BB Cream: Korea’s Secret to Flawless Skin

bb cream 
With the rise in popularity of many new international cosmetic brands, it seems that Asian beauty trends have earned a permanent place in the world-wide beauty sphere. Among these new trends is the secret of countless Korean celebrities both females and males alike, including famed actress Song Hye Kyo and popular Korean boy group JYJ. Upon examining their faces, they all seem to be blessed with photo-perfect, airbrushed skin. Are their gorgeous complexions the result of good genetics? Partially, but the main reason for their flawless, glowing skin is a revolutionary beauty product that has sparked an energetic following among makeup enthusiasts all over the world. This magic product is called BB cream.

What Is A BB Cream?

A BB cream (BB stands for ‘blemish balm’) is an all-in-one skin cream, foundation, and concealer. It was originally developed in Germany for skin care patients to use on their faces after undergoing skin procedures like acid peels and laser therapy. After experiencing the skin-nourishing benefits of BB cream, Korean cosmetic companies took advantage and turned it into a super effective and affordable beauty product. It is now one of Korea’s best selling beauty products and is quickly becoming a hit in other Asian countries such as Japan and Taiwan. And it seems that the rest of the world is catching on.

How does BB Cream work?

A BB cream works very much like a tinted moisturizer, in that it functions as a skin cream and a lightweight foundation as well as a concealer. Many formulations also include SPF, which eliminates the need for a separate sunblock, and anti-aging and whitening agents in order to create a more youthful-looking face.


Is BB cream right for me?

BB creams generally only come in one shade, usually beige, so finding a BB cream if you are darker-complexioned can be a challenge. But this makes BB creams very good for those with lighter complexions with yellow or pink undertones (most BB creams tend to be in the M.A.C. NC/NW 20-30 range). Another thing to consider is that most formulations are also geared towards Asians, who generally have oily or combination skin types, so those with dry skin may find that some BB creams aren’t moisturizing enough. The best way to see if a BB cream is right for you is to try it out on your own skin, but when that isn’t possible, reading reviews that give detailed comparisons and shades swatches will also work.
Where can I find BB cream?

Because BB creams are so popular, practically all cosmetic stores in Korea sell their own version of a BB cream. If you live in Asia, finding a BB cream is relatively simple, but for international buyers the process becomes a little more complex. Testing out a BB cream in store before buying is preferred, but those who order BB creams online are recommended to start with one brand before trying any others.

Sites that sell BB creams internationally include,, and Some Korean cosmetic brands like Etude House have also opened up websites in English to allow overseas customers to purchase their products. Popular brands of BB creams include BRTC, Dr. Jart, Skin79, and Missha.

BB CREAM REVIEW – Skin79 Triple Function Hot Pink

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About Lauren Bermudez

Lauren Bermudez is a guest writer for The BeautyRules, specializing in Asian cosmetic products and procedures. She carries a lifelong passion for makeup and Asian pop culture, and can be usually found reading, listening to K-Pop, snacking, or lurking somewhere else on the Internet.


  1. I want BB Cream to be more widely available in the USA and not overpriced. It seems absolutely amazing

    • Lauren Bermudez says:

      Thanks for commenting Naree! This is a sad truth of most Asian cosmetics in general. They are actually quite cheap in Asia, but importing them over to the USA makes the prices go up by quite a bit. ):

  2. BB cream? big bang cream? haha
    I’m asian! i have oily skin! I gotta get me some magical bb cream now!!

  3. Hi. I am an Indian in my mid 30’s and I have got an oily skin. From past few days I have got acne and even my skin has got much tanned. I was looking for a product that would help me retrieve my earlier complexion back, so is this BB cream right for me? Can you let me know the price of this cream, though I know that money is secondary when it comes for beauty.

    • Hey Anamika!
      If you’re looking to cover up blemishes, BB cream would probably do the trick. Some girls can use BB cream without going back over it with concealer, but if blemishes are a bit more prominent then you should probably use a concealer with BB cream.
      But if you’re looking for a way to treat your skin, just remember that while BB cream has been noted to make skin improve over time, it’s just a make up product and can’t substitute for a regular skincare regimen. (:
      Most BB creams run through range of 15-25USD, but selling them online will probably make the prices go up to 25-35USD.
      Hope this was helpful! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Is BB Cream okay to use on a sensitive skin?

  5. This product sounds fantastic. Can it be used daily as a substitute for regular moisturizer? Have there been any side effects reported from the usage of this cream?

    • Hi Sky! While BB cream does have a lot of skin-nourishing benefits, BB cream should not replace a regular moisturizer. This is mostly because BB cream is pigmented since it’s meant to be a makeup, so it’s probably not healthy to wear to bed!
      Some people report to getting rashes and allergic reactions, but it’s different for every person. The best way to gauge a BB cream’s overall interaction with the skin is to read a lot of different personal reviews. Most reviewers will mention if a certain BB cream made them break out, develop a rash, etc. I personally love Musings of a Muse ( and Eki Blog ( Hope this helps, thanks for stopping by!

  6. what is the beat BB cream for super oily skin like me?:D

  7. I’m indian and have a tan combination/oily skin tone, which bb cream will suit darker skin tones?

    • Hi Helena! It’s always hard to find BB Creams that come in more than one shade, but I’ve read several reviews that Missha’s M Real Complete BB cream offers the darkest shade out of all BB creams. It’s also more matte than other BB creams, so it doesn’t leave an oily feeling on your skin. I suggest the MIssha BB cream and if it’s still too light to mix it with a little bit of your foundation to darken it some. The darkest shade of the Missha M Real Complete BB cream is about an NC 35, if that helps!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I am a 52 y.o. Canadian caucasian, with acne prone oily skin. At my age I am tired of dealing with problem skin. Looking for something that heals, conceals and diminishes wrinkles and pores. I have heard great things about BB Cream but have noticed a ton of product lines adverising they are the original BB cream. What do I decide to use? What / where can I buy here in Toronto that isn’t going to cost me an arm and a leg? Please help.

    • Hi Kathleen! A lot of brands like to claim that they are the original, but it’s hard to say which one really WAS the original BB cream. It most likely originated in Germany, but is not all that suited to cosmetic purposes.
      Skin79 has a great BB cream for oily skin called the Triple Function Hot Pink BB cream. I actually reviewed it in this article! I also have acne problems and this helped clear it up quite a bit!
      As far as buying it, I believe there is a Koreatown in Toronto. Try to see if you can find a Korean market, as they will usually have a cosmetic section and the prices will usually be lower than what you can find online. If not, and all ship internationally!
      Thanks for stopping by!


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