What Is A BB Cream?

FAQ's on BB Cream

BB Cream
Idhren/Flickr

The “BB” in BB cream stands for Blemish Balm, but you don’t have to have a single blemish on your skin to use and love BB creams. BB creams are great for everyone with any skin color/tone and any skin type. Learn more here on where BB creams came from, how you use them, and which ones we recommend buying.

Where Exactly Did BB Creams Originate?

BB cream was created more than 50 years ago by German Doctor, Dr. Christine Schrammek.

This cream was initially created to be used to help heal skin after skin peels as well as hide any scars and redness post peel treatment. It was later introduced in Asia, specifically South Korea where K-pop stars and K-drama stars made note of its ability to transform skin easily. With several big-name stars endorsing it in South Korea, consumers went wild for it.  After consumers became obsessed with BB creams in South Korea the trend made its way to Europe and the United States where it has become a mainstay beauty and skin product. Now all major American make-up and skin care companies are producing their own BB creams.  In addition, Korean skin care and make-up products are also easy to find in the United States which means you have many options to choose from when it comes to deciding which BB cream is right for you.

What Does A BB Cream Do?

A Blemish Balm or BB Cream is a multi-tasking skin product that can transform the look of your skin easily.

For many people this one product is all they need to look put together first thing in the morning. BB creams moisturize, provide sun protection, soothe skin, brighten skin, prime skin, and even out skin tone - all in one product. Some BB creams not only cover up pimples but fight acne as well.  Other BB creams can provide your skin with potent anti-aging ingredients like antioxidants and even peptides.

 Companies keep innovating and new formulations are available all the time so every type of skin can find its own perfect BB cream. 

Isn’t This Just A Foundation?

Well, yes and no. A BB cream is like a tinted moisturizer, but with more coverage and many times with an amazing SPF level. Each brand is different in its ability to cover blemishes and skin imperfections and even out your skin tone. While in South Korea, we purchased Tony Moly Intense Repair Snail Therapy BB Cream, and it gives full coverage and can literally erase any skin issues, but not all BB creams have such full coverage.

BB creams vary in coverage, color, matte vs. dewy, SPF level, etc… It’s definitely a product you might need to try a few different ones until you find the one best suited for you and your skin. (BB cream application tips)  BB cream are great if you don’t like a heavy foundation but still want some form of coverage. This product can even be used as a concealer or highlighter!  Unlike a traditional foundation, a BB cream can replace other products in your skin care and make-up routine like primer and even moisturizer if your skin isn't too dry which can cut down time in your morning skin care routine.

 Just be sure to use extra sunscreen if you are going to be spending the day at the beach or outdoors.  Using just a BB cream when you are outdoors all day long generally does not offer enough sun protection.  On the days you are going to be outside all day first apply your favorite sunscreen and then apply your BB cream on top like a traditional foundation.

Products To Try:

As already mentioned, there is truly a BB cream for every skin tone and skin type from the oiliest skin to the driest.  Companies are finally producing a variety shades that match every skin tone as well.  As with all skin care products available sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to find the perfect product for your skin.  But with all the great products available you'll be sure to find a favorite BB cream you love in no time.

Updated by Hanah Tetro