Best Korean BB Creams for Your Skin

BB creams used to be one of the best-kept secrets of the Korean women, but they are becoming more and more popular all over the world. The BB cream is a face cream that also serves as a foundation and combines multiple actions of various beauty products. Being an all-in-one product, there is no mystery in why women all over the world choose this product for the everyday skincare.

But what is a BB Cream, how should it be used and which are the best Korean BB creams available on the market today? These are the questions we are going to answer in this article.

In today’s society women became accustomed to this multifunctional product that can be found on the shelves of all perfumeries and that can be seen on TV and in fashion and beauty magazines. But to understand the true value of this product you should first understand its origins and functions.

The origins of BB Creams

The name BB Cream stands for beauty balm, blemish balm or beblesh balm, depending on the country, but they all mean the same thing.Although the BB Cream gained its popularity in Korea, the cream has European origins. It has been formulated for the first time in Germany in the 60s by Dr. Christine Schrammek, a dermatologist who designed the formula to protect the skin of her patients after laser treatments.

In the mid-80s the product was introduced in the Korean and Japanese markets and gained a high popularity among the Asian consumers. The cream was called “the secret of Korean actresses” and women with a particular obsession for perfect, radiant and flawless skin soon started to use it on a regular basis.

Despite its success in the Asian market, the product was only introduced in the Western markets in the last five years, kicking off in a global success that made BB Creams a must-have beauty product for most women.

Functions and properties of BB Creams

The BB cream is the first all-in-one skincare product launched on the cosmetics market. Thanks to its special formula the cream combines moisturizer, foundation, concealer, SPF sunscreen, and anti-aging properties in a single product. Beauty Balm creams are often distributed in different shades which can be easily adapted to any skin tone, although the producers generally limit the colors to 3-4 nuances.

This color limit is explained by the fact that most BB Creams oxidize in order to match the user’s skin tone. These creams also have skin-whitening properties, an important element in their popularity, especially on the Asian markets.

In order to choose the right nuance, you should first identify the tone of your skin then choose the most suitable shade. Most cosmetic shops have BB Cream testers that can help you with the decision. Determining the right shade is crucial, as a rosy BB Cream can give a grayish effect on amber skin and vice-versa, definitely not something you would want. Once you identified the right nuance and the favorite brand, using the BB Cream on a daily basis is a step that comes naturally.

But the properties of the BB Creams go beyond the beauty use. Most of these creams are designed to both cover and treat various skin conditions such as acne, age spots and sunspots, having soothing, anti-wrinkle and anti-inflammatory effects.

One of the greatest advantages of BB creams is that it significantly reduces the makeup time while having a perfect result on your face. Thanks to its all-in-one properties, the BB cream will cover all your imperfections and the skin will become smooth and silky in a single step. Needless to say this feature comes in very handy especially on busy mornings when you have to hurry up.

How to Apply the BB Cream

Beauty Balm creams are very easy to apply. In addition to being multifunctional products, using a BB cream will also free you from any makeup accessory such as duvets, sponges, and brushes because it can be easily applied by hand. All you have to do is to apply a small amount of cream on your fingertips and gently massage it on your face, in the same way as you would normally do with a classic moisturizer. If you want a higher opacity just tap the cream with your fingertips until it is completely absorbed by the skin.

Of course, if you want to avoid soiling your hands, you can use a foundation sponge. The result will still be optimal, but the application with your fingers is more suited for a product designed to reduce makeup time and make life easier.

Now that you learned what a BB cream is and how to apply it, you have to decide which one to choose. There is a myriad of Beauty Balm creams available on the market, and before deciding which one to purchase you need to consider several factors such as type, formulation, and cost. To help you with the decision, we list below five of the best Korean BB Creams that the market offers us.

Best Five Korean BB Creams

1. Tony Moly Luminous Goddess Aura BB Cream

Tony Moly Luminous Goddess Aura BB Cream

Providing an excellent coverage, Tony Moly Luminous Goddess Aura BB Cream is a no darkening, moisturizing, concealer, foundation and sunscreen suitable for almost all skin types, from dry to greasy.This cream has excellent oil control properties giving an all-day-long matte finish. It also has great results in covering the pimples, sun spots or dark circles under the eyes. This cream is also easy to blend and has SPF37 sunscreen properties. For a maximal skin coverage effect, the producer recommends using this BB cream together with a water beam. However, even if using BB cream alone, the finish is natural and long-lasting.

Things We Liked

  • Easy to blend: compared with similar BB creams, the Tony Moly Luminous Goddess Aura is very easy to blend and can be easily applied using the fingertips.
  • Good coverage: this BB cream offers a medium coverage and it can fairly mask pimples, sun spots, and dark circles. The cream can be applied once for a light-medium coverage or twice for a medium-heavy coverage.
  • Oil control: this BB cream is adapted for both dry and oily skin. On oily skin, it doesn’t oxidize or melt.
  • Natural finish: the Tony Moly Luminous Goddess Aura BB Cream offers a natural semi-matte finish, reproducing very accurately the natural skin glow. For a more matte finish, it is recommended to fix the cream with a matte powder.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not suitable for all skin tones: this BB cream comes in two shades, Bright Pink Beige and Natural Beige. Both are suitable for fair to light-medium skin tones, so if your skin is darker this BB cream might not be the best option.

2. SKIN79 Hot Pink Super+ BB Triple Function Cream

SKIN79 Hot Pink Super+ BB Triple Function Cream

Non-greasy and less oily in texture, the Hot Pink Super+ BB Cream from SKIN79 offers a tone-up coverage and a natural look. This Beblesh Balm keeps the natural texture of the skin when applied and offers an SPF30 UV protection.

In addition to these great effects, this BB cream also boasts a whitening effect and has a matte and powdered finishing. This cream will make your skin look bright and clean, clearing off undesirable skin marks such as sun spots, dark spots or pimples. The final effect is that of a radiant and smooth skin which will last for about 8 hours. This BB Cream has a light-medium coverage.

Things We Liked

  • Oil control: this BB Cream from SKIN79 is great if you have an oily skin, as it significantly reduces the oil glow from your face.
  • Fresh texture: the matte finishing formula of this BB cream boasts a powdery ingredient which will give you a fresh look while preventing the cream to become sticky or oily.
  • Triple function: The Hot Pink BB Cream not only brightens and tone-up the skin, but with its triple function helps in whitening the skin, has anti-wrinkles effect and is UV protecting.
  • Minimize darkening: with the help of the selected active ingredients, this beauty balm maintains the clean skin effect up to 8 hours, minimizing the darkening effect of the makeup.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Grayish undertone: despite the fact that this BB cream is produced in one shade only, thus suitable only for light-medium skin tones, it also has a grayish undertone (instead of yellowish). This can sometimes give a noticeable and undesirable contrast between the face and the neck.

3. Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF42

Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF42

Being one of the most popular Korean BB Creams, the Missha Perfect Cover SPF42 promises full skin spots coverage, UV protection, and anti-aging properties. In fact, this BB cream contains many anti-wrinkles active ingredients like jojoba oil, algae extract, caviar extract, and ceramides, to name only a few of the anti-aging ingredients.

In addition to its great regenerative properties, this BB cream also improves the skin tone. One of the ingredients of this cream is the mineral oil, a quite controversial ingredient as a small number of people are sensitive to it. The fragrance of the cream is also not one of the best, but the overall properties make this BB cream one of the best on the market.

Things We Liked

  • Suitable for all skin types: the Perfect Cover BB Cream from Missha is suitable for all skin types and it can be used as foundation or makeup base if wanted.
  • Two-in-one cosmetic and skin care product: this BB cream efficiently combines the properties of a cosmetic with those of a skin care product. In fact, this cream can be used as an anti-aging and UV protector as well as a makeup base, providing an excellent coverage of skin defects.
  • Semi-matte finish: this BB cream has a dewy semi-matte finish that imitates very well the natural glow of the skin.
  • Creamy consistency: the creamy consistency of this beauty balm makes it very easy to blend and apply. The favorite applying method is with the fingertips and for maximum coverage sometimes you must apply various layers.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Unsuitable for women with greasy skin: if you have oily skin you will probably need to use some primer before applying this beauty balm and a setting powder to fix it if you want the BB cream to last longer than a couple of hours.

4. Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream

Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream

Another top Korean BB cream is the Precious Mineral BB Cream from Etude House. This beauty balm is a skin protector, whitening product, and an anti-aging cosmetic. It is very efficient in preventing the development of wrinkles or blemishes and it also provides an anti-darkening effect.

Thanks to the coconut oil and vitamin E acetate this product can also be used as a moisturizer. Other carefully selected ingredients, such as the pearl and seaweed extracts, brighten up the skin and control the sebum production, preventing the skin from becoming oily. The coverage is excellent, the double layer formula covering perfectly the uneven skin. The Precious Mineral BB Cream also provides a fair UV protection of SPF30.

Things We Liked

  • Ease of use: the pump/dispenser packaging makes this Korean BB cream really easy to use. The 2.11 oz./60 gr. packaging is also travel-friendly.
  • Dewy finish: this BB cream has a natural dewy finish and it lasts up to 6 hours on oily skin. On dry skin, it should last even longer. However, to properly cover acne blemishes it might be necessary to apply two layers.
  • 4 different shades: in order to suit any skin tone, this BB cream from Etude House comes in four different shades. The shades also do not present the grayish undertone present in most BB creams and it does not leave visible oxidation signs on the skin.
  • Affordable: this is one of the most affordable BB creams available on the market, while the overall performances are very good.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Thick and difficult to apply: this BB cream is rather thick and quite difficult to apply regardless of the applying method. Because of its thickness, it is also difficult to obtain an even layer and you will probably have to use a higher amount of cream to achieve a proper coverage.

5. Holika Holika Petit Clearing BB Cream

Holika Holika Petit Clearing BB Cream

From Holika Holika comes another great Korean beauty balm, the Petit Clearing BB Cream. This beauty balm contains tea tree oil extracts and absorbent powder, being ideal for those with greasy skins. It can also help in keeping your skin clean of pimples and blemishes.

This BB cream comes in only one shade offering a light-medium coverage and a matte finishing. The beauty balm lasts without melting up to 6 hours on oily skin. For better results and prolonged lasting, it will be necessary to fix the BB cream with a powder. This BB cream also provides an SPF30 UV protection.

Things We Liked

  • Good oil control: designed especially for those with oily skin, this beauty balm offers a good oil control, reducing significantly the unpleasant glow of the greasy skin.
  • Improves skin problems: thanks to the tea tree extract, the Petit Clearing BB Cream can help fighting acne and other skin problems such as skin spots.
  • Easy to apply: even if the product is pretty creamy, it blends very well on the skin. If you want it to glide even better, just mix the BB cream with a primer before applying. Pay attention to blending it fast, though, as it gets dry easily.
  • Pleasant scent: this BB cream from Holika Holika has a very pleasant floral-herbal scent, very different from the more common powder scent of similar products.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not moisturizing: unfortunately this BB cream does not work well for skin moisturizing and for this reason you will probably need to use a different product before applying the beauty balm. It also has an uneven finish sometimes, highlighting the existent wrinkles.

Conclusions and Final Pick

The choice of a BB cream should definitely depend on your skin type, skin tone, and brand preferences. However, we consider SKIN79 Hot Pink Super+ BB Triple Function Cream the best Korean BB cream.

We mostly liked the triple function of this beauty balm. Having an anti-aging, sunscreen and skin whitening in a product that can be used alone or as makeup base is really great. This beauty balm offers a beautifully matte long lasting finishing and the formula is suitable for any skin type. The light-medium coverage will offer you a bright and clear skin, and for medium-heavy coverage you can simply apply multiple layers.

The main disadvantage of this BB cream is the light shade which is not suitable for darker skin tones. However, a layer of darker powder applied over the beauty balm can be a solution for this. The producer should also consider making this BB cream with a yellowish undertone to match more skin tones.

Despite these minor inconveniences, this product is one of the most complete formulas of Korean BB Creams available on the market and it will probably not disappoint you.

Sonya Schwartz

A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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