We’ve taken plenty of time testing out a multitude of Korean BB creams to find the very best. This article covers an introduction about BB creams, as well as information about exactly what the creams are, how they can be used, and the various benefits you can expect from using one.
A BB Cream is an all-in-one skin product that is used for multiple purposes. Over recent years the use of hydrating and replenishing BB creams has become popular in many countries across the world including the U.S.A. and the U.K., with global bands jumping in on the action. However, plenty of women in Asia have been using these types of beauty products for many years.
Women in South Korea particularly, have benefitted from using some great BB creams for decades now. Because of this Korean BB creams now have a growing reputation for excellence in markets outside the country, as they are easy to blend and low in ingredients such as alcohol that dry the skin out. While some come in a variety of shades to work with different skin tones, others come in only one shade but have been developed to adapt and blend in well with most skin tones, unlike the majority of foundations.
Of course, since BB creams burst onto the scene there are now also CC and DD creams, but we always find ourselves heading back to using a BB cream, so that’s what we’re concentrating on today. Picking the right cream for your skin type is a big factor when choosing the best Korean BB creams, and there’s something to suit everyone, whether you have normal, dry, oily, combination, or sensitive skin.
Using a BB cream is easy, simply cleanse and moisturize in your usual way and then apply the formula in a similar way to a primer to smooth the skin surface. If you desire, you can then apply makeup over the top, although you may find you want to use less and less foundation as your skin improves over time, and many people stop using a normal foundation altogether.
The best BB creams provided the natural but finished look that’s so sought after these days, and we’ve been working our way through a ton of products in an endeavor to find the best Korean BB creams for all types of skin, including our mentioned top all-rounder and some other great options. Read on for more if you want to narrow down your choice of the huge selection available that will help to keep your skin looking its best. Do note that all prices were correct at the time of writing but are subject to change.
So what is BB cream or Korean beauty balm?
Starting with the basics, BB stands for beauty balm (or sometimes blemish balm), and BB creams can help keep your skin in prime condition and even out your skin tone. The different formulas that are available have different ingredients, but typical ingredients in a BB cream can include peptides and antioxidants (Vitamins A,C E), hyaluronic acid, glycerin, silicon ingredients such as dimethicone, and mica for a light-reflecting finish and luminous appearance.
This type of multi-purpose beauty cream is used on the face and neck to soften wrinkles and lines, and acts as a serum, primer, moisturizer, concealer, and a light foundation, as well as offering sun protection. Using a BB cream is, therefore, an excellent idea for many women and you should consider the type of skin you have before you choose which to try. As we mentioned previously, there are Korean BB creams to suit normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive skins, and they can be particularly useful if you have any skin issues such as dry patches, or blemishes. All you need is a dab of cream for total coverage, and you can easily add more throughout the day if required.
Benefits of using BB cream
- Anti-aging qualities and brightening – A BB cream will help to keep your skin looking its best, due to formulas that contain hydrating ingredients, nutrients, and antioxidants.
- Maintaining healthy skin with sun protection – As any woman interested in beauty will already know, too much sun on the skin is one of the major aging factors. Many Korean BB creams contain a high SPF level that will help to avoid your skin becoming damaged from sun exposure. Some also contain titanium oxide or zinc oxide with water-resistant properties. You can never be too careful with sun protection for your skin though, so think of this as an extra layer of protection rather than your sole protection unless it has a particularly high SPF.
- A lighter foundation. A heavy layer of thick foundation is not the natural look that many of us are seeking nowadays, and the level of the light foundation supplied in a BB cream is just right for a healthy, brighter look.
- Convenience One of the things we like best about using a BB cream is the speed of use, as instead of having to use 5, 6, or even 7 different products, using this hybrid skincare/makeup product can save a lot of time, maybe allowing you a few minutes extra in bed or at the gym!
- Pocket-friendly There are Korean BB creams priced to suit all budgets, although this is one area where it can be worthwhile spending a bit more. Even one with a higher price tag is definitely worth considering, especially when you take into account the prices of all of the other products you would have used instead.
What are the Best Korean BB creams for different skin types?
- MISSHA M Perfect (For all type of skin)
- Dr.G Gowoonsesang Perfect (For oily skin)
- Dr. Jart+ Black Label (For Dry or Sensitive Skin)
- Super+ Belesh Balm Bb Cream (Combinatin skin)
- IOPE Air Cushion XP (for sun protection)
- Etude House Precious (For all skin type)
- 5-in-1 Miracle Skin Perfector (ForOily/Combo Skin)
- Holika Holika Petit BB Cream (for dry skin)
Our number one all-round pick MISSHA M Perfect Cover BB Cream
The extensive list of ingredients includes Rosemary extract, Ceramide, Hyaluronic Acid, Zinc Oxide, Mineral Oil, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Beeswax, Jojoba Seed Oil, Caviar Extract, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, and many, many more.
