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Cosmetics History South Korea

BB cream, I love to use it, but what is it that makes this cosmetic so special? Today we will talk about the, throughout asia, well known and well used, BB Cream.

The BB in BB cream has quite some few meanings, “Blemish Balm”, “Blemish Base”, “Beblesh balm”, and is in the Western markets it is known as “Beauty Balm” . Compared to normal tinted creams, the BB Cream has both the perfection power of foundation and moisturizing power of a skin care product. So beside only looking good, your skin will feel good as well. Beside that is also provides a sunblock.

Beside BB Cream there is also another variant called CC Cream, which popped up a little later. The CC stands for Color Correction and beside having all the benefits from BB cream it also has the specific feature of homogenizing the coloration of the skin. It corrects the complexion concerns such as redness and dullness.

Even though BB cream is widely known and used in asia, this product doesn’t officially originate from asia. The predecessor of what would become BB cream was originally formulated way back in the 1960’s in Germany. The dermatologist, Dr. Christine Schrammek created it to protect her patient’s skin after facial peels and surgeries. In the 1980’s the product was developed further by Korean skin care/cosmetic companies, making it into what we know today as BB Cream.

The BB creams have a variety of formulations. Since the Korean companies focused initially on the Korean and East Asian markets, they are offered in a limited number of hues, of course most of them are very light. Instead of offering multiple shades for different skin colors, most formula are designed to oxidize to match the user’s skin-tone. The skin-whitening properties of this cream make it into one of the more popular products in the Asian market as extremely white skins are seen as beauty in most of those countries.

The cream is promoted to be a multitasker and an All-in-one treatment, however the Korean women mostly use it as an alternative for foundation. They are not very fond of the western formulations of foundations because they tend to be too heavy for their taste. The coverage is (often) mineral-based and is intended to not only cover, but also treat blemishes such as acne, sun spots and age spots. It has anti-wrinkle, anti-inflammatory and soothing effects. Several contain Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid, which is an natural occurring acid in the human body. It act as some sort of lubrocation appliance for our nerves, joints, hair, eyes and of course, skin. When you get older the ability to produce Hyaluronic declines, leading to dryness, fine lines, wrinkles and sagging. This ingredient seems to give BB cream it’s skin-regeneration properties, or so they say.

Even though it makes up for about 13% of the cosmetic market in South Korea, where some brands also offer BB creams for men, It only became popular i the western cosmetic world around 2012. Western cosmetic companies began to launch BB creams, though some for those creams have been criticized for lacking the skin care functions that normal BB creams have. The western products, however are slightly altered. As an example, most of the western versions don’t have the whitening properties like the Asian ones.

As for me, I personally prefer the Korean BB creams. I have tried many brands such as garnier and L’Oréal since they were easier to get, however, I never felt very satisfied as my skin wouldn’t feel as soft and well as when I used the Korean ones.

Also it might take some time and tries before you find the BB cream that fits you the best since there are  a lot of brands and versions of it! Don’t be afraid to try some brands and versions. Once you find the BB cream that fits your skin and personality, you will notice the difference.


Sources: Wikipedia, Google
Picture sources: Google

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