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Friday, June 20, 2008

BB Creams: Quick comparison

I have accumulated 7 BB creams now (and have a few more in sample sachets waiting to be used) and I tried all out so I wanna give a short review on each of them.

For those who are unaware of BB creams I'll give a short introduction to the world of BB creams (BB stands for Blemish Balm or Beblesh Balm depending on the company producing it).

BB cream is the newest hit originated in Korea but already very popular in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Japan. It's a cream that combines the benefits of healing ingredients (as it was developed for post-laser-surgery-skin), skin care and light-medium skin coverage in 1 product. Furthermore most BB creams contain a sunscreen (both UVA and UVB) and have other properties like whitening or anti-aging. It's supposed to be your all-in-one skincare, makeup and sunscreen.
It's a quite convenient product similar to Tinted Moisturizer but with more benefits.

What I really like is that in the morning I just have to wash my face and then apply the BB cream and my skin is really wonderfully evened out. I might apply my full makeup later on top of it or I might just wear BB cream but my skin always looks good.
I am someone with very sensitive skin and constantly get red bumps on my cheeks. I find that with daily use of BB cream those bumps almost disappeared making my skin look clearer.
My main problem with all tinted products (no matter if makeup, powder or concealer) is finding a good color match. Most BB creams come in 1 shade only so it's a bit of luck to find a perfect match. Out of the 7 BB creams I purchased 4 are very good matches, 1 is fine and 2 are just too dark. Supposedly BB cream can adjust to any skin tone but I didn't find this to be true.

1: Skin Food Mushroom Multi Care BB Cream SPF20 PA+:
This comes in 2 colors. Naturally I got the lighter one and it matches ok but is a tad bit pink and a little dark. It can blend into my skin tone but it's not the most perfect color out there. This has a light scent I am not too fond of. It's a rather thick cream probably suited best for winter. This has additional whitening and anti-aging ingredients. Medium coverage.
Squeeze tube contains 50g.

2: MISSHA M Shiny BB Cream SPF27 PA++:
I already did a thorough review for this item. Has a soft pleasant scent and contains ingredients like pearl powder, amethyst powder and others to give a slight sheen to the skin. Gives medium coverage and a light dewy finish. The cream is a bit thick so I don't like to wear this on very hot sweaty days.
The color match of this is really good, it's quite pