I’m a massive fan of BB Creams and you’d have to have been living under a rock to not have noticed the mass influx of ‘western’ bb creams for sale in the UK. No.7, 17, Estee Lauder and Too Faced are just some of the brands who’ve released BB Creams recently but they all get it WRONG. First of all let’s explore exactly what BB Cream is and where it originated. BB Cream stands for Blemish or Beblesh Balm and it originated in Germany. It was created to regenerate the skin of laser surgery patients. Korean cosmetics companies heard about it and adapted the formula and started selling it in the Korean beauty market. It became popular thanks to a host of Korean actresses who attributed their flawless skin to their use of BB Cream. Korean BB Creams are a mix of skin care and makeup. The original (Korean) BB Creams do the following: Gives the wearer perfect coverage without clogging the pores on the face Hides pigmentation, acne, discolourisation of the face and other facial blemishes Heals the skin. Soften, refines & smooths the skin on the face. Aids skin regeneration Has anti-ageing properties Protects against sun damage To put things simply a genuine BB Cream is a foundation, concealer and anti-ageing moisturiser all rolled into one. It should provide full coverage while allowing your skin to breathe and regenerate itself. Western BB creams hardly fulfil any of the functions of the original. I’ve tried the 17, No.7, Garnier, Estee Lauder & the Too Faced BB Creams and to put it simply they are nothing like the genuine article. These brands jump on the BB bandwagon without it seems any idea of what a BB Cream actually is. These brands use the popularity of BB Creams to sell a product that isn’t even a BB Cream. These below par imitations aren’t much more than a tinted moisturiser with primer added. It really makes my blood boil and since when are there only two or three skin tones? Despite Korean’s light skin tones I find it easier finding a shade that suits me from Korean brands. Yes most Western versions contain SPF but that is about all they get right and while I’m ranting let me say this. BB does not stand for Beauty Balm! Come on Western brands get with the program and please someone develop a genuine BB Cream. One that is equal or better to your Korean counterparts. I’m not holding my breath though. It seems for the time being I’ll be sticking to my favourite Missha and Skin Food BB Creams! S 12 Responses shoppingsaviour March 18th, 2012 These western brands are being really deceitful, Garnier's cream is just a tinted moisturiser! Would love to try the real thing, where do you buy yours? xx Reply Liz Dean March 18th, 2012 I think the trouble is that all these companies already have full coverage foundation, and a myriad of skin care products that all sell well; and if they offered a true BB cream, all those other products wouldn't sell as much. So they produce something that they don't have in their line [perhaps] like a tinted moisturiser, and something that won't jeopardise their other sales.While marketing it under a name that they know will get people buying it in droves to begin with.If they don't reformulate, I can imagine their BB cream sales dropping considerably after the 1st year. Reply Faye Kent March 18th, 2012 I love sasa.com they're based in asia but deliver worldwide for a reasonable price Reply Faye Kent March 18th, 2012 Good point! It is so deceitful though. Reply Lipgloss Lily March 18th, 2012 I think so many people are just confused about what a BB cream is so I found this really helpful! I think because most brands here seem to be advertising them as so new and innovative, everyone – including me – is just getting a bit sucked into the hype. I would love to try one you've mentioned that is genuine – where do you get yours?xx Reply Sarah Betty Andrews March 19th, 2012 As someone who doesn't really know a lot about BB creams, I am going to completely go with what you're saying. Thanks for sharing this Faye, it's really helpful. Sarah Betty xx Reply FASHION TALES March 22nd, 2012 I think I first heard of BB creams from my sister and a couple friends from Japan, but I never really used or cared about them until recently. Usually hard for me to find a good match for my skin, so I nix foundation, but Asian brands are good because they tend to have yellow based colour matches for my tone. *oh, I love my skin79 bb cream just used it today! LOVE! I want to try others like you’ve listed as well. Reply FASHION TALES March 22nd, 2012 I just read a bb cream review on some site. I totally don’t use it all over my face, I mix it with bronzer b/c it feels less heavy, perhaps I’m using it wrong. works for me though. Thoughts? Reply bloomzy March 24th, 2012 I’m so glad you did this post! Everytime I see a new BB Cream pop up in the UK market I shake my head a little. I wish they had taken inspiration from the actual products, rather than just the hype. It also made me laugh how you mentioned that it isn’t ‘Beauty Balm’ – thank you!! Reply Alexandria March 30th, 2012 Good points. I think that if the general misunderstandings of Asian skin care products were cleared up even a bit there would be a small mad rush. It’s a surprise that even with the internet they’re are not more people demanding for what I believe to be some great products. I use Hada Labo’s BB cream, and I love it. They only offer two color tints, but I am an NC-30 and have never had any problems. I definitely recommend it. You can order it through Akinaistore. Cheers! Reply Lizziebell August 17th, 2012 I couldn’t agree more! I was lucky enough to live in South Korea about 5 years ago and fell in love with korean make-up brands, and BB cream. I was really interested when western brands started selling them and gave one a try – it was awful! Like you say, they just don’t have the same characteristics as a Korean/Japanese BB cream, and ironically I find it easier to find a matching shade in the Korean brands than ones from the UK, despite my typical English rose complexion! So I’ll be sticking to Missha, and ordering it online. During the past year I have been living in New Zealand where they have Missha shops – wish they would bring it to the UK! Reply Cyn August 22nd, 2012 Just ordered four different samples of SKIN79 BB creams. We’ll see how it goes. I didn’t know they were meant to heal and improve the skin instead of just clogging and covering up like regular foundations! I have high expectations now. 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