During my travels to Asia last spring (Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, namely), I was introduced to Asia’s most coveted, cult product – BB Cream! When I went shopping in HK with my cousin, she asked me, “Have you tried BB Cream?” “Excuse me?” I asked, “is that for babies?” She looked befuddled, “No, BB Cream, it makes your skin look flawless.” She then went on to show me the numerous BB Creams available in Sasa (for those of you that don’t know, it’s like an Asian Sephora) made by almost every brand. Little did I know, that it is Asia’s hottest makeup item!
What is it exactly? Well, BB Cream stands for “Blemish Balm” Cream. I would say, it is a tinted moisturizer, with primer and skin care properties. Apparently, it was first used by dermatologists on their laser surgery patients, to help soothe, regenerate and heal the skin. It also provided coverage to hide their post-surgery scars and redness. It first got introduced to the mass market in Korea, and was known to provide flawless looking skin for Korean drama actresses. I guess this was the product’s “tipping point” – mass hysteria ensued and it spread like wildfire all over Asia.
BB Creams are not only lightweight, but they provide amazing coverage, without the heavy, cakey feel of a foundation. Some BB Creams have skin care benefits such as anti-aging, anti-blemish, hydrating, etc. Many brands include broad spectrum UV Protection (if you look for the PA++ symbol, you know the company has tested specifically for UVA protection – to prevent the primary cause of wrinkles!)
Here are some of the most popular BB Creams…
Skin79’s Super BB Cream: Anti-wrinkle, whitening, UV Protection (SPF 25, PA++). This was the first BB Cream that caught my eye, because of its sleek packaging and the undeniably hot fuschia color! Upon application, it covered the unevenness in my skin tone and absorbed nicely into the skin.
Skin Food’s Peach Sake BB Cream: Calms the skin, hides imperfections, sake regulates sebum to keep skin matte all day. Personally I love the packaging on this one, the cork cap is really unique – I almost bought it!
La Neige Snow BB Cream: Provides instant moisture to the skin, whitening, anti-wrinkle, SPF 41, PA++, restores healthy skin glow. I didn’t try this one – but it has garnered some rave reviews from other beauty bloggers, so I thought I would include. Plus, I am a huge fan of La Neige!
BRTC Jasmine Water BB Cream: triple function – whitening, wrinkle repair, water replenishment. It contains 5% jasmine extracts and has an SPF 30. I ended up purchasing this one just because the color seemed to match my skin tone the best and the jasmine extracts sound so pretty! I was pretty happy – my skin looked picture perfect in an instant!!
Interestingly, some Western brands are starting to pick up on the trend. I recently spotted MAC’s version of BB Cream (Prep & Prime Beauty Balm) with SPF 35 and PA++ that apparently launched May 2010 and is only available in the duty free shops in Asia and the US. Not sure if it has created the same kind of stir that it has in Asia yet though.. but only time will tell!
Have you tried any of the BB Creams? If so, which is your fav? If you don’t know where you can purchase one of these skin-perfecting wonders, check out the BB Cream Online Store.