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Friday, July 29, 2011

My deep, abiding love of Korean BB Creams.

I grew up in Northern New Jersey, so naturally I had a few Korean friends growing up. Over the years, I've kept in touch with quite a few of them and if there's one thing I've noticed it's that their mothers look exactly the same as they did 30 years ago when we were in kindergarten.

They may be on to something...

That something is apparently staying out of the sun and wearing sunblock...oh and the endless amount of fabulous Korean skin care products including the fabulous 8 in 1 BB Cream!

Here's how I discovered BB Cream for myself: Back when I was in the Navy and working midwatch, my routine was to get out of bed around 1 p.m. and watch Ladies of the Palace (Yeo-in Cheon-ha) while I ate my "brunch".  No, I do not speak Korean, nor did I have the benefit of subtitles. At first I was just in a fatigued trance and hadn't changed the channel since the night before; then I noticed the costumes...I started to pay attention. Before long, I was able to follow the story. I was unwillingly hooked.

This blows All My Children out of the water.

Fast forward 5 years or so, I'm on sabbatical (i.e. unemployed) and looking for something to watch during the day besides Jerry Springer and Maury Povich, so I Google "Ladies of the Palace" and Korean Soap Opera and my results contain information guessed it, BB Cream

You've probably heard the back story to BB Creams already, but since it's my job to type it out, here it is again:

BB cream, also known as Blemish Balm, Blemish Base or Beblesh (don't ask, probably lost in translation or a typo) Balm, is a cosmetic item sold mainly in Asia. 
Originally formulated in Germany by Dr. med. Christine Schrammek, it was used by dermatologists to help laser surgery patients "protect, soothe and refine sensitive skin while providing light coverage for post-laser surgery care".

It was popularized by Korean Soap Opera stars BB creams when a few started mentioning it in interviews and the "Bare Faced Revolution" in Asia was born!

BB creams are sometimes used like a primer under foundation, and if tinted may even replace foundation and some newer ones will have functions of primer, foundation, moisturizer, sun block, pore minimization and skin refining together.

Lately, it seems like everyone has been jumping on the BB bandwagon. Even Maybelline has one.There is no shortage of creams to choose from. The German BB Creams, although the original and supposedly the best, are way out of my price range at $80-$90 USD a tube. Plus, I can only find them online and for myself, online purchases are for when I already know what I'm getting.

MAC just came out with Prep and Prime Beauty Balm BB Cream (online only) which I purchased immediately since I love MAC products. I expected the 8-in-1 from MAC, but like it says on the label, it's a primer. A lovely primer, but just a primer. Ho hum.

I was fortunate enough to run into a full display of BB Creams with testers and trial size tubes at our local Marukai. I've tried a few now I am particularly fond of Missha's BB Creams. Thanks to a generous sample lady, I've been able to try all of them.

My absolute favorite? Missha Perfect Cover in #23 for winter and #27 for summer for my NC30-NC35 skin. It comes in the widest variety of colors (great for darker skinned girls since most creams come in 2 colors; fair and light) and covers flawlessly yet still manages to be invisible. No greasies, no falling into fine lines Amazing stuff! You can purchase it on the Missha website at

Missha is VERY generous with samples and if you "Like" them on Facebook at Missha USA Facebook, you can get in on their Flash Sales. They make all sorts of BB Creams marketed towards teens, baby boomers, those needing a little coverage or a lot, dry skin, oily skin, etc.

If you want to try the creams out, I've found that Marukai has the best selection in the San Diego area. You can also check out H Mart, Zion Market, 99 Ranch, Mitsuwa, and countless specialty cosmetic shops.


  1. So, good for oily skin too? You know, I'm expecting to look 10 years younger and not have to cover up my 39 years with mounds of makeup. Yes? If so, I'm a willing shopper! :)

    1. Yes! It depends on what brand you get though. The Korean brands cover quite a bit. CC Creams are coming out now and they're supposed to be BB creams turned up a notch.

      Oil of Olay is coming out with a CC Cream this month! It's already on their site!