Do you ever wonder why Korean celebrities have fair and flawless glowing skin? One of their beauty secrets is BB cream. BB cream is short for blemish balm or blemish base, a cream that functions as a moisturizer, sunblock, primer, foundation, as well as anti-aging, whitening and skin-regenerating cosmetic all in one. (What more can you ask for?)
The BB cream was introduced to South Korea and Japan in 1980, and since then it has become one of the most famous beauty products in Asia. In fact, it has been called “the secret of Korean actresses”.
In South Korea, men and women, young and old, use BB cream. There are various kinds of BB creams formulated for different ages and skin types; however, because most South Koreans have fair skin, there are only a few shades of BB creams for different skin tones.
I have tried several BB creams in SK, but my favorite has got to be Face Shop’s Magic Cover BB Cream. What I like about this BB cream is that it covers my freckles well, and it doesn’t give that “sticky”, “oily”, “heavy” feeling I get from other BB creams. It has a matte finish which makes my skin look more natural. It’s perfect for everyday use, because it lasts longer on the face. I don’t need to retouch every now and then. (Re-applying BB cream could get pretty messy.) It’s a perfect make-up base for me, too, because it makes my make up stay for hours, even for the whole day, when it’s not so hot. I only have to put powder when my face starts to get a little shiny, but Magic Cover BB Cream provides better oil control, so I need not worry about my face getting oily and my make up “melting away”.
I have a fair complexion, so I use light beige. Face Shop’s Magic Cover BB Cream also comes in natural beige.
Since Magic Cover BB Cream is more dense, I dab just a little amount of it on my face: forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. I use my fingers to spread the cream evenly on my face, and a little on my neck (except when I’m wearing white collared shirt).
TIP: Although BB cream works as a primer and/or make up base, you can apply a separate PRIMER or MAKE UP BASE first to make your skin look smoother. If you’ve got a lot of blemishes to cover, like pimple or acne scars, pat a very small amount of BB cream on the blemishes, blend in with your skin, and then apply your second layer of BB cream on the face… not too much though, or you’ll end up looking like a corpse. You can use concealer to cover the blemishes before applying the BB cream, but make sure that it matches the hue of the BB cream you are using.
I used Face Shop’s Magic Cover BB Cream for the whole autumn and winter. It has lower SPF compared to Face Shop’s other BB creams, but SPF 20 is enough for my skin when it’s not too hot and sunny. Summer is coming, and I am going to need a BB cream with higher SPF. How I wish Face Shop’s Magic Cover BB Cream had higher SPF.
I have tried Face Shop’s Power Perfection BB Cream, with SPF 37, but it doesn’t provide absolute coverage for my freckles the way Magic Cover BB Cream does. Power Perfection BB Cream is just a notch higher because it has a more advanced sun protection factor. I might just stick to Face Shop’s Magic Cover BB Cream, and use a primer with higher SPF before applying the BB cream.
DO NOT WORRY ABOUT USING BB CREAM EVERYDAY. One of the benefits of using BB cream is to repair your skin’s condition. Since BB creams have SPF, they protect the skin from harmful UV rays. BB cream is actually healthy for your skin, as long as you choose the right one for your skin type, and of course, before you go to bed, Sleeping Beauty, you have to remove the BB cream and all that make up from your face. If you don’t, the make up residue might clog your pores and irritate your skin.
Now for CLEANSING… I have mentioned earlier how dense Face Shop’s Magic Cover BB Cream is, so you will need a good cleansing agent to get rid of the BB cream on your face. Personally, I don’t use soap on my face. Soap dries my skin and gives me breakouts. I use only one facial wash from the Philippines, but it’s not enough to clean all the make up and BB cream on my face. The BB cream I am using is a type of high coverage BB cream, so even when my face looks clean after washing it with the usual facial wash and water, IT STILL DOESN’T FEEL CLEAN.
I started using Face Shop’s One-step BB Cleanser and I like its effect on my skin. It’s the only cleansing product in Korea I have tried so far that hasn’t given me any skin trouble. I have very sensitive skin, so I don’t use just any facial wash/cleanser. It is a facial foam that’s quick and simple to use: dispense an ample amount and massage onto the face. You have to put a little water, though, as it dries easily on your face, making it hard to do the massage. When you add water, the cleanser creates a mild foam. I like the feel of the foam on my face. ^^
Right after rinsing, your face feels very clean, smooth and moisturized.
Unlike cleansing oil or cleansing pad/tissue, you don’t have to wash your face after using Face Shop’s One-step BB Cleanser, because it’s already a cleansing-oil-and-facial-foam-in-one that provides thorough washing. Note, however, that IT’S A BB CREAM REMOVER, NOT A MAKE UP REMOVER, so even if it clears away BB cream perfectly, it won’t get rid of stubborn make up, especially waterproof mascara… ugh! I have to use a “lip and eye remover” (Yup, that’s what they call lipstick and eye make up remover in Korea. ^^) to wipe away my make up before washing my face with the BB cleanser.
PRICES: Here in SK, Face Shop’s Magic Cover BB Cream costs 16, 900 KRW (14.55 USD or 624.26 PHP).
Face Shop’s One-step BB Cleanser is 10, 900 KRW (9.39 USD or 402.63 PHP).
Face Shop’s Power Perfection BB Cream is sold for 22, 900 KRW (19.72 USD or 845.90 PHP).
If you are not a resident in Korea, but you would like to try Korean BB creams (I’m telling you, Korean BB creams are the best. ^^), you can purchase them on Ebay or YESSTYLE.com. (Expect that prices are more expensive.)
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