The History of BB Creams
Beauty or Blemish Cream (BB Cream) is not new and has been around for over fifty years. It was first developed by a German dermatologist Dr.Christine Schrammek in the 1950s for her own patients to sooth skin, reduce redness and give it a more natural look after treatments such as peels.
Dr. Schrammek’s site still sells the original Beauty Balm Cream.
BB cream was then introduced to Asia where it was popular in countries such as Korea and Japan. It started to get noticed when a famous Korean actress with flawless skin said she swore by the product. It quickly became the ‘miracle cream’ that everyone wanted and it is only until recent years that Europe and the US caught on.
What is BB Cream?
Calling it a ‘miracle cream’ is probably not far wrong. This multi purpose and multi tasking all-in-one cream is an anti-aging moisturizer, UV protecting tinted skin smoother, imperfection concealer and primer all in one. Fans of the product have claimed smoother, more even and brighter skin tones.
At first there was a very limited variety on the BB cream. Since Asians were huge fans of whitening beauty products, Asian BB creams were catered to lighten and/or whiten skin and to eliminate excessive oily shine (facial oil absorbing paper is another huge product category in Asia).
Lieve Declercq, Origins Global Spokesperson of Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology explains: ‘BB Creams should provide broad-spectrum SPF protection from UVA and UVB rays to protect against sun damage but can also help conceal hyper-pigmentation, acne, scars and blemishes, hydrate, whitening as well as having anti-aging benefits’
The success of these BB creams is based on SYN-AKE, a neuropeptide, which inhibits the contraction of innervated muscle cells, thus providing a mild, non-invasive temporary Botox-like effect on fine lines and crow’s feet.
BB Cream Reviews
Type in ‘BB Cream’ into your search box and you will be inundated with a wide selection of newly developed BB creams. To the un-initiated, it can be quite confusing and over whelming, especially if you want to get one to try. So we have narrowed it down to a few from what we have seen, from various reviews and from ratings on various websites such as Amazon.
Note: it all depends on your skin type, the climate where you live and your lifestyle.
The Top 10
The Korean Brands :
The Asian market is responsible for the re-emergence of the BB cream with Korea, Japan and Taiwan setting the trends. The Korean brands are probably more well known in Europe and USA and we have covered four different brands below. Just note that Asians love skin whitening products – having white skin is very sought after so many of the BB creams from Asia will have whitening and skin lightening ingredients and high UV protection.
Dr. Jart’s coveted Korean formulas was launched in the UK last June and was received with much excitement. There are several different formulas including ones for blemish prone skin and a ‘water fuse’ BB cream that holds in moisture in the skin.
The one worth trying is the Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 which brightens and hydrates, has a SPF of 45 and offers light-to-medium coverage. The description is “Bio-Peptide Complex infused with white gold to provide anti aging properties and promote natural collagen” and it also has the whitening agent adenosine.
Best of all is the SPF 45 which gives skin real good protection from the sun as well as external elements.
Skin79 BB Cream
Skin79 has a whole sleuth of BB creams but they all rate 4 stars or above in the Amazon ratings. We have picked out two of what we think are great skin79 BB creams to review:
SKIN79 Super+ Beblesh Balm BB Cream VIP Gold Collection (Gold Label)
This is a BB cream more suited to Asian and white complexions rather than dark complexions as it tends to look too chalky on dark complexions. It is also geared more towards dry/combination skin so you may want to read the Pink review below for oily skin.
This light weight Korean BB cream does go on in a grayish sort of tint which can be a bit alarming, until your skin absorbs the cream and oxidizes to your natural skin tone. It has good coverage though and you can layer the cream on to achieve the porcelain look you want.
Some users have added powder to further set the cream but honestly, it does not need it. Powder is an option if you are going out at night and you just want a more ‘set’ look but otherwise, on its own it does the job very well.
the Skin79 VIP gold label has gold and caviar extracts to nourish the skin whilst the phyto complex moisturizes the skin. A mixture of rice bran, sunflower and ivy extracts called Osmopur protects the skin from harmful environmental elements.
Contains UV protection.
4.5 stars on amazon
SKIN79 Super+ Triple Function Hot Pink BB Cream SPF25
Hot Pink is the Skin79 BB cream for combination and oily skin. The water drop texture is cool to the skin upon application and feels very light. It keeps the skin moisturized all the day but it is also matt so you will not look shiny.
The Hot Pink BB cream also contains eight plant extracts and whitening agents Adenosine and Arbutin so prolonged use will lighten some dark blemish marks.
Note though that this is not a full on coverage but rather a light to medium one. darker more pronounced blemishes and scars may need concealer.
This also has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon
For those who have dry skin and want something a little creamier, try the SKIN79 Oriental Gold BB Cream with Lip & Cheek Tint
Missha BB Cream
With a slightly thicker consistency, MISSHA M Perfect Cover BB Cream
is ideal for the oilier skins that are prone to break out and acne. Some BB creams start wearing off after a few hours or does not prevent oiliness especially on the T zone, but this one does and a little goes a long way.
