Beauty Balm Bonanza: What is all the fuss about?

What was once only a high-end beauty secret is now taking over the shelves at drugstores and everyone seems to be going crazy over them. I am talking about BB creams or Blemish Balm creams and I am going to let you in on the big secret behind this small product.

This unique “cream” originated in 1950’s Germany and was used as a treatment for laser skin surgery by dermatologists. Word spread quickly and 30 years later Korea was looking into how they could market this miracle cream to those willing to pay for it. Korean celebrities flaunted this newfound beauty balm and thus began the whirlwind of the BB cream.

Why all the fuss? The BB creams have been marketed as an all-in-one product: moisturizer+primer+foundation+sunscreen. The formulation has been said to be soothing and anti-inflammatory, which sounds pretty great, right? BB creams are 13% of the cosmetics market and with reason.

When the hype hit the States, the reaction was pretty insane. Asian beauty stores all across the country began to sell these secret creams and beauty gurus began their quests to let us all in on the secret. So, are they really what they claim to be?

There are so many brands to choose from now:

Asian brands:
  1. Missha
  2. Etude House
  3. Skinfood
  4. Hanskin (first in Korea)
  5. Skin 79

American brands:

  1. Smashbox camera ready
  2. Garnier skin renew
  3. Clinique age defense
  4. Maybelline dream fresh
  5. L’Oreal youth code

It seems like every brand is coming out with some form of BB cream and honestly, most of the drugstore brands remind me of a glamorized tinted moisturizer. The BB creams are supposed to be less coverage than a foundation, but more coverage than a tinted moistrizer. I think for the money that you are going to spend on a BB cream ($10-$15), it isn’t worth the product. I don’t think the “blemish balm” name suits the product either. I am not speaking for all BB creams because I haven’t tried nearly enough to generalize, but from what I have tried at the drugstore, the results aren’t that great. I would much rather just mix a foundation that matches my skin (BB creams only come with a few shades: light, medium, dark) with a moisturizer that has SPF and is hydrating for my skin, which the BB creams claim to be.

I think these creams are worth a try if you have never tried one, but I would suggest a Korean BB cream, rather than one at the drugstore.

Let me know what you think and if there are any BB creams you think I should try. I am always up for some new products!

XO Alexa


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