It’s the marketing hyped ‘miracle’ cosmetic that everyone ‘just-has-to-have’!!! BB Creams may be more accurately described as BS Creams.
Basically they are made with so many different types of silicones that they can never, ever, be termed ‘Natural’ and definitely not ‘Organic’ (though silicones can be called organic from a science point of view, they are definitely not organic from a marketing point of view). By the way, a ‘natural’ alternative to silicone is wax – something I really dislike in skin care products…
Have a look at the ingredients in BB creams (though few of them ever publish ingredients online) and pass over the huge quantity of marketing hype (aka Bull Sht), and you will discover 7 or 8 types of silicones (the ingredient ends in -cone or -silane or -siloxane as a few examples). Usually the first number of ingredients (which means they are the largest quantity in the formula) are silicones.
Silicones provide the ‘sheer’ nature of the BB creams. And because they are a slightly emollient substance (makes the skin feel silky and smooth) they are called moisturizers (and maybe there will be other real moisturizers like glycerin and panthenol thrown in as a side measure). Most of these silicones are water resistant, so they are easily termed ‘protectorants’ by the marketing BS people.
Silicones can be used to make wrinkles appear less deep/pronounced/obvious by way of diffusing light (day light/sunlight/artificial light) that typically will reflect the shadow depth of a wrinkle to the human eye. Diffuse the light and ‘voila’ you get the magical illusion of no wrinkles/shallower wrinkles etc..
As for the ‘one-size-fits-all’ nature of BB creams, well no 2 people’s skins are the same, so how can 1 product with 5 functions be suitable for so many people??? It’s not possible – unless you’re one of the BS marketing people.
If the inorganic minerals Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide are used as the active sunscreen ingredients, and are combined greater than 10% in the formula, then you can classify it as a good sunscreen. It appears that some of the BB creams still use organic sunscreen ingredients (octinoxate, octisalate, oxybenzones etc) which are not good sunscreens (see the video Suncreens: the facts).
If the BB cream is indeed a moisturizer, well not everyone needs moisturizer all over the face – only where you don’t naturally produce your own moisturizer (that natural stuff produced in your sebaceous glands that is critical to the way your skin functions)….. see the video Moisturizers – yes or no? If you only need moisturizing in some parts of the face, but you need sunscreen all over the face, how can you achieve that when the BS marketing people have bundled it all together in 1 BB Cream container? Makes you realize how they don’t really care about your skin after all….
If the BB cream claims to hydrate the skin – well it is doing so by way of the silicones playing the role of an occlusive layer that holds water in the skin. Water held in the skin will naturally make it appear more plump and hydrated. That’s what petrolatum/petroleum jelly/Vaseline/Aquafor do…. The reason why medical professionals recommend the use of petrolatum on wounds is because the more moisture you retain in the skin the more likely the skin is to heal…water is ESSENTIAL in every cell in your body in order for it to repair and replicate. So in this case maybe silicones are playing a similar role to petrolatum….both are synthetic/highly processed substances.
As for all the other ‘anti aging’ ingredients in BB creams, well they probably won’t penetrate the skin unless they are encapsulated in liposomes, or in a lipid soluble carrier environment….and silicones are neither of those…so the anti aging part of the story is just more BS from the marketing people.
As a foundation, it seems to fit the category well. Most foundations these days are silicone based anyway, and many of them have sunscreening ingredients as well as emollient moisturizing ingredients. My preference is for you to get your skin strong and healthy – so much so that it looks great without being plastered in foundation…..but I totally understand that foundations are a great way to cover up/over the sins of your youth (sun damage) or genetically inherited skin issues. Most men like to see a women’s skin naked…meaning no foundation
Improve your skin, don’t hide it… If you have sensitive/red/irritated skin, try nurturing it back to health with Sensitive Skin Clinic products rather than disguising it under foundation every day…you want your skin to look it’s best when all that makeup has to come off…
But if you prefer marketing hype to the scientific facts, then BB creams are just perfect…..
PS: Silicones are becoming a BIG environmental hazard (they bio-accumulate) – affecting the rivers, lakes, underground water supplies (and all organisms in the water) that so many billions of people rely on. The building and manufacturing industries are massive users (and thus polluters by default), but when you add all the silicones used in shampoos and conditioners as well as makeup and cosmetics, all that silicone being washed down the drain each night by hundreds of millions of people….you start realizing the magnitude of the problem….but who thinks about the well being of the planet when their hair and face are their number 1 concern?
Concerned about silicones? You may be interested in this article from Best Health Magazine.