The color we tested was Honey Beige (on combination skin with some sensitivity) that has a current price tag of $19.17, and prices of the range vary according to which color you choose. It’s hugely popular and is one of the original BB creams, and interestingly it was first developed as a soothing treatment following laser treatment. We only needed one pump of the cream and simply dabbed it across different areas of the face and a little on the neck before smoothing it over with our fingertips. Alternatively, you could use a sponge for an even finish.
As with most other BB creams, it provides a natural-looking finish as well as sun protection, and when we used it, we are especially impressed with the excellent coverage it gave us, despite its lightweight formula. The cream had a not unpleasant smell to it and glided on smoothly, easily covering some fine thread veins above the lips as well as some shadowy areas, and we found it stayed looking good throughout the day, with just the odd extra dab on those thread veins from time to time.
Our skin felt beautifully smooth after using the cream, and it made a great base for makeup. However, a minor drawback for us was that the product description boasts of dark spot correction, but we found it wasn’t so good for this, although others might find it differently. If you prefer a matte finish after applying the BB cream, simply apply a light dusting of powder over the top.
As well as our own satisfying experience with MISSHA M Perfect Cover BB Cream, we took a look at some customer reviews of the product. These were mainly very positive, with many pointing to the flawless natural finish it provides and some noting its anti-inflammatory and anti-blemish properties. Several buyers also mentioned that it helped to cover or prevent their acne, so that’s something worth bearing in mind if you have acne-prone skin. The shade we tried was just right, but we did note that others said you should be extremely careful picking out the right shade, although if it’s slightly too pale, you can always add a little setting powder in a darker tone. We can definitely recommend the MISSHA M Perfect Cover BB Cream so urge you to try it for yourself.
Other great choices of Korean Beauty Balms
For oily skin – Dr.G Gowoonsesang Perfect Pore BB Cream
Dr.G Gowoonsesang contains lime tree water and cabbage extracts to control excessive sebum. It’s also one of the best options if you have easily irritated skin, as it’s alcohol-free, mineral oil-free, Benzophenone-free, tar colorant-free, and GMO-free. Lemon balm and rose hip oil extracts help to nourish and moisturize the skin, and we found it applied nice and smoothly and had a matte finish, another excellent benefit for those with greasy skin, although not so good if you have dry skin.
Just as the title says, it also helps to cover pores, and some older testers found it covered sunspots as well. Some customer reviews found it to be rather heavily scented with some not liking the smell at all, although to be fair we barely noticed the smell.
For Dry or Sensitive Skin – Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox Bb Beauty Balm
If you have dry or sensitive skin this would be a good one to try, as there are no Parabens, Phthalates, or Sulfates. This purifying face cream has a botanical triple-action formula that moisturizes well and also helps calm irritated skin. We found it a little patchy to apply but it eventually covered well and really helped to even out skin tone and cover small blemishes. It has SPF 25 and the ingredients include antioxidants, caviar extract, and Arbutin that is claimed to remove dark spots.
Two of the things we really like about this Dr. Jart+ BB Cream is the lightweight feel and dewy, radiant finish. Others who have used this product noted that it really helps to prevent redness in the skin, with one user saying that her skin was noticeably less red, even after exercising. Another said that while the cream doesn’t claim to actually clear up skin issues, it really helped to do this with her skin.
Good budget choice – Skin 79 Super+ Belesh Balm Bb Cream (Pink Label)
In our look at the best Korean BB creams for all types of skin, we’ve tried to find something for everyone. We found the formula to be really creamy, leaving a matte finish that lasted well for most of the day and covered any minor imperfections. Therefore it acts great as a base if you want to apply separate foundation and makeup on top, although it should be said that some customers have found the cream to be on the heavy side.
Among the many ingredients in this BB cream that will help to soothe and brighten stressed and dull skin are Sweet Almond Oil, Ceramide 3, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, and Iron Oxides, and we liked the pleasant fragrance. A final thing to note is that this BB cream comes in one shade but users said it worked for both light and medium skin tones, and others also said it worked with olive-toned skin.
Great for sun protection – IOPE Air Cushion XP BB Cream Compact
This mineral clay water and UV shield complex are the most expensive of our choices, although still not overly expensive. It has an excellent level of sun protection with SPF 50 to shield your skin from UV rays, so it’s a good choice for those who have fair skin that burns easily or those who simply want to keep their skin as wrinkle-free as possible. We found it provided nice subtle shade, minimized pores, and moisturized well, and it can be added over makeup without ruining your look.
It has an exceptionally high 5-star customer rating, and it’s worth saying that IOPE Air Cushions come in different shades and finishes including Matte Long Wear, Natural Glow, and Intense Cover. They also vary in price, so do look at what others are available before making your final choice.
Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream
Ã‰tude House is one of the most beautiful beauty brands for women out there and also their products are excellent. In all, the Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream is considered the most important. It comes in 4 different shades dedicated to 4 different types of skins. It can brighten up the skin tone with its mineral pearl ingredients. It works on all skin types.
