Award-Winning BB Creams

The best of the BBs - trialled by real women Unless you've been living in a cave, you'll have noticed that BB creams have become an almost hysterical buzz, in the last couple of years.  Short for 'beauty balm' (or 'blemish balm', although that's a bit misleading because they're not generally about concealing spots), BB creams are actually somewhat akin to a tinted moisturiser, somewhat akin to a primer.  On some complexions, a BB cream may be all you need, in summer, to even out skintone.  Otherwise, they're best layered under foundation.  Is it really worth adding this 'extra step' into a summer skincare regime?  Not in every case, was our testers' verdict.  But panellists - who judged almost a couple of dozen candidates for YOU Magazine's Summer Sun Special - were most impressed with these.

BEAUTY STEAL No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream SPF15 Boots-No7-Beautiful-Skin-BB-CreamScore: 8/10 In quite a few categories, this summer, a less expensive product triumphed - and that's the case here.  Unlike most BB creams, this offers three skin type options, including one for Dry/Very Dry skins, and two shades (Beauty Bible tested Medium).  It moisturises, illuminates, gives light coverage and protects skin. According to Boots, it has a 'three-in-one' formula, evening and enhancing skintone, but also helping to banish blemishes.  So:  in this case, it is also something of a blemish balm...!

Comments:  ‘Applied on top of moisturiser this made my extra dry skin look flawless, natural, even, with decent coverage but no clogging’ • ‘loved the way it highlighted my eye area and improved skin texture’ • ‘the best product I have used for a long time, would recommend it for a complexion boost - good price too’ • 'I rarely wear full make-up and BB technology is quite a discovery for me:  I really like the idea that it is more than a tinted moisturiser, achieving the concealer effect and brightening the complexion for those of us who do not like the feel of a heavier foundation' • 'very impressed:  I wasn't expecting the results it gave:  really good coverage, which lasted all day' • 'the best product I've used in a long time;  I'd recommended it to anyone for a skin boost'.

No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream SPF15/£12.95 for 40 ml - buy here


LUXURY Estée Lauder DayWear BB Crème SPF35 estee-lauder-daywear-bb-cremeScore: 7.31/10 From Estée Lauder's DayWear range (which we recommend constantly for its high-performance), this is a personal favourite of the Beauty Bible team, so we were delighted our testers voted it in to this short line-up. We applaud the high level of sun protection, too. In two shades, our diligent slatherers tried Light/Medium.

Comments:  ‘So light but so covering that I used it as foundation with neutral finishing powder on top’ • ‘face looked smooth, even-toned and brighter’ • ‘covered thread veins by my nose, disguised pigmentation and some open pores, my husband said I looked “well” – will definitely re-purchase’ • 'incredibly easy to apply and surprisingly smooth;  skin felt good all day' • 'it has the consistency of a mid-range foundation:  not too thick and definitely not too runny - much like double cream (without the calories!)' • 'the formula is near-on perfection:  it applies smoothly and evenly either with fingers, sponge or a brush, and also sinks in well' • 'the fragrance of this product is nice and fresh - slightly like cucumber or melon and perfect for the summer months as it's so refreshing and light'.

Estée Lauder DayWear BB Crème SPF35/£32 for 30 ml - buy here


Terre D'Oc Bb CreamNATURAL WONDER Terre D’Oc BB Cream Radiant Foundation SPF

A real multi-tasker from an up-and-coming certified organic range based in Provençe, this conceals imperfections, evens out skin tone, illuminates skin and offers anti-ageing benefits.  In three shades – we trialled 951 Petale Rose.  It's almost the only natural BB cream we've come across, but it did better than many 'conventional' beauty rivals that we trialled. Score: 6.57/10

Comments:  ‘Really silky feel and surprisingly effective as a moisturiser, and fantastic make-up primer – made skin much more even-toned and healthier’ ‘hid small blemishes nicely, and pigmentation’ • ‘made my skin look glowing, plumper, more dewy and younger, made my open pores disappear – and it lasted all day’ • 'very easy to apply and effective as a make-up primer:  it leaves your skin very smooth and even' • 'illuminates skin nicely, feels nice and light and evens skintone in a natural-looking way'.

Terre D’Oc BB Cream Radiant Foundation SPF/£24.95 for 30 ml - buy here (or call 01557-870266)

TIP Dry skins may need to layer a BB on top of moisturiser.