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Double-Duty Makeup: Cosmetics That Multitask

BB and CC Creams: 5 Products in 1?

How much time could you save in the morning if your foundation was packed with sunscreen, moisturizer, pimple ointments, wrinkle cream, and more? Plenty!

That's why blemish balm (BB) and color control (CC) creams are hot and getting hotter. Chemists don't know yet whether they truly improve your skin. So trying one for a few weeks is the best test.

BB and CC creams are more sheer and natural than ordinary foundations. Different formulas for these multi-tasking products actually are very similar. So you can't go wrong if you pick one because you like its fragrance or texture.

What's the difference between BB and CC? "Color control creams are supposed to be lighter in feel, have more of a focus on correcting discoloration, and be more nourishing. But to be perfectly honest, there isn't much of a difference," Wilson says.

Don't expect a BB or CC cream to have the best sunscreen or pimple protection on the market. If you have a specific issue, buy a product designed to help your problem.

Sunscreen May Need to Go Solo

Makeup with an SPF rating is better than nothing, but it won't offer real sun protection by itself.

"To achieve the SPF on the bottle, you need a teaspoonful for the face," says dermatologist Elizabeth K. Hale, MD, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Dermatology. "It would look unnatural, like a caked-on layer."

Instead, put a base coat of regular sunscreen under your foundation every morning. Choose a broad-spectrum sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Mineral Makeup for Shimmer and More

Many women love the look of mineral foundations. They're made up of tiny particles that reflect light, which gives you a bright, healthy glow. These powders usually include a classic sun-blocker like zinc oxide or titanium oxide. They reflect away the sun's rays, providing additional sun protection.

"As the UV rays hit the particles [of makeup], they are scattered," Wilson says. "The likelihood of them penetrating into the skin is greatly reduced."

For full sun protection, apply a base coat of sunscreen beneath mineral makeup.

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