A new BB was born recently, and it might just be the prodigal son of your cosmetics bag. In fact, BB cream – which stands for beauty balm, blemish balm and beblesh balm (after a copyright complication in Korea) – is being touted by many women as the king of kings, at least as far as makeup goes.
This “miracle cream” acts as a moisturizer, sunscreen, primer, concealer and foundation, all in one easy step. The product is a godsend for those of us who want to even out our complexions, cover up our blemishes, moisturize and brighten our skin and protect it from UV damage. Wait, that’s all of us, right? Well, here’s who you can thank for the the cosmetic “prince of peace.”
The nativity of the redeemer cream
BB cream became popular in Asia, but it was actually invented in Germany by dermatologist Dr. Christine Schrammek in the 1950’s. Schrammek created the formula to protect and soothe her patients’ skin after peels, laser procedures and surgery. It was introduced to Southeast Asia in the 1980’s. Korean soap opera stars, Japanese actresses and other Southeast Asian celebrities there credited the stuff for their flawless complexions. Now, BB cream sales make up 13 percent of the makeup market in South Korea,
The redeemer cream didn’t make it westward until recent years, hitting shelves in Europe, Canada and the U.S. last last year. Many Western cosmetic companies are only now releasing their versions of the magic potion.
Grasping the gospel
Since they rose to popularity in Asia, BB creams have also taken up a holding in the Western market. Almost every major cosmetic company now makes its own version of BB cream, with each boasting a variety of benefits.
Do you love your tinted moisturizer? BB cream might be perfect for you. These creams and balms are designed to not only provide moisture and a little coverage, some even have anti-shine agents or wrinkle solutions built in. They also might be hitting stores at exactly the right time – the one-stop-shop appeal they have makes them perfect for easy breezy summer beauty routines.
Drugstore brands like Garnier have put out one variety, as have more upscale boutique brands like Stila, Hydroxatone and Clinique. Some have better coverage, while others are more moisturizing, and some have vitamins added in to nourish your skin and prevent signs of aging. Shop around to see which one would be best for your needs.