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    The buzz behind beauty balms.

    What Are BB Creams?

    BB Creams and Your Beauty Regimen

    If BB creams won't replace every product in your skin care regimen, they can help those products work more effectively.

    "I love BB creams," says Wu, who uses one herself under her lightweight foundation to help conceal acne scars.

    "I'm devoted to my foundation," she says, "and there are a lot of women out there like me who wouldn't think of giving up the foundation that works perfectly for their skin. A BB cream can help you achieve fuller coverage without having to move up to a heavier foundation that feels like a mask."

    By itself, a pea-sized dab of BB cream (that's all you need) can provide just the right amount of coverage for a casual day. "We're all in a hurry and BB creams are fantastic time-savers," says aesthetician Veronica Barton-Schwartz, owner of a Malibu, Calif., skin care studio, who counts locals Olivia Newton-John, Suzanne Somers, and Cher among her clients. "The formulations keep getting better and better."

    If you're after a low-key look, that BB cream might indeed be all you need to tote for your skin care and beauty needs. It's also a good solution, Wu says, "for someone who's very natural and doesn't like the idea of wearing makeup, but wants to protect her skin and cover up some imperfections."

    Or his skin. Men can now buy BB creams that are made specifically for them.

    After these do-it-all BB creams, what's next? Get ready for CC creams. These "color-control" creams are said to have a lighter texture, more coverage, and better hydration than their BB brethren.

    Brush Up on Beauty

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