavier foundation

Cons of BB Creams:

  • Not as effective at moisturizing
  • Thicker texture than tinted moisturizers
  • Do not contain acne-fighting ingredients (acne ingredients and SPF cannot be combined into a single product due to FDA regulations)
  • Limited range of shades
  • Target fairer skin tones (original formulations are high in white pigments)

Who Should Use BB Cream?

  • People with normal to oily skin
  • People who don’t need heavy moisturizers or anti-acne products
  • People with light to medium skin tone
  • People who don’t like wearing makeup, but want to protect their skin and cover up imperfections
  • Men can use BB cream too!

What About People With Darker Skin Tones?

Fortunately, there are some BB creams that cater to relatively dark skin tones:

  • Sleek’s Be Beautiful Blemish Balm
  • Gosh’s BB Cream
  • Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB cream
  • Smashbox’s Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35
  • Illamasqua’s Skin Base Foundation

Which BB Cream Is Right For Me?

Before buying any BB cream, do some research.  Since BB creams come in fewer skin tones than conventional foundation, expect to test several creams before finding the right one for you.  When testing BB cream, wait for at least 15 minutes to see if it matches your skin tone, as formulas often change hues and take time to settle.

To apply BB cream, use your fingertips to lightly warm up a coin-sized amount of the cream.  Apply it all over your face, lightly dabbing your eyelids.

Do-It-Yourself BB Cream

DIY do-it-yourself beauty blemish balm moisturizer foundation skin


Bhagwandas, Anita. “Beauty for Dark Skin: the BB Cream Debate”The Guardian, March 15, 2013.

Leung, Hannah. “Learn Your BB CCs”Global Times, March 24, 2013.

Levitt, Shelley. What Are BB Creams?, WebMD, October 5, 2012.

Niven, Lisa. “10 Best BB Creams”Vogue, January 17, 2013.

What Fragrance Personality is Your Man?

Fragrances can often reflect our mood and personality.  They react differently according to our own chemical makeup, bodies, and age.  To determine if a fragrance suits your chemical makeup, test it on your bicep because this constantly-working muscle will quickly warm up the fragrance and mix it with your body’s own natural scent.  Allow one hour for the fragrance to mature on your skin.

Several factors influence how a fragrance interacts with our own physiology and affects our perception of that fragrance.  These factors include our metabolism, our diet (eating spicy and fatty food increases a fragrance’s intensity), illness, use of medication (which impacts a fragrance’s character), and our skin type (dry skin does not hold fragrance as long).  Fragrances are more intense on oily skin.  A good general rule of thumb is to change your fragrance depending upon the season.  Go for lighter scents during the warmer weather and stronger scents during the drier, cooler weather.  Fragrance needs to be stronger in the winter to be noticeable because less skin is exposed at that time of year.

It is important to keep the cologne bottle in its original box; the notes can change if you use different packaging.  Cologne is comprised of three levels of “notes,” or fragrances.  The top notes are those that you smell immediately and are most noticeable within 15 minutes of applying.  The middle notes emerge after 10 or 15 minutes and reach their peak after 3 or 4 hours.  The deeper, bottom notes last the longest and can linger on the skin from 45 minutes to 8 hours or longer.

Masculine scents tend to be dry (non-sweet) and fresh, while feminine scents tend to be sweet, sensual, and warm.  In Michael Edwards’ Fragrance Wheel, there are 4 families of notes:

  • Floral ~ predominantly feminine
  • Oriental ~ predominantly feminine
  • Woody ~ predominantly masculine
  • Fresh ~ predominantly masculine

Fragrance Wheel 2010

Men’s Fragrance Personalities

When choosing a cologne for your man, try to match the scent to his personality:

  • Confident/Wise ~ Fresh scents
  • Sexy/Adventurous ~ Woody scents
  • Easygoing/Fun ~ Woody scents
  • Sensitive/Shy ~ Woody scents

Fresh scents have universal appeal and are light enough to be worn all day long.  Woody scents bring out the sensual nature of the wearer.  BeautiControl’s BC Man Cologne (18766) is clean, fresh, and modern with a subtle, woody warmth.  Top notes of citrus, pink peppercorns, vetiver, and peppermint, and middle notes of grapefruit, jasmine, nutmeg, cedarwood, and rockrose, balance perfectly with bottom notes of ginger, patchouli, sandalwood, and moss.  It has a concentrated formula for long-lasting fragrance.

To order from BeautiControl:

Should Men Use Skincare?

Why not??  Who doesn’t have an extra little spring in their step when they know they’re lookin’ good?  Regardless of gender, taking care of ourselves on the outside can affect how we feel on the inside.  Dryness, wrinkles, and lack of elasticity are signs of aging.  Men want to improve their skin and combat the signs of aging.  For that reason, it is very important for men to keep their skin moisturized and give it all the vitamins that it needs.

Today I will be reviewing BeautiControl’s BC Man Skincare collection (19616) , which is pH balanced for a man’s skin.  BC Man is an easy to use 3-step regimen that easily fits into every man’s shaving routine.  The BC Man collection also includes BC Man Cologne (18766), which has a zesty citrus scent.  I recommend it for men of all ages who love a clean, modern fragrance.

BC Man Collection


Step 1 in a daily skincare regimen for men of all ages is to prepare the skin each morning by cleansing.  Renewing Face Wash (18946) is a lightweight gel cleanser that removes deep-down dirt, sweat, and oil without drying out the skin.  This gentle formula is non-comedogenic – it does not block the pores, thus it may help to reduce acne.

Key Benefits:

  • Exfoliates the top layers of dead skin cells, making it easier to shave and giving skin a healthy glow
  • Works to prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps
  • Effectively cleanses skin without drying it out
  • Soothes and calms skin
  • Potent antioxidants protect skin from environmental damage
  • Leaves skin feeling clean, clear, and smooth
  • Preps skin for a comfortable shave
  • Ophthalmologist, dermatologist, sensitivity, and allergy tested.  Non-comedogenic.  Oil-free
  • Paraben-free

Key Ingredients:

  • Beta Hydroxy Acid ~ Provides mild exfoliation with substantial moisturizing and soothing peptides that also help regenerate skin cells.
  • Antioxidants ~ Protect skin from environmental damage.
  • Aloe ~ Helps to soothe, moisturize, and soften skin.
  • Ginkgo Biloba Extract ~ Helps soothe skin and stimulate cell renewal and rejuvenate skin.


Comforting Shave Creme (18945) is a lightweight shaving lotion that contains botanical oils to help soften the hair prior to shaving and allow the razor to glide effortlessly over the skin.  This formula also contains Jojoba oil, which is an excellent moisturizer and emollient.  It helps to improve skin elasticity and suppleness, and protects skin from the damaging effects of free radicals.  It is a natural oil that is the most similar to human sebum.  It contains vitamin E, which is well known for promoting healthy and clear skin.

Key Benefits:

  • Formula helps razor to glide effortlessly over the skin
  • Soothes and calms skin
  • Potent antioxidants protect skin from environmental damage
  • Lightweight formula won’t clog your razor and rinses easily
  • Dermatologist, sensitivity, and allergy tested.  Non-comedogenic
  • Paraben-free

Key Ingredients:

  • Botanical Oils ~ Help soften the beard and prep the skin for shaving.
  • Antioxidants ~ Help protect skin from environmental damage.
  • Jojoba Seed Oil ~ Helps prevent moisture loss and cell damage, promoting a soft, smooth, and healthy appearance.
  • Ginkgo Biloba Extract ~ Helps soothes skin and stimulate cell renewal and rejuvenate skin.
  • Creatine ~ Energizes skin and protects from environmental damage.


Triple Duty Moisturizer (18947) is ideal for daily use.  This lightweight, oil-free, enriched moisturizer acts as an after-shave balm, anti-aging serum, and moisturizer, all in one easy product.  It satisfies the 3 basic components of healthy skin (Maintenance, Repair, & Prevention).  For more information about MRP, see my earlier post “Healthy Skin 101.”  My husband recently started using Triple Duty Moisturizer.  After only using it for a few days, he went to get a haircut from his stylist for the past 15 years.  She immediately commented that he looked about 10 years younger!  Needless to say, he came home beaming.

Key Benefits:

  • Provides lasting hydration to skin without feeling oily or heavy
  • Soothes and calms shaving irritation
  • Potent antioxidants protect skin from environmental damage
  • Fights common signs of aging, like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, uneven texture, and loss of firmness
  • Leaves skin with a healthy, matte appearance
  • Dermatologist, sensitivity, and allergy tested.  Non-comedogenic.  Oil-free
  • Paraben-free

Key Ingredients:

  • Antioxidants ~ Protect skin from environmental damage.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate ~ Helps increase the skin’s moisture retention.
  • Panthenol ~ Helps to protect skin from irritation.
  • Peptides ~ May have anti-aging properties.

To order from BeautiControl: