Selection of BB creams
|Origins||Christine Schrammek, German dermatologist, in the 1960s; developed further in the 1980s by Korean cosmetics companies|
|Description||All-in-one facial cosmetic product to replace serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation and sunblock|
|Main markets||South Korean and Japanese markets from 1985; Western markets from 2012|
BB cream stands for blemish balm, blemish base, beblesh balm, and in Western markets, beauty balm. It is a cosmetic item sold mainly in Asian markets, although the majority of larger beauty brands have introduced BB creams to Western markets. In many markets, the name CC cream is used to describe a Cushion Compact and/or a Color Corrector. A CC cream has all the benefits of a BB cream but with the specific feature of improving discoloration in the skin.
BB cream is promoted as an all-in-one facial cosmetic product to replace serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation and sunblock. 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.
BB creams come in a variety of different formulations. 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 colors, most formulae are designed to oxidize to match the user's skin tone. The skin-whitening properties of the cream as sold in the Asian market are an important element in its popularity.
The cream is promoted as a multi-tasker and all-in-one treatment, but Korean women mostly use it as an alternative to foundation, particularly those with Western formulations that tend to be too heavy for their tastes. 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 C. The Huffington Post reports that some companies say BB creams have skin-regenerating properties; dermatologist Jason Rivers of the University of British Columbia Department of Dermatology and Skin Science expressed scepticism that a non-retinoid-based product could do this.
BB creams make up 13 percent of the cosmetics market in South Korea. Some Korean brands also offer BB creams for men. Notable Korean brands include Etude House, Missha, Nature Republic, Skin Food, Sulhwasoo, 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 Boscia, Clinique, Dior, Estée Lauder, Garnier, Marcelle, Maybelline, Revlon and Smashbox. Lab Series makes a BB cream for men. 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.
Cruelty-free and vegan BB creams
BB creams advertised as cruelty-free include Smashbox (owned by Estée Lauder) and The Body Shop (owned by L'Oreal). The definition of "cruelty-free" varies. The Body Shop BB cream is certified by the Leaping Bunny Program, which means, according to the certification process, that no new animal testing has been used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories, or the suppliers of its ingredients. As of May 2013, Amore Pacific, which has as its subsidiaries Etude House and Laneige, has ended animal testing on all ingredients and cosmetics.
Products certified as cruelty-free may still contain animal products and may not be suitable for vegans. Vegan BB creams include the Superdrug own brand BB cream, BB cream souffles from Haut Cosmetics, 100% Pure Cosmetics, and the Evenly Radiant BB Crème from Dermae.
- Chang, Katie. "Vain Glorious | BB Creams Are Here!",
- BB Cream: "The Next Big Thing In Beauty?", The Huffington Post, January 24, 2012.
- Latimer, Joanne. "BB cream fans lay it on thick", Maclean's, January 11, 2012.
- BBcream. Revisado.
- "BB Cream Overview". BubzBeauty.
- Woo, Michelle. "Get Skin Like a Korean Soap Opera Star", OC Weekly, April 5, 2012.
- For skin whitening, see Maclean's, January 11, 2012.
- For 13 percent of the South Korean market, see The New York Times, March 29, 2012.
- For men using it, see Bae, Ji-sook. "Men Turn to Aesthetics, Grooming to Become Metrosexual", The Korea Times, March 24, 2010.
- Kim, Grace. "Menswear targets '50s and fabulous'", The Korea Times, April 4, 2012.
- Maclean's, January 11, 2012.
- Also see Thomas, Bobbie. "New beauty: Innovative curlers, mascaras and more", Today, NBC, March 15, 2012.
- "BB Cream becomes BB everything", Cover Media/omg!, March 31, 2012.
- The New York Times, March 29, 2012, p. 5.
- Rovan, Rhonda. "Do you need a BB cream?", Best Health, March 2012.
- For Smashbox, see Reddick, Kelsey. "Finding the BB cream that's right for you", Feminspire, July 14, 2012.
- For the Body Shop, see "Animal protection principles", The Body Shop, accessed September 7, 2012.
- "Debunking Myths about Animal Testing", The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, accessed September 7, 2012.
-  (archived link, March 29, 2013)
- "Superdrug BB Cream", "Superdrug.com", June 26, 2013.
- "Vegan BB cream souffles", Haut Minerals, accessed September 7, 2012. Also, e.l.f. brand BB Cream is not only cruelty-free, but it is vegan, sold at Target for about $6.
- BB creams, Dermae, accessed March 26, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to BB cream.|
- "Miracle creams we can believe in", Hull Daily Mail, March 31, 2012.
- Bhagwandas, Anita. "Beauty for dark skin: the BB cream debate", The Guardian, March 15, 2013.
- Leung, Hannah. "Learn your BB CCs", Global Times, March 24, 2013.
- Niven, Lisa. "10 Best BB Creams", Vogue, January 17, 2013.
- Chowdary, Asha. "The BB cream is here to stay", The Times of India, February 25, 2012.
- Coleman, Claire. "Beauty's all in one: The balm that claims to be a moisturiser, sun block, primer AND foundation, but does it work?", The Daily Mail, June 14, 2011.
- For it being introduced to South Korea and Japan in the 1980s, see Maclean's, January 11, 2012.
- For the rest, see Koh Young-aah. "Perfect your look in Korea", The Korea Herald/Naver News, September 2, 2009.
- Williams, Bronwyn. "The lowdown on BB Cream", Stuff.co.nz, March 26, 2012.