The natural beige color is also warmer and more natural than some BB creams. It blends in well with your skin color and looks as if you have nothing on.
The SPF 42 is also an added bonus for those who are worried about sun protection. Some people do not like the smell but we think it is fine.
People who are worried about cosmetics containing mineral oil and/or parabens should avoid this product as it does contain both.
It is a great product if you are always on the go and do not have the time to spend hours getting yourself ready. Again if you skin needs a little extra help, all you need is a concealer and a bit of powder but you will find that over time, you won’t needs these items to look good.
4 – 4.5 star rating on amazon
Not a household name when it comes to Korean BB creams in the west, but this is a great little product at a reasonable price.
The use of grape seeds oil provides nourishing moisture and contains numerous essential fatty acids such as linoleic, oleic and stearic. It helps dry skin without being too oily and it has antioxidant properties.
As a result, the skin is protected from external elements and has the added benefit of preventing premature aging.
The HANSKIN Premium Super Magic Cream glides on silky smooth and gives mild to medium coverage. It does not irritate skin (grape seed oil is suitable for sensitive skin) and the color gives the skin a nice warm natural glow.
5 stars on Amazon
The Western Brands
Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream is described as an “all-in-one cream contains vitamin C and mineral pigments for long-lasting hydration and UV protection with a light touch of make-up.” on their website.
There are different formulas but the oil free formula seems to be more popular. However, I have to say that the reviews for this product was not as good as the Korean ones – on Amazon, it had only 3 stars.
The main complaint is the oiliness and it is true, it does not sit as well as the Korean BB creams on the face. The smell of the product is not to everyone’s taste either.
If you are prone to acne breakouts or if your skin is sensitive, this may not be the product for you either. The best thing is to get a sample and try it out for a day or two to see how you react if you have oily or combination skin.
Clinique Age Defense BB Cream
The good thing about the CLINIQUE Age Defense BB Cream SPF30
is a little goes along way.
No moisturizing is needed before applying the cream and it lasts the whole day no matter the weather. (Well, unless you stand right under a torrential rain).
All you need to do is warm the cream a little in your hands before applying to ensure smooth and even coverage. This BB cream is quick and easy to use and it does the job of many products put together.
Last we looked there were 2 five star reviews on Amazon.
Comes in three shades : light, medium and dark and has a SPF factor of 40.
The description is “Improve and even your skin tone with 3LAB Perfect BB SPF 40 . This regenerating moisturizer features bio-engineered growth hormone and apple stem cell technology, which work together to lift and tighten the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Dark is suggested for tan skin tones.”
Not the cheapest BB cream around at almost $100 a pop but well worth the investment as it is a great BB cream.
Coverage would be sheer to medium so do not expect a full on coverage but it is light weight, glides on easily and has long lasting power (7-8 hours before fading occurs). If you have skin blemishes that needs a bit more coverage such as redness and acne scars, you may need some extra help from a concealer.
What it does well is revitalize dull skin. It gives skin a luminous glow that is even and healthy looking and it is very unnoticeable. Your skin just feels brighter as if you have been air brushed.
The price tag and the limited color spectrum are the only things that is a drawback.
BB for Dark Skin
According to Dr. Andrea Trowers, “Women of color frequently complain about dark spots left on their skin after a pimple goes away and uneven skin tone. The sunscreens in BB creams can prevent dark spots from getting darker and contribute to a more even skin tone.”
Dr. Rehana Ahmed adds, “Another common issue BB Creams can address is melasma, a darkening of the skin, generally on the face, that tends to occur on the forehead, cheeks, and upper lip. They can also be used to cover lesions from acne or rosacea.”
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream
Maybelline has a much wider range of colors than some other BB creams. It covers the lightest skin color (light) to dark skin colors (deep).
Again it is a light to medium coverage which means a bit more work with a concealer is needed to cover dark blemishes and scars.
In fact, many users who have had Asian BB creams considers this more of a tinted moisturizer than an actual BB cream.
Maybelline describes their BB cream as “Get 8 skin benefits in 1 simple step: * Blurs imperfections * Brightens * Evens skin-tone * Smoothes * Hydrates * Enhances * Protects with SPF 30 * 0% oils and heavy ingredients”
Dr. Brandt BB Creams with Flexitone SPF 30
This is the description from their own website:
“Formulated with Dr. Brandt’s signature flexitone™ technology that blends seamlessly with most skin tones, this multi-functional anti-aging cream instantly perfects, brightens, and hydrates with SPF 30 protection.
- blends seamlessly with most skin tones, providing an alternative to traditional foundation
- helps correct flaws & uneven skin tone to perfect overall complexion
- helps brighten & provide a healthy glow
- protects skin from UVA/UVB rays with SPF 30/PA+++
- provides hydration
- helps smooth & improve the look of lines & wrinkles”
And the good thing is the tone blending technology and the high SPF factor means it is a good choice for darker skin.
So there you have it, the top reviews from the Korean BB cream to the western versions. If you are already using BB creams, let us know your favorite brand and how you are getting along with it!