The Best Korean BB Cream

BB cream history, tips and top brands

Korean beauty blogger YellowyCream
Korean beauty blogger YellowyCream. Image provided by Liah of Yellowy Cream

If you want to know the next big thing in beauty, just look to Korea. While Korean beauty has been an innovators for centuries, but it wasn't until a little product called BB cream made a huge splash that cosmetics companies from around the world wanted to know everything there is to know about Korean beauty innovation.

BB creams made a huge impact on the American beauty market during the past few years, and we knew we needed a beauty expert in Korea explain the history of BB cream and help us find the best products on the market.

We reached out to Beauty Blogger and YouTuber Liah Yoo, also known as YellowyCream, who shared great advice and tips with us.  Keep reading to learn the history of BB creams and tips and tricks along with product recommendations in Liah's own words.

About Korean BB Creams:

"BB" stands for Blemish Balm. It's a beauty product that virtually anyone can use, regardless of skin type. A BB cream is sort of like foundation, except it's light in consistency and coverage, and, most importantly, it improves the quality of your skin because it contains antioxidants, anti-aging ingredients, and sunscreen.

BB creams took the Korean beauty market by storm in the 1990s. Hanskin became the first Korean beauty company to specialize exclusively in BB cream and the product quickly spread all over the country. The brand dominated the market back then and continues to do so today, even though there is a lot more competition.

High-end brands like Missha, Etude and Skinfood started to launch their own BB creams, prompting a second wave of Korean BB creams to hit the market.  Eventually, the popularity of BB creams went global creating a third surge of popularity for this product.

Top Korean BB Cream Brands:

With the incredible popularity of BB creams in Korea, there is no way I could single out the best BB creams.

You really need to know your skin type in order to find the BB cream that best suits your skin, but for those of you outside of Korea who are curious, these are the Top 5 best BB cream brands in my country:

My Favorite BB Cream:

My favorite BB cream is Caolion Sensitive BB Cream, but before you go ahead and order a tube, it's important to address your skin type first. Caolion Sensitive BB Cream works for me because I have dry to normal, acne prone, very sensitive skin.

I prefer a dewy finish with natural coverage and a lightweight texture. I don't want to feel it on my skin at all.

What I like most about Caolion Sensitive BB Cream are its ingredients: they're non-chemical, it's paraben-free and non-comedogenic, and it doesn't contain mineral oil. The more natural ingredients make it ideal for my sensitive skin. Caolion works best for me, but it might not be the best BB cream for you.

I first started to use Caolion Sensitive BB cream after getting acne treatments from my dermatologist. My skin was highly sensitive after treatment, but this BB cream helped calm the irritation and was surprisingly soothing on my skin.

Caolion Sensitive BB Cream doesn't provide the best coverage, but the application is very smooth. Since it doesn't contain mineral oil, the texture feels a bit thick at first, but when it warms up to your skin's temperature it quickly blends into your skin.

It's light, comfortable and fresh. I have nothing bad to say about this BB cream.

Because it's a Korean beauty product, finding it stateside is a little more difficult. It's available on eBay, but it's expensive. You can also find other Caolion BB creams and other products on KoreaDepart.com that are a little more reasonably priced.

How to Apply BB Cream:

There's really no special way to apply BB cream, but most people think their fingertips are the best tools. I personally love to put a bit of BB cream on the back of my hand and apply it with a beauty blender sponge. I feel a sponge gives me enough coverage and provides a flawless finish, but if I'm looking for more natural, no-makeup look, I apply it with my fingertips.

More Korean Cosmetics Brands to Try:

Korean cosmetics brands aren't quick to hop on the bandwagon and launch a so-so product just to cash in on a trend. When it comes to beauty, Korean companies are rather specialized. Koreans care about their skin care products so much more than makeup products. If you think about it, if your skin doesn't look good, your makeup probably won't look good either. We Koreans really invest our time and money into our skincare routines.

Dermatologists are also really popular in Korea. Since skincare experts teach us how to care for our skin, Korean companies have to work harder to please consumers. I can proudly bet that Korean skincare brands can hold their own against global brands like L'Oreal, Estee Lauder and so on. As long as Koreans are determined to find the ultimate skincare product, Korean brands will keep making revolutionary products that rival those of big global brands.

Curious about Korean skin care companies? The following brands are the biggest and most influential Korean brands:

Thanks so much to Liah of YellowyCream for sharing all of this amazing information. Be sure to check out her YouTube channel for some awesome videos. 

Updated by Hanah Tetro