5-in-1 Miracle Skin Perfector (One of the Best BB Cream Oily/Combo Skin)
This is another best bb cream for oily and combination skin. It is made with an oil-free formula and contains anti-glare agents. The coverage of this BB cream is high, and it helps cover the pores and correct facial imperfections. Formulation Facts: Dermatologist tested for safety, won’t clog pores, non-comedogenic, non-acne genic, won’t cause breakouts, oil-free, gentle to the skin, and non-greasy.
Holika Holika Petit BB Cream
Holika Holika is another brand with beautiful packaging, without neglecting the quality of their products. Here you can highlight 2 lines of BB Cream: the Petit BB and Aqua Petit Jelly BB Cream. The first is a line of 5 BB different Creams for a specific purpose, Essential, Moisture, Clearing, Shimmering, and Watery. The Petit BB essential works well for skin coverage. Caviar component in the cream helps to moisturize your dry skin and makes your skin look lighter. It is easily blended out and dry out pretty fast, so you have to blend it out quickly. The second is developed for skin with more fat because of its base aqueous and almost gelatinous.
Determining your skin type and which BB cream is right for your skin
It’s all very well looking at the different products available. We think the MISSHA M Perfect cream just works for every skin type, but before you make a final choice, you should determine your skin type (if you don’t already know) and have a look at other choices as well. There are five basic skin types, oily, normal, dry, sensitive, and combination.
Perhaps the easiest to determine is oily skin, as the skin will have a greasy appearance with a lot of shine. This type of skin is prone to spots, pimples, and blemishes, and usually, those with oily skin will have larger pores. In this case, looking for a BB cream such as Dr.G Gowoonsesang with a matte finish and good coverage will be the best option. Of course, those with normal skin are blessed with the ideal complexion that looks nicely moisturized without appearing oily or dry. This type of skin has good elasticity to ward off wrinkles, and the face usually has an unblemished, healthy, and even tone. People with dry skin, on the other hand, are more prone to developing lines and wrinkles because of a lack of moisture, and shouldn’t wash their skin for too long as it will dry out further. Dry skin will generally have less visible pores but can appear flaky and look dull, so using a BB cream like Dr. Jart+ Black Label will help to protect it against weather conditions that will dry it out even more.
Many people have a mixture of skin types, commonly known as combination skin. The oily part of the face is usually down the middle (nose and chin) and across the forehead (commonly known as the T-Zone), while the rest of the face can be dry. In this case, a good all-around BB cream such as Dr.G Gowoonsesang is the best choice. Finally, we come to sensitive skin, and this can be difficult to deal with as it can be prone to blemishes and breakouts and get irritated easily. When this happens red patches can appear, and the skin can look sore and unhealthy. Too much sun can also be a real problem for those with sensitive skin, so the idea is to choose a BB cream such as IOPE Air Cushion with maximum sun protection.
If you’re still not sure, the easiest way of determining your skin type is to remove any makeup, dirt, or oil and then wash your face with warm water and a small amount of facial cleanser. Massage the face well before rinsing and patting dry with a towel. After a while note how your skin feels and if your face feels tight, looks flaky, and has no visible pores you’re likely to have dry skin. If you have oily skin it will feel fine straight after washing but as the day goes on it will begin to feel oily and you will notice large pores, while those with combination skin may have a taut feeling on the cheeks only and different pore sizes depending on whether the area is dry, oily, or normal. Dabbing your face after a few hours with a tissue will help you to see if you have oily or combination skin depending on where the greasy marks are.
Meanwhile, those with sensitive skin may find that they have to really careful with skin products as they could come out in a rash or feel itchy (check out Dr. Jart+ Black Label). If none of these apply to you, you’re one of the fortunate ones who have normal skin and although you may have visible pores they will not be too noticeable. Another handy tip is to gently pinch your skin, and if you have greasy skin, it will feel smooth to the touch. However, if you have dry skin, it will easily become wrinkled.
In our look at the best Korean BB creams for all types of skin, we were dazzled by the sheer choice available. Narrowing down our top choices was a challenge, but among these options, there should be something to suit everyone. A BB cream is an easy way of keeping your skin looking youthful and healthy, as well as acting as a light foundation, primer for makeup, sun protection and more. The older among us also want to benefit from the anti-aging effects of BB creams, but it’s never too early to start, in fact, the earlier, the better! Indeed, you may be surprised at just what difference using the right face product can make to your skin. When choosing cream you should buy from a reputable brand, and before making your purchase, it’s worth checking out customer reviews and comments first.
The reason that Korean BB creams are so popular is the simple fact that many of them are superior and give the skin a natural, flawless, luminous appearance without leaving it looking overdone or clogged up. They provide excellent coverage, soften and smooth the skin, disguise blemishes and discoloration, and regenerate the skin, and will help to keep you looking younger for longer. We made the MISSHA M Perfect Cover BB Cream our top pick because it’s an excellent formula that we particularly liked in our time testing it, and also because it suits most skin types and tones. It would be interesting to hear your comments about Korean BB Creams and which is your favorite from those listed above, or perhaps one that you’d like to recommend that we haven’t included in our selection. Either way, do send us a comment to give your views.