BB cream, which stands for Blemish Balm, was invented in Germany as a way to treat the skin of patients after laser treatment. South Korea soon caught the BB bug and it was later reinvented as a beauty product, with celebrities such as actresses Song Hye-kyo and Yoon Son-ha touting the cream's many benefits.
Countries including China and Japan soon followed suit and the product's influence is gaining momentum in Europe and the United States as international brands, such as Estee Lauder, produce their own versions of BB cream.
Hailed as an all-in-one beauty product, BB cream's functions include moisturising, concealing acne, discoloration, pigmentation and other blemishes, ultraviolet radiation protection, skin regeneration and restoring a natural glow to your skin. On the cosmetic front, it can also be used as a light foundation to create a natural nude look or a 'no make-up' look.
Bobbi Brown's BB Cream SPF 35 features light reflective pearls, which brighten dull skin, and argireline, which aims to combat fine lines and wrinkles.
Estee Lauder's version is part of its CyberWhite collection, offering SPF 35 protection in a lightweight cream. It is also designed to brighten skin and inhibit surface oil.
Clinique's Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30 was developed for the Asian market. It features vitamin E to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. It also contains caffeine to soothe irritated skin and reduce wrinkles and fine lines. 'It also helps balance skin and provides oil and shine control to extend the life of foundation all day long,' says Janet Pardo, Clinique's senior vice-president of global product development.
3LAB's Perfect BB Cream is a moisturiser with a focus on skin regeneration, hydration and brightening, and protecting the skin. It also features Beta White, a biomimetic peptide for whitening.
Also offering whitening benefits is Biotherm's White D-Tox BB Cream, formulated with mineral pigments for transparency while offering SPF 25.