Do BB Creams (Blemish Balm) Work for Rosacea?


What is a BB Cream?

Perhaps better known to the Asian beauty market, Blemish Balm (BB) Creams are somewhat similar to a tinted moisturiser, perhaps also including some sun protection. Some formulations, especially so in Asian markets may additionally contain skin whitening agents.

I’m sure all rosacea sufferers would like to think that there is a simple cream that could treat their rosacea as merely some kind of blemish and just `balm it away’.

There doesn’t seem to any hard rules about what a BB Cream can contain.

Further, there seems to be many products on the market that claim to be some kind of blemish balm.

Sadly this means that finding a BB Cream that works well for rosacea in general, is probably going to be a difficult task.

Who Makes a BB Cream?

Many of the usual suspects in the cosmetics industry have gotten onto the band wagon and now make a product that is branded as a BB Cream. For example the following products are available to try

  • The Body Shop, All-In-One BB Cream, Colour Adapting Cream.
  • Estee Lauder, DayWear B.B., Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Cream.
  • Garnier, Miracle Skin Perfector, Daily All-In-One B.B. Cream.
  • Dior, Hydra Life BB Creme.
  • Clinique, Age Defense BB Cream SPF30
  • Maybelline, Dream Fresh BB Cream

In the past, lesser known Korean made BB Creams were made by manufacturers mostly unknown to western consumers such as Skin79, Hanskin and Missha M.

What About an Alternative?

Those wanting to try a BB Cream, but concerned about regular cosmetic line ingredients may want to try a tinted moisturiser.

User Reviews

Kim says: I have been experimenting with BB Creams. I have tried Marcelle. I liked it an it blended well. It helped hide the redness well, as it has a yellow tint. It made my skin feel good and had good coverage. I tried the Clinique and the Estee Lauder. They both felt great but did not blend well on my skin. They had a cakey look. I am using Garnier BB Cream right now. It is cheap, blends well with my dry skin and it does not seem to irritate my skin. It gives a good coverage.

Since I have been using BB Cream instead of foundation, I have not had any of the pimple like bumps. My skin seems to be evening out. I still have a lot of redness on my checks and have damaged blood vessels under my skin. The BB cream does cover it up. Right now I am happy with it.

I have also changed moisturizers to CeraVe cream during the day and Vanicream at night. Good luck to you. I know this disease is annoying!

She also followed up with: I have tried the following BB creams. They all felt good on my skin and helped the condition of my skin.

  1. Clinique – Cakey and did not blend well
  2. Estee Lauder – Cakey and did not blend well
  3. Marcelle – Blends well, yellow tone hides redness
  4. BB Garnier – Blends well, good coverage.

Featured Products

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Your Thoughts Please

Will BB Creams die a quiet death as merely an industry fad, or will a few emerge as a useful product in your rosacea arsenal.

Please help by leaving a comment below.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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15 Reader Comments

  1. GKS says:

    I have had moderate Rosa for 4 years..summer of 2011 was the worst..I even had welts on my chest and hands, redness on my face and bumps. Went to Dr,s, had blood tests, nothing helped and no allergies found. MAYBE tomato skins…but I have them on occasion when i am too lazy to skin them—will test that out in time by eating a bunch of them with the skin on. Metrogel helped and I would have some calm days. Heat seems to activate it–i was in FL and Hawaii. I started using Cerave products and the a.m. formula did not irritate my skin–has sunscreen in it. Cetaphil is good too. End of this past June, I had read about aloe vera juice. I tried it in June and within a week my face was clear. I take about 1/8 cup first thing in the morning and just before going to bed. St. George,s Aloe Vera Juice is clear like water and has no taste at all. Lovely stuff. Sometimes I have a few bumps, redness gone and if needed, i use Prosscea which is over the counter and works great. I found a very good BB Cream at Sephora…Sarah McNamara SKIN Transformer spf 20 Face. No more antibiotics and harsh creams. I hope this will help.

  2. chaba says:

    I recently tried the body shop BB cream. I found it a good base, and it did well for evening out my skin and sorting out the dry bits that I usually find ruin the appearance of any foundation products (I wonder if it’s the metrogel that causes the dryness). Anyway, my rosacea is on my nose and chin only and the BB cream definitely helped to blend both to a colour closer to the rest of my face. I did have to top up with foundation to provide proper cover. I’m experimenting with the body shop extra virgin minerals for this-it’s OK but wears off and needs reapplication.

  3. Foxylady says:

    I suffer horribly with Rosacea which was diagnosed a few years ago but for most of my life I have had acne. I am now in my early sixties, but as a teenager and into my twenties, I was prescribed steroid creams and uv treatment as well as oral and topical antibiotics! Of course those treatments combined with a love of the outdoors have exacerbated the condition. The redness is one thing but the lumps and bumps quite another. I have tried pretty much everything including IPL which I think actually made it worse (texture and colour). My dermatologist even considered putting me on low dose rioccutane but when I read the side effects I thought it was too risky. As a compromise she suggested taking Minocycline (which always clears the spots) twice weekly which is what I am now doing but I worry about the long term side effects. I also use Rozex (metrogel 1%)cream but it tends to make my skin sore and even redder. I first came across the term BB when Estee Lauder launched their product earlier this year and I loved the idea of a moisturiser/sunscreen/foundation in one but I found it far too heavy and sludgy and El refunded the price with no quibbles. I have found Clinique products can also be heavy and they are the same company. I tried their redness range but some of it was so yellow I looked jaundiced – again a no quibble refund. I used tinted moisturisers in the past but the sun screen protection is not high enough for rosacea sufferers and the coverage is not adequate. I am now using Bare Minerals and I love the range. You can blend the colours to get an exact skin match and they also make excellent concealers. The spots and pustules have also reduced since I have been using it. However it is time consuming as I start with a serum followed by a moisturiser and factor 50 sunscreen (Heliocare Gel). This is a bit of a performance as you have to apply products one at a time and then wait for them to sink in – you also have to use Prime Time which is the Bare Minerals primer although it is very good and helps to diminish large pores. For cleansing and toning I use La Roche Posay – they have a range designed for Rosacea which is excellent. I also use a night preparation containing Retinol but have to be careful as it can aggravate the redness. Please somebody invent a cure for this miserable affliction.

  4. Cathy says:

    BB stands for Beauty Balm, not Blemish Balm. 🙂

  5. It seems that BB Cream is now a marketing and can mean whatever you want ….

    According to wikipedia (and that does not mean it is true …)

    BB stands for “blemish balm, blemish base, beauty balm or beblesh balm (apparently because of a trademark in Korea on the word “blemish”), and in Western markets, beauty balm.”

  6. Joanne says:

    My 1st dermatologist, 24 years ago, prescribed Metrogel which I found burned and caused more breakouts. He was unwilling to try other medications so I switched dermatologists after 2 months.
    My second dermatologist gave me a long list of foods I should not eat, told me to protect myself from the sun and over-heating, and prescribed Azelex (azelaic acid cream) 20% which I used successfully for many years. I also use to take erythromycin 250 mg daily but which I rarely need now.
    The only reason I stopped using the Azelex was due to losing my ability to pay for it.
    I still have rosacea but the acne is much less of a problem; sun and heat are still triggers for the redness. I try to wear a wide brim hat for sun protection.
    My current dermatologist suggested I use Johnson & Johnson’s Purpose cream and cleanser (available at CVS and, generally, Walmart). The cleaner is mild and the cream has an SPF of 15 (they used to have a SPF 30 version but I haven’t been able to find it for a number of years).

    GKS, I will look into your suggestions. Thanks so much.

  7. From another comment –

    “I am using CeraVe pm facial moisturiser, Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture SPF15 (for a sunscreen moisturiser) and Diorskin Nude BB Creme as my foundation. All seem to work well and do not irritate my skin. For years I used lancome and it was a terrible irritant. I tried CeraVe AM moisturiser which contains a sunscreen but this irritated my skin. I use the CeraVe cleaner and it is wonderful.”

  8. jessica says:

    I tired the cerave hydating wash and it irradiated my eyes.i, m going back to neutrogena extra gentle cleanser

  9. Andrea says:

    I am using CC creams. They are more moisturizing than BB creams. Clinique is what I am using now and it has good coverage. I recently tried a sample of Stila CC cream and it goes on grey and color matches itself. I liked that as Clinique has many colors and it can be hard to match.

  10. Comment via FB from Robin.

    “Look at Youtube reviews to see them in action before you buy. I do that with almost all makeup I buy.”

  11. Comment via FB.

    “It Cosmetics has the highest coverage BB (CC) cream out there. BB and CC are the same by the way. Just a different name. You can get it at Ulta stores and QVC. Urban Decay just came out with a new one that is supposed to have higher coverage, I haven’t tried it yet though. Keep in mind that most BB/CC creams are light coverage. They are slightly more coverage than a tinted moisturizer. So it depends on your level of rosacea and how much of it you want covered.”

  12. from FB via Felicia.

    “I use Clinique’s CC cream and think it covers pretty good, goes on smooth, and looks very natural.”

  13. Comment via FB

    “Bioderma Sensibio AR BB cream covers really good!”

  14. Nat says:

    Best Blemish Balm so far i have ever usedm is B.B. cream from Dr Schrammek.
    It has a mild and natural coverage and really calms my skin down.

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