NEW ORLEANS - It's the latest skin beauty buzz sold in department and drug stores.
So how well do experts think BB creams work?
They are on many store shelves, marketed by different cosmeceutical companies with incentives to try a sample and get money off in many women's magazines.
"These things have been real hot in Asia for years," said Dr. Deirdre Hooper, a dermatologist at the LSU Health Sciences Center.
Hooper, says her patients at Audubon Dermatology, like BB creams because they shorten the skin care routine.
"If I tell my patient to use eight products, but she's in reality only going to use two, this is a way to streamline that regimen," said Dr. Hooper.
The Beauty Balm or BB cream usually has a few to several active ingredients including: light foundation coverage, sun block, ingredients for anti-acne or aging, redness, brown spots, dryness or wrinkles. They come in different combinations, and while newer to the U.S. market, they were formulated in Germany in the 1960's by a dermatologist to protect her patients' skin after surgery. They were later endorsed by Asian celebrities in Korea and Japan in the mid 80's.
But keep in mind the sunscreen SPF may be low and the anti-aging ingredient may be the weaker retinol, not the prescription retinoid such as Retin-A or Renova.
"These are all going to contain cosmeceuticals. These are not going to contain FDA-approved, double-blind study things, that are going to show and be proven, that they are going to anti-age you. So absolutely you should combine these with a retinoid and other scientifically proven ingredients in your skin care regimen," explained Dr. Hooper.
Remember, the worst wrinkle maker is the sun, not birthdays.
"I have not been wowed by any of the effectiveness I have seen, but my patients are very happy. And if it's a way to get my patient to put sun block on her face every day, I'm perfectly happy to use it," she added.
There are also CC or Color Control creams now on the market. They are for uneven skin tone with a higher rated sun block.