Asia’s Cult Product: BB Cream

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.

Have fun!


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  • Sharon

    Hmmmm. I wonder what’s in this magical cream? Mineral oil? Phalates? Parabens? Animal by-products? The average teenage girl puts 16 know carcinogens on her skin everyday. That includes shampoo, mascara, eyeshadow, lip gloss, etc. Those toxins are absorbed into the skin (bloodstream) in 15 seconds. I can show you how to eliminate
    chemicals and toxins from your skincare regiment while earning a residual income. Let me know if you want to know more.

  • Connie

    Thanks for your comments/concern Sharon! While I can’t speak for all brands, I can tell you that the BB Cream I purchased (Jasmine Water BB Cream) does not contain mineral oil, phthalates or animal by-products. It is preserved with parabens and safety of parabens is still debatable. However, for those of you who would like to avoid parabens, please seek out a BB Cream that is paraben-free.

  • Julie

    Have you tried the one from MAC yet? How did it work? I live in Norway, and therefore I can’t find BB Cream anywhere!

  • Connie

    No, I haven’t tried the MAC one yet because it is not available in most places! If you are willing to try other brands, you can purchase online from They have a number of different BB Cream brands. Also, they ship to Norway :)! Good luck!

  • Meredith

    I absolutely love BB creams. My husband recently returned from Asia and was kind enough (no smart enough) to bring back a ton of stuff for me including some new House of Etude BB minerals cream. I can’t wait to try it!

    MAC can try to copy this, but the Asian companies will always be better….they have the market!

  • Connie

    Haha, I haven’t tried the MAC one, but yes, I do love the Asian ones! Wow, your husband knew what to buy? I am sooo impressed :)!!

  • Celeste @ Becoming Beautiful

    I adore BB Creams. I don’t even use foundations anymore. Just Bb creams!

  • RD

    Connie any suggestions for light-skinned Indian girls? Usually products for Asian skin are in a limited range of skin tones no?

  • Grace

    I love it!
    Honestly i dont think i will use a normal foundation again!
    There really nice, i use the missha one at the moment but i quite want to try the mac one, I wonder how long till they bring that over here!

  • Amanda

    I haven’t tried any BB creams. Do you have a favorite?

  • Connie

    Thanks lovelies for all your wonderful comments ~

    @RD: Yes, the BB creams are usually in a limited range of skin tones, although they may still work for a light-skinned Indian complexion. They are pretty versatile. Not sure if there is any way you can try out the colours before you purchase?

    @Grace: I know, I love the BB creams too – it’s like a magical transformation :)

    @Amanda: I am currently using the BRTC Jasmine Water BB Cream and really love it!

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  • loveSkinFood

    I’ve been using the Skin Food Peach Sake for over a month now and I LOVE IT. I have very oily skin and tried the Garnier BB Cream first and it broke my skin out so badly not to mention was very heavy and I felt and looked greasy all day. Using the Skin Food helped to clear up my massive breakouts and I don’t have to use very much to get good coverage. I still have to use powder to look “matte”, but my face doesn’t look or feel as greasy throughout the day. I highly suggest this for anyone else with oily skin. 

    • Connie

      That’s my favourite one too!  The Garnier one worked ok on my skin, but probably because I’m more on the dry side.  Thanks for the BB Cream reco’s for oily skin gals!!