What Are BB Creams?

 One of Asia’s number one best-selling B.B. Creams: Missha Perfect Cover B.B. Cream SPF 42 PA+++ ($20.99)

B.B. Creams claim to be the superhero of skin care. They can camouflage pores and wrinkles, protect your skin from the sun, even out skin tone and reduce redness, moisturize but keep oil at a minimum. Basically they claim to do it all. What is a B.B. Cream and why is it so magical? I did some investigating and found out what you need to know about B.B. Creams.

The cream was originally developed in Germany in the 1970’s. It was formulated to moisturize, provide sun protection and add coverage to skin. The multi-tasking cream was marketed towards patients who had recently undergone a dermatological procedure such as an acid peel or laser treatments.

The B.B. in B.B. Cream stands for blemish balm. In the East, a blemish is considered to be any skin imperfection, not just pimples. Whether it is skin discoloration, sunspots or blackheads, it’s all a blemish. The cream got it’s name when it gained popularity in Asia after consumers discovered their mild formulations. The Asian beauty industry quickly started producing the moisturizing cream and shoppers snapped them up.

There are three specific things that you should look for when choosing a B.B. Cream. True B.B. Creams should meet the following requirements:

  1. They should not contain any potentially irritating ingredients. The cream should not only be free from alcohol but also fragrance-free.
  2. They should provide full spectrum sun protection. Look for ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
  3. They should provide a natural coverage. The color should be on the sheer side providing a light natural finish.

I did some browsing on sephora.com and noticed all of the B.B. Creams claimed to do the same thing but, each one had it’s own special trick. Also, a lot of the creams had PA protection in addition to SPF. The PA ranking refers to the amount of protection the sunscreen offers from the UVA rays that may cause long-term skin damage. PA ranking are listed as PA+, PA++ and PA+++. The more +’s there are, the higher the protection. 


CliniqueAgeDefenseB.B. CreamSPF 30, ($37.00) was the most basic version on Sephora’s website. Beyond the regular B.B. Cream claims, Clinique’s version comes in two shade options and contains antioxidants for age prevention. While the cream does have an SPF 30, this was the only cream on Sephora’s website that did not have a PA ranking.


  Dr. JartThePremiumBeautyBalmSPF 45 PA+++


Dr. Jart +WaterFuseBeautyBalmSPF 25 PA++ 

Dr. Jart offers two B.B. Cream variations, and while the core purpose of the cream is the same, they are both targeted to address different problems. ThePremiumBeautyBalmSPF 45 PA +++, ($39.00) contains a treatment serum which includes advanced brightening properties. The +WaterFuseBeautyBalmSPF 25 PA++, ($32.00) is made with 50% water to help hydrate skin providing aninstant soothing and cooling effect.


BosciaB.B. CreamSPF 27 PA ++, ($38.00) comes in one self adjusting, universal shade taking the guess work out of choosing the right color for you.

 Since B.B. Creams contain color, I would suggest testing them out before purchasing. Sephora stores encourage you to play and test for as long and with as many products as necessary until you find exactly what you are looking for.

 Finding your perfect B.B. Cream can be a huge time saver in the morning since this superhero product does so many things. In addition, it is wallet friendly considering this one cream can replace the need for multiple skin care products. Making it worth the time and effort to start the hunt for your perfect B.B. Cream.


 Missha Perfect Cover B.B. Cream SPF 42 PA+++ can be purchased online at misshaus.com

 Clinique, Dr. Jart and Boscia B.B. Creams can all be purchased online at sephora.com or at a Sephora store near you.


Kathleen Novak
Kathleen Novak
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