While researching BB Creams in Korea, we knew we needed someone in Korea to help us weed through the brands and find the best ones. We reached out to Beauty Blogger YellowyCream and she gave us so much great info on Korean beauty, Korean BB Creams and Korean skin care. (What is BB Cream)
History of Korean BB Creams
Back in the 1990's, there was so much hype over BB creams in Korea. The brand Hanskin was the first BB cream specialized company in Korea. The news about Hanskin spread all over Korea back then. If you lived in Korea and were using a BB cream, it was most likely Hanskin. The brand dominated the BB cream market and still, a lot of people who are new to BB cream will likely hear about and try Hanskin first.
Then, the big road-shops and high street brands such as Missha, Etude House and Skinfood started to release their BB cream collections on a regular basis. This is what we think of as the second era of Korean BB creams to hit the market. They were good at advertising, but they really didn't give much information on the product themselves. They were just grabbing on to the BB cream trend.
But things are so much different now. We now have so many great options for BB creams in Korea. Korean BB cream market is fully saturated and luxury global brands are coming out with their BB creams. We think of this now as the third era of Korean BB creams. Korean consumers are way smarter and are able to make educated decisions these days. We can make our decisions based on the products themselves over simply the brand name.
Today, many underground skin care brands are threatening big brands with their quality, better ingredients, and the length of time they took to develop the best product. They results speak by their products themselves. These brands are also breaking down all the information that customer wants to know and not surviving on their brand posted on the bottle.
Korean dermatologists have recently started to jump into the BB cream wagon as well. After all the BB cream flood in Korea, there is no way I could choose or rank the best BB creams because I think we all need to be knowledgeable on our skin type and conditions which will enable us to pick a BB Cream best for our skin. But for those of you outside of Korea who are curious, here are 5 of the top selling BB cream brands in my country.
5 Top Korean BB Cream Brands
- Skin 79 Super Plus BB: Light weight, absorbs quickly, hydrating, healthy looking, SPF 25/PA++, whitening, wrinkle care, sebum control.
- Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream: Luminous finish, pore coverage, healthy looking, SPF 30/PA++, wrinkle care.
- Missha Signature Real Complete BB Cream: Luxurious texture, fine and gentle texture that melts to your skin, great coverage, flawless skin complexion, SPF 25/PA ++, wrinkle care, brightening.
- Jelly BB creams (Skinfood Red Orange Jelly BB Cream or Holika Holika Aqua Petit Jelly BB cream: Jelly pudding like texture, moisture-rich revitalizing ingredients, smooth and fresh finish, ideal BB cream for warmer weather, SPF 20/PA++
My Personal Favorite BB cream
Are you wondering what my favorite BB Cream is? First, it's important to address my skin type and my preference on choosing BB cream which might not be the same as yours. I have dry to normal, acne prone, VERY sensitive skin. I prefer a dewy finish with natural coverage and light weight texture. I don't want to feel it on my skin at all.
My favorite BB cream is Caolion Sensitive BB cream which hits everything I need. What I most like about this BB cream is that the ingredients are non-chemical, paraben-free, non-comedogenic and it doesn't contain mineral oil. Pretty amazing, right? Ingredients are more natural, which is why it is ideal for my sensitive skin.
I first started to use this BB cream after acne treatments from my dermatologist. My skin's condition was highly sensitive after treatment, but this BB cream helped heal the irritation and it was surprisingly soothing on my skin. Just like the first ever Blemish Balms that were invented, it focused on providing what BB cream really needed to be healthy.
These days too many BB creams are confusing us as they're just no different from foundation. BB cream was originated because dermatologists wanted to help their patients to cover their scars, but at the same time, help heal the skin. Caolion Sensitive BB cream sticks to the basics.
I wouldn't say this one provides the best coverage, but the application is smooth. Actually, I hated the initial hard texture and how it went onto my skin. But as I started using it every day and got used to the texture, I became so obsessed with this particular cream. Since it doesn't contain mineral oil, the texture feels a bit hard, but when it warms up from your skin's temperature, it blends into your skin so fast. It is so light and comfortable sitting on your skin. It's very FRESH! I have nothing bad to say about this BB cream.
How to Apply BB Cream
There's really no special way to apply BB cream, but most people think their fingertips are the best tool to apply BB cream. I personally love to squirt a bit on the back of my hand and apply it with a dense but soft textured sponge. I feel a sponge gives you enough coverage and makes the finish flawless. But if I'm looking for more natural, no-makeup look, I apply it with my fingertips. (more BB Cream application tips)
More Korean Cosmetic Brands to TryI think there are wonderful Korean skin care brands out there for everyone. Korean brands are not that competitive when it comes to makeup as we're rather specialized in skincare. Koreans care about their skin care products so much more than makeup products. We Koreans, really invest our time and money into our skincare routine.
In fact, dermatologists are so big in Korea. Skincare brands helped teach us to care for our skin, thus Korean companies must work harder to please us. I could proudly bet that Korean skincare brands could be one of the top players throughout all the global brands, such as L'Oreal, P&G, Estee Lauder Company, and so on. As long as Koreans are so determined on finding the ultimate skincare product, Korean brands will make their own development to beat the big global brands.
Curious on Korean skin care companies? The following brands are the biggest and most influential Korean brands. You should try one!
- Amore Pacific (Parent company of Hera, Laneige, Iope, Aritaum, Sulhwasoo, AP, Innisfree, Etude House.)
- LG Household & Healthcare (Parent company of O HUI, Su um, Belif, Isaknox, VOV, Lacvert, MULE, The Face Shop.)
Missha has an interesting successful story. They started off as a small website called Beauty.net in 2000. As it came bigger, they opened their first offline store in 2002 and at that time, Missha was probably the first "roadshop brand" in Korea. They were known as "3 dollar cosmetic" and that was huge back then when luxury brands were monopolizing the beauty market.
Now Missha is everywhere, you can find them at every block, you can literally access Missha everywhere and they really started the trend for more "roadshop brands" such as Etude House, The Face Shop, Innisfree, Tony Moly, Nature Republic, Holika Holika etc.
Missha's price isn't really able to compete with other roadshop brands. Missha no longer has the advantage of being the only one in the market. And I personally think that led Missha to evolve their skincare products, whereas other roadshop brands still care more about makeup products. Missha's skincare line definitely made their innovation. Many of Korean customers are renewing their old perception of Missha these days.
Thanks so much to Liah of YellowyCream for sharing all of this amazing information. Be sure to check out her YouTube page and watch some of her awesome videos. Here are a few of our top picks.