The creams are said to originate from Germany where they were first developed back in the 1960s by a Dermatologist to help those recovering from laser procedures. The creams provided hydration and anti-inflammatory properties whilst also providing coverage. They became very popular in Asia and the craze was picked up much more recently by brands like Garnier and Dior who have introduced BB creams into the Western markets.
They claim to do all the jobs of your primer, illuminator, tinted moisturiser and day cream in one. For example they even out the skin (primer) brighten and perk up your complexion (illuminator/ brightener), cover minor imperfections and redness (primer/ tinted moisturiser) hydrate and brighten (day cream) and some even have an SPF.
However, although the new Western versions of the BB cream could cut down on how many products you take on holiday this year they really don't provide the same amount of coverage as a foundation. So if you're looking to cover spots you'll still need a good concealer and or foundation in your make up bag.
If you want a product with more coverage track down one of the original BB creams such as Skin79 or Mischa (try Amazon) which is light weight but covers more like a foundation. The only problem with the original creams is that because they have been produced for the Asian market the colours on offer are limited to light and medium.
These creams really are all about convenience. If you want the convenience of many products in one then they may well be for you. For me personally I would not have a BB cream for every day use and I definitely would not use any of the products on the market in my working kit. The main reason for that is that I prefer the flexibility to use individual products that do specific jobs really well i.e I use a great primer to even and prime skin a specific concealer to correct uneven skin tone and specific foundation that suits my purpose.
However if you want to try a BB cream here's my advice:
When buying a BB cream think of it firstly as skincare i.e pick one for your skin type. So think ...do I have oily or dry skin? do I want help with wrinkles? do I want to brighten my skin?
Secondly think of it as a make up product. Be sure to try it out before you buy it, as you would with any make up and check that it blends well into the skin.
Kelly's Tip: I 'm a big fan of mix and match make up, so for a bespoke BB cream with more coverage mix a small amount of your usual foundation to equal amounts of your favourite new BB cream. Easy!
Missha M Signature Real BB cream SPF 25+. One of the original Asian creams. This product gives better coverage that most but shades are limited to pale and medium pale.
Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB cream. This cream will not provide great coverage but works well when mixed with a little foundation.
Clinique Age Defense BB cream SPF 30. With a high SPF and 3 shades to choose from. This cream has a decent amount of coverage and the darkest shade is much darker than any other I've found.