November 26, 2012

What is BB Cream?

photo from
So what really is a BB Cream that shake the beauty world by storm.  Of course, let's ask Wikipedia:

"BB cream stands for blemish balmblemish base, or beblesh balm (apparently because of a copyright in Korea on the word "blemish"), and in Western markets, beauty balm. It is a cosmetic item sold mainly in East and Southeast Asia, although larger beauty brands are increasingly introducing BB creams to Western markets.[1]
BB cream is promoted as an all-in-one facial cosmetic product to replace serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock.[2] It can be worn alone as a tinted moisturizer, over serum and moisturizer as a regular foundation, and under powder, depending on the desired amount of coverage.[1]


What was to become BB Cream was originally formulated in the 1960s in Germany by dermatologist Dr. Christine Schrammek to protect her patients' skin after surgery.[3] Introduced to South Korea and Japan in 1985 – where healthy-looking, porcelain skin is heavily prized – the cream was hailed as "the secret of Korean actresses," and was heavily endorsed by Korean celebrities.[4]


BB cream for men from Etude House
BB creams come in a variety of different formulations.[3] Because Korean companies focused initially on the Korean and East Asian markets, they are offered in a limited number of hues. Instead of offering multiple shades for different skin tones, most formulas are designed to oxidize to match the user's skin tone. [5] The skin-whitening properties of the cream, as sold in the Asian market, are an important element in its popularity.[6]
The cream is promoted as a multi-tasker, an all-in-one treatment, but Korean women mostly use it as an alternative to foundation, especially Western foundations that tend to be too heavy for their taste. The coverage is often mineral-based, and is intended to both cover and treat blemishes such as acne, sun spots and age spots. It also has anti-wrinkle, anti-inflammatory and soothing effects. Several contain hyaluronic acid and Vitamin CThe Huffington Post reports that some companies say BB creams have skin-regenerating properties, though one dermatologist – Dr. Jason Rivers of the University of British Columbia's Department of Dermatology and Skin Science – expressed skepticism that a product that is not retinoid based could do this.[1]


BB creams make up 13 percent of the cosmetics market in South Korea. Some Korean brands also offer BB creams for men.[7] Leading Korean brands include BRTC,Dr. JartEtude HouseLioeleMisshaNature RepublicRachel KSkin79Skin FoodSulhwasoo, and The Face Shop. Western cosmetics companies began to launch BB creams in the Western market in 2012, though some of these creams have been criticized for lacking the skin-caring functions that BB creams normally have, and for being no more than tinted moisturizer. Early arrivals included BosciaCliniqueDiorDr. BrandtEstée LauderGarnierMarcelleMaybellineOmoroviczRevlon and Smashbox.[8] Lab Seriesmakes a BB cream for men.[9] Certain BB creams have been tailored for Western markets: Estée Lauder, for example, has not included the whitening properties in their formulation for North America.[10]"
Thanks very much Wikipedia! So, overall Blemish Balm or BB Cream is an all in one product that has a built in moisturizer, sun block and foundation which blends to the skin to give it a natural flawless finish that; by the way, can also treat blemishes like acne, sun spots and the like.  Most BB cream also have anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, anti inflammatory and soothing and whitening formula.
Here are the General BB Cream Characteristics according to
1. Provides a natural and flawless look.
2. Provides perfect coverage just like a foundation but without clogging pores or damaging the skin
3. Conceals all types of pigmentation, discoloration, acne and marks
4. Healing properties which soften, smooth and refine skin
5. Encourages skin regeneration to create and maintain youthful skin
6. UV Protection for healthy skin
7. Some BB creams have additional features such as wrinkle improvement, whitening functions etc.
For starter, choose a bb cream that is good for all skin type. But in choosing the right bb cream, you have to consider the type of your skin: is it oily, dry or normal.  Next is the effects or functions you want to have or achieve like anti-aging or whitening effect or a natural healthy looking skin.  And then, also consider the color that matches your skin though most bb creams tends to naturally adapt to the skin tone.  Then research:  read post from different blogs about the formulation, ingredients and effects (like breakouts) and how other use it, you could also ask your dermatologist or your make-up artist or you could go to the store and sample it and ask the sales assistant about the perfect bb cream for your skin and course your budget.  I usually buy in sample sizes and so far Hanskin  gives me the things that I'm looking for a bb cream (though I think I would still buy different kinds of bb cream in sample sizes for me to try).
Here's how to normally use a BB Cream:
photo from


  1. Great article, and fantastic research ^_^

  2. great review! I have been wanting to research on BB cream and this is the perfet review :)

    The Bargain Doll

    1. thanks Rovie, my curiosity towards bb cream made me make this post :)


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