These natural and organic BB creams are a beauty game changer
By Mariam Hassan
The truth is, wearing makeup every day can be a bit suffocating for your pores. Sometimes, your skin just needs a break; it needs to breathe. That’s when BB creams come to the rescue!
In case you’re unsure about what a BB cream is, it’s basically…everything. The ‘BB’ stands for lots of stuff, from ‘blemish balm’ and ‘blemish base’ to ‘beauty balm’. In short, a BB cream is a one-stop, all-in-one facial cosmetic product that can replace your serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation and sunblock. It should keep your skin hydrated, safe from the sun, and should add a little coverage with the perfect tint. It’s practically a makeup miracle!
You are definitely better off using good natural and organic BB creams than a bunch of beauty products. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a consumer using a typical drugstore BB cream would be exposed to an average of 40 ingredients in the product, while a consumer using three separate products – foundation, concealer and moisturizing sunscreen – would be exposed to a whopping 70 ingredients! And of course, if you’re using organic BB creams, you’ll be using even fewer – and much healthier – ingredients.
And yes, ingredients do count. Just take any of your conventional foundations, and check the ingredients on EWG’s Skin Deep Database – you may be horrified at what you discover. The typical BB product the EWG analysed contained up to five hazardous ingredients, including oxybenzone (a typical sunscreen) and retinyl palmitate (the cultivation of which is helping destroy rainforests).
Another potentially harmful ingredient may be hidden in the form of “fragrance,” a “lump sum” term the mainstream cosmetics industry often uses instead of disclosing the actual specific chemicals in the product that make up that scent. But here are just few examples of ingredients that may lurk behind the term “fragrance”:
- Phthalates, potent hormone disruptors linked to birth defects in baby boys
- Octoxynols and nonoxynols, which break down into persistent hormone disruptors
- Citral, eugenol, coumarin and geraniol, which are natural or synthetically derived chemicals that are associated with allergies and contact dermatitis and that have been banned or restricted in the European Union
Because there are so many chemicals lurking in our makeup, we think it’s really important to use only all natural products, and that includes organic BB creams.
You can rest assured that these products, which I’ve tried and tested myself, are not only non-toxic, but are actually good for your skin.
The Best Natural and Organic BB Creams
This is a true multitasking miracle that hydrates, primes, illuminates, and perfects leaving a sheer bare skin finish. It gives some sheer tinted coverage thanks to its specialized mineral pigments, which immediately adjust to your skin’s natural shade, which means one color works for many different complexions.
Of course, the sheer application can be built up to ensure you get just the right amount of coverage. As an added bonus, this BB Cream is packed with some high performance anti-aging botanical ingredients that revive the skin, bringing a natural glow. Your skin’s left looking naturally dewy, youthful and radiant without looking like you’ve plastered on the makeup.
Coverage: light SPF: None Cost: mid range
Apart from being vegan, gluten free and natural, the great thing about this BB cream is that it works for all skin types (although it comes in three shades only). With its lightly hydrating, plant based formula, it naturally improves your complexion, resulting with skin that looks super healthy! Its reflective pigments provide a luminous yet airbrush-like finish. If you like a glowing, luminous look then this is the one for you; if not, you can always set this with a loose powder.
It’s texture is heavy due to it being extremely moisturising, but it does sink in after a while. It provides a light to medium coverage which is the norm for BB creams.
Coverage: light to medium SPF: 15 Cost: mid range
This is an office favourite! It provides some great coverage with a semi-matte finish, but its botanicals-filled formula leaves the skin hydrated and dewy. Maybe this is mainly down to the Aloe Vera, which forms the foundation here and promotes long-lasting hydration along with White Tea and Rosemary Extracts, which also fight free radicals. Another key ingredient includes Sodium Hyaluronate to keep the skin moisturised as well as boosting skin microcirculation underneath the surface. End result: smooth and all-around fuller appearance.
One of the best aspects of Ilia is that it also offers a wide range of shades, catering to quite a few different skin tones, and also acts as a decent sunblock, truly making this at least three products (moisturiser, sunblock and foundation) in one.
Coverage: thorough SPF: 20 Cost: higher end but worth it!
Since the main purpose of using a BB cream is to nourish and moisturise the skin whilst adding a touch of coverage, most BB brands don’t offer a variety of shades – they need to adapt to different skin tones. For example, the Ren’s BB cream comes in one – just one! – shade, but works on a selection of light to medium skin tones, thanks to its innovative colour adaptive, photo-rejuvenation technology, which both tones and gives off an anti-ageing effect.
It works as a corrector, evening out the skin tone and also offers UV and anti-oxidant protection, resulting in gorgeous, radiant skin. The texture is very creamy and quite thick, but it’s absorbed quickly, letting all those ingredients begin to work their magic.
Coverage: light SPF: 15 Cost: mid range
If you’re a fan of Origins, you’ll love this medium coverage tinted moisturizer, which does several amazing things at once: it protects skin from sun damage with its SPF 40, deeply hydrates, evens out skin tone with a natural-looking tint, and gives you a pretty, energised glow that lasts all day long.
Its initial color does seem a bit odd when it initially comes out of the tube, but don’t worry: it’s light, is absorbed immediately, and actually changes color once it’s on your skin.
Coverage: medium SPF: 40 Cost: mid range
Our editor swears by this product, big time, thanks to its thorough coverage and highly natural colours for those of ‘celtic’ or medium complexions – it comes in three shades, light, warm neutral and medium, which is a sandy beige. This hydrates beautifully, and also has a mineral sunblock providing SPF 31 protection, making it the ideal day cream.
There’s also vegetable glycerin here, which fills in wrinkles and prevents that cakey look that some foundations can give.
Coverage: thorough SPF: 31 Cost: higher end, and worth it!
This creamy tinted moisturiser comes in one beige shade that adapts to most medium skin complexions well – but not all, of course. It’s very gentle and calms red, irritated skins well – even those suffering eczema, rosacea and acne – and also hides the redness to some extent, but this is quite a sheer BB cream.
It contains botanicals like Quince Seed and Rose Petal Extracts, and like all Dr.Hauschka’s products, this one is not tested on animals, is comprised of only natural ingredients, and is infused with vital extracts of organic and biodynamically grown plants.
That being said, it does include beeswax, so it’s not 100% vegan friendly. But for any non-vegan who just wants some hydrating protection with a slight tint, this cream is perfect.
Coverage: light SPF: no Cost: mid range
If you’re looking to eliminate dark circles and puffiness with a BB Cream, it can be difficult – this is a delicate area that’s easily irritated. But luckily, vegan brand Klorane’s BB Eye Cream is made for purpose, with its soothing cornflower extract, which calms inflammation, and its roll on design, which offers a gently draining massage around your eye socket, and ensures even application.
Coverage: medium SPF: none Cost: medium priced
This beauty-boosting product is a foundation, cream and sunscreen all in one! This medium coverage formula gives skin a flawless, smooth, more youthful appearance. Formulated without oils or silicones, it’s rich in peptide technology to visibly reduce the signs of aging, while non-nano zinc oxide and melanin provide an SPF 30 and blue light protection to help prevent damage from the sun and computer screens.
Coverage: medium SPF: 30 Cost: pretty low!
This BB cream-sunscreen hybrid offers a light tint and a gentle moisturizer that hydrates skin with a blend of Rose Botanical Stem Cells. The presence of natural minerals provides an SPF of 30 to protect your skin from harsh rays, without feeling sticky or leaving a whitish film. It only comes in three shades, from fair to medium, which is a downer, but if you’re in that tone range and want some light coverage with a strong daily SPF, this one’s for you.
Coverage: light SPF: 30 Cost: higher end
PHB’s moisturising Botanical BB Cream truly blurs the line between makeup and skin care. Made with organic ingredients that nourish and protect skin, it seriously helps to even out your skin tone with a flawless finish.
PHB’s natural and mineral ingredients are vegan friendly and are guaranteed to never clog your pores or look caked on. A mineral based SPF 15 protects your skin from the signs of ageing that appear from sun exposure and free radical damage. Made with skin enhancing botanical extracts of Rosehip, Aloe Vera and Grape Seed oil, it’s perfect for all skin types, including sensitive and acne prone skins.
Coverage: thorough SPF: 15 Cost: lower end
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