When they were first launched in the market, blemish balms (aka BB base) were touted for their skin restorative properties. For a while, however, I thought they were only a passing fad in the country. Why?
For starters, the tone was too pink or too orange for Asian skin that we all looked like we had anti-itch lotion or were sunburned. The texture was also too greasy for the tropics.
Fortunately, these new formulas from Kiehl’s, Laneige, Colour Collection, The Body Shop and Fanny Serrano have found a way to cut the grease considerably that the finish is satin-dewy instead of shiny, and the tones have incorporated more yellows and beige tones that they make the perfect sheer foundation with whitening and skin healing properties.
Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Actively Correcting & Beautifying with Vitamin C SPF 50 PA+++: This formula took two years of careful planning with Kiehl’s R&D team to ensure:
Stable, non-acidic Vitamin C that will not clash and cancel out the healing minerals in the BB cream or break down under the sun or exposure to elements, to effectively tackle brown spots and sun damage;
High, broad spectrum SPF 50 to protect skin from further damage, preserve the improvements already made and to enable the potent BB base and vitamin C to repair damage uninterrupted by the sun and outside aggressors;
A universal shade will blend with most skin tones with the right texture to eliminate the need for additional foundation.
I am thrilled with the additional vitamin C because this helps rebuild weakened collagen fibers that are responsible for slack skin and gaping pores.
The vitamin C will not only give skin that youthful glow but will also firm up the skin and boost whitening properties. Best for most skin types, but needs powder touch-ups for oily skin.
Laneige BB Snow SPF 47++ : Perfect for the very fair-skinned with pink tones. Yellow-toned girls might take on a ghostly pallor when this is applied too heavily. This did a great job of whitening my bare skin with prolonged use in a three-month period.
I actually went from Bobbi Brown Warm Ivory to Porcelain in foundation. To adjust the too-pink-white shade, I applied a thin layer and topped it with a yellow toned loose and pressed powder.
Colour Collection Gluta Whitening BB Cream SPF 27: A BB cream that has a velvety texture, a good yellow/pink balance making a neutral tone. With nanotechnology, it claims to effectively distribute beneficial skincare ingredients like papaya and glutathione evenly into the skin so it can whiten from the inside out aside from healing skin.
The Body Shop Moisture White Shiso Serum and Base, both SPF 25 +++: If you have oily skin, I would recommend the BB Cream Makeup Base in the tube that has the most matte finish of any BB I have encountered. Tip: Apply by section and blend right away, as it can be hard to spread if left to sit on the skin. Even when I perspire, I don’t look oily. Normal to combination skin? The BB serum inside has a pump applicator and the formula is easier to spread, as it is a cross between a mousse and cream and the coverage is not as heavy as the makeup base. Still not ideal for very dry skin, but most BB formulas have that covered.
Fanny Serrano BB Cream, P299: SPF range is not specified so most likely it’s lower than SPF 15. But the coverage is of the medium range, so it stands as a foundation + concealer + moisturizer. I use it indoors or for evening affairs. What I love about it aside from the price?
There are two shades to choose from and they blend seamlessly into the skin. Oriental is for yellow-toned girls and Mestiza is for those with a more neutral or pink tone. When buying this, it would be best to test on your clean jaw line to see what really blends in. I was surprised that it was the Mestiza that disappeared into mine when I am obviously Asian. This just indicates that I have some pink tones merged with the yellow.
The texture and finish reminds me of Prescriptives Foundation where imperfections are blurred, but I do not look like I have anything on. The finish is dewy, though, so oily skinned gals may have to touch up with powder throughout the day.