October 16th, 2012

What is BB Cream?

BB Cream is the latest buzz word in the beauty world. But what is it and why do you need one in your life?

What It Is.

BB cream is a skincare and make-up product in one. While not all BB creams will do exactly the same thing, most are a moisturiser, foundation and sunscreen rolled into one. BB creams first gained popularity in Korea when they were used post-laser treatments to help with the healing process while providing coverage in place of make-up.

Then celebrities who underwent laser surgery discovered it and started using this wonder cream. Korean cosmetic companies realised the business potential, adapted the technology and started making a formula for the general public.

Very similar to your trusty tinted moisturiser, BB creams are thicker in consistency and contain more beneficial skincare properties, like evening skin tone, diminishing fine lines and reducing inflammation.

Wiki Says.


BB cream stands for blemish balm, blemish 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.

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.

Need to Know.

* Provides perfect coverage like a foundation but it’s not as thick, it doesn’t clog the pores.

* Close cousin of a tinted moisturiser with more anti-ageing goodness.

* Works to improve all types of pigmentation, discolouration, acne and other blemishes.

* Produces a “no makeup” effect like a tint.

* Jam-packed with healing properties that soften and refine skin.

* Contains UV Protection (check the SPF levels brand to brand).

* Some have additional anti-wrinkle and skin-brightening benefits.

Me Wearing BB (and Sunglasses).


I’ve just started wearing BB and this is a Selfie taken on my phone, in the car on the school run. I was not going to do it shade-free.

You can see how much coverage there is on my skin (sheer – how I like it) and you can also see the areas I need to even-out (pregnancy pigment that may never go away). Will keep you posted on how my skin fares. I’m trialling all five in our best buys list which were the formulations we liked the most after an initial road-test of ten products.

Hot Buys.

Not all BB Creams are created equal so if you have specific needs or wants you need to find the right one for your skin and needs. These are our current favourites.

CLICK TO BUY: 1. Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector, $13.95; 2. Garnier BB Cream Oil Free, $13.99; 3. Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35, $60; 4. Nude by Nature BB 5-in-1 Miracle Cream, $19.95; 5. Too Faced Beauty Balm, $47.95.

Favourite Korean Buys.

The cream originated in Korean pharmacy – it’s now available on Amazon. These are the two most popular:


CLICK TO BUY: 1. MISSHA M Perfect Cover B.B. Cream SPF 42 PA+++ 21 Light Beige; 2. MISSHA M upgraded BB B.B. Cream (Blemish Balm) 50ml.

New To Try.

These have hit our desks this week. Next on the list to try – if you get there first let us know what you think.

CLICK TO BUY: (L-R) Dr. Brandt Flexitone BB Cream, $69; Rimmel London BB Cream 9-in-1 Skin Perfecting Super Makeup, $12.95; L’Oreal Revitalift Total Repair 10 BB Cream, $35.95.

  • jody kearney

    i’m using the l’oreal magique bb cream love it

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniela.minns Daniela Minns

    I was just trying to explain what a BB cream is to someone today! I have the bobbi brown one but found it a bit thick for everyday wear (its now my beach sunscreen for face as it has a high SPF). Loreal does an interesting colour pigment adjust one which was quite nice (weird squeezing it out purple with little grains in it but then once it hits your face it colour matches and smoothes out). But I just got a sample of the revitalift one shown above in the latest AWW mag and rushed to buy it after trying it. Anti ageing, sunscreen, beautiful colour, great coverage- definately my pick!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=601160341 Tina Tek

    I’ve got the L’Oreal Maqicue BB Cream too. I think I still prefer the tinted moisturiser though, still a good alternative nevertheless.

  • http://www.figandcherry.com/ Christie Connelly

    Thank you! This has seriously answered so many questions I had about BB creams. Considering trying one now – will wait for you review on the final three!

  • Barb Fisher

    I saw an ad just today for BB cream and wondered what the hell it was! Now I’ll be able to sleep tonight. You rock Paula.

  • Karlee Amor

    I’ve been using Skin79 Beblesh Balm for a few months now. It’s a Korean BB cream and I usually buy it on eBay for around $12. It’s good stuff, I’ve turned a lot of my girlfriends onto it and now they love it too!

  • Pingback: What is BB Cream? « LifeStyled | Skin Care Tips

  • http://www.anaustralianwintour.com/ Megan Aey

    I’ve just started using the Garnier BB cream, it’s a little bit oily for young skim, but love the overall job it does.

  • Ash

    Garnier have an oil free one, I haven’t tried it but maybe give that a go.

  • Poppy

    I like the Garnier one and have just won the oil free one but hasn’t arrived yet. I bought the l’Oreal Rvitalift but I don’t like it at all. It balled on my face the first time I used it so the second time I didn’t put anything under it and it did the same. The Korean ones are a much better consistency but they are far too pale for my skin. I have tried Skin79 and the Japanese nanoce BB moist cream.

    For a heavier cover I use a yellow based powder over the top.

  • Poppy

    I like the Garnier one and have just won the oil free one but hasn’t arrived yet. I bought the l’Oreal Rvitalift but I don’t like it at all. It balled on my face the first time I used it so the second time I didn’t put anything under it and it did the same. The Korean ones are a much better consistency but they are far too pale for my skin. I have tried Skin79 and the Japanese nanoce BB moist cream.

    For a heavier cover I use a yellow based powder over the top.

  • http://www.balmainbeauty.com/ Karen

    Actually the new ones are called CC creams but I’ve not yet seen any in shop’s.

  • Kerri

    I have been using Garnier for about 6 months and quite liked it, but recently changed to the Revitalift and absolutely love it. I think it is about finding the one that suits your skin

  • Tyla

    You left off the Lavera Organic, all natural 6 in 1 BB cream from your list!!! It is amazing, amazing stuff!!!!

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