Why BB Creams Make You Breakout

I finally got an answer! Remember when I told you about how BB creams gave me cystic acne? Now I know why!

Interviewing Dr. Jennie De Jesus, associate dermatologist at the Aivee Clinic at Mega Fashion Hall.

As a beauty journalist, I always start as skeptic (which probably explains my serious face) and research about the real reason behind beauty dilemmas. So I interviewed Dr. Jennie De Jesus, associate dermatologist of the Aivee Clinic, about BB creams.

I had been using BB creams for years, which is why it took me so long to figure out that this was the trigger. All I know is that once I stopped using my beloved BB creams, my breakouts went away (more details here). BUT WHY??? I desperately needed a medical explanation for this, so I was thrilled when Dr. Jennie had an answer.

Here’s what she had to say about it:
“Because the consistency of BB creams are so fine, it may clog pores easily and lead to breakouts,” says Dr. Jennie. “I don’t recommend it for girls who have oily skin, are acne prone, or those with large pores. BB creams are good for women with normal or dry skin types.”

So there you go! Dr. Jennie also said that the fine particles can clog your pores little by little over time, which is why your acne can become cystic. If your skin type changes a lot (especially with the weather), then I suggest you stay clear of this formula for the sake of your skin. It’s really not worth the risk! Trust me! After a year of staying cystic acne-free, I thought it might be safe to try a new BB again (couldn’t help it). And guess what? I got 3 cystic pimples about three weeks after. So it’s really over. I’m not giving in to the beauty temptation anymore and I’m officially breaking up with BBs for good. Excuse me while I look for tinted moisturizers now…

Are you one of the lucky girls who can use BB creams? Or do they make you breakout, too? ♥

  • Now I know! Thanks for sharing Ms. Nicole :)

    • You’re welcome, Danica! Wishing you (and me!) clear skin forever :) Haha

  • Jillsabs

    And it’s difficult to find a BB cream that suits a Pinay’s morena skin pa.

    That’s why at the end of the day, my tinted moisturizer is still my best beauty find. Hail! Hail!

    • Ooh, what tinted moisturizers are you using? P.S. LOL at “Hail! Hail!”

  • Yaaaa, that might be the cause…I had my acne extracted by a derma, quit using BB, and got regular facials until my skin calmed down. Been good ever since :) Good luck!

  • You’re welcome :) Hope this helps!

  • You’re welcome, Jhessica! Sana makatulong :) And sayang, hopefully I’ll get to meet you at the next BDJ event!

  • i have oily skin and i have been experimenting on a lot of bb creams since it’s hard to find a good shade match… thankfully i’ve never had any serious breakouts… when i do have minor breakouts, they’re probably hormonal (time of the month and such).. i do have large pores on my cheeks, but i think this is genetic… would just probably use up all my BBs and not repurchase any more…

  • Ana Razon

    Wow. Thanks for sharing this Ms. Nicole. I have oily but sometimes dry skin. Maybe i should use BB na lang pag may event na pupuntahan para di sayang. Hihihi.

  • cheekeegirl

    yay! i won pa naman BB cream,,hehehe.. i have oily skin too

  • some bb creams break me out. buti na lang hindi lahat! thanks for this post, will share it :)

    • Wala, I’m scared na to try! Hahaha! And yay—thanks for sharing, Brigitte! <3

  • tet

    I love using BB creams and thankfully, I didn’t had any breakouts. Drink more Yakult na lang. Hihi :)

    • Lucky youuuu!! Haha, yes, Yakult nlang talaga :p

  • Harlene Gomez

    Hi Ms. Nicole, the first time I saw you was in BDJ Box event last month at SM North Edsa. :) You’re cool and pretty! Thanks for the tips. I have my BB cream (Etude House) for 3 years now. At first, I didn’t break out but now, my skin gets too oily and I’m noticing pimpies a lot. I can’t let go of BB cream bec. they are my go to make up.. I don’t feel like using foundation as I like to have light coverage (I heard some others say it’s not good for everyday use.) Any recommendations please? :)

    • Hi Harlene! Yes, that’s what happened to me also. It’s so hard to let go of BB creams, but you must! Not worth the pimples. Hehe! Try using tinted moisturizers instead (the one from Shiseido is fab) or mix foundation + moisturizer for lighter coverage. Lately, I just spot correct and cover my dark spots—no need to wear foundation all over :)

      • Harlene Gomez

        I’ll give it a try Ms. Nicole! :) What I just don’t like on moisturizers is that, they are sticky and it adds more oil on my face. I’ll hunt that Shiseido moisturizer.

        • Most tinted moisturizers aren’t sticky. The one from Laura Mercier is also a favorite of mine! Happy hunting :)

  • Oooh…glad to hear your skin is clearing up! Hmm, I tried other brands also and BBs in general really aren’t for me :( I hope you’ll have better luck! My other friend said she broke out with Korean BBs, not with Japanese ones. Happy weekend!

  • me.eclaire

    oh.. how about cc cream? is it the same? cause i noticed at first my face was okay with it, but after quite some time using it, i got more small bumps on my face that luckily didn’t turn up to be cystic acne.. :s

    • Good question! I’ve only tried one CC cream and I noticed I got small bumps also. So I’m staying away for now. Clear skin is my priority :)

  • Angela Pierce

    Oh my goodness, this makes SO MUCH SENSE NOW! I was wondering why I have been breaking out the past year & a half & I’ve tried everything to get rid of it. Never once realized it correlated with when I started to use bb cream instead of foundation. I’m going to stop right now! What should I use instead? Foundation? Tinted moisturizer? Mineral powder foundation?

  • Hi Janella! A good facial under the supervision of a licensed dermatologist can help clear up your acne if you do it regularly (maybe 2-4 times a month). As for acne scars, baka you might need laser treatments/peels if they’re old. Best to consult with a derma! Ako, I would invest talaga in a good derma/facialist kasi skin mo yan eh. Scrimping may just cause more damage, so I’d really save up for it. Try Belo—their basic facials are around P1200 :)

  • Nicole Jean

    Wow this makes so much sense now!! I have oily/acne prone skin and my skin never agreed with any of the BB creams I tried. I always thought it was because I haven’t the right one, but I guess there is no right one for me.

  • Gilbert

    We’re the same. I thought about this before and when I stopped using bb’s and switch back to liquid foundation, my skin went a lot better. But I can’t help it. I’ve tried another bb cream and I’m suffering on cystic acne now. T_T

  • Sarah Ramos

    Me too! Me too! I thought I just haven’t found the right one since I’m combination-oily but reading this post just confirmed my fears. T-T
    Welp, time to use the bb cream on my foot then.

    • LOL! Then you will have gorgeous, summer-ready feet :)

  • Marissa Maas McCollum

    Me to. I’m so glad I found this article. I makes perfect sense to me now.

  • Oh nooooo!!! I hope your skin was able to recover!

  • Adrienne

    I had to quit too…my first bb cream was the Maybelline one everyone was ranting about at the time and I bought it and within 2 hours I had acne under the skin so it hurt so bad and I have something acne but never liked k e this so I quit using it right away I figured my sensitive skin didn’t like the product lol so I bought a tarte one and did the same thing that same day I was pissed lol bc I didn’t know which ingredient was doing it too my skin so I’m done with bb creams too lol sadly ….weirdly I tried a wet n wild one that had like nothing in it and it didn’t break me out but made me oily af lol so idk haha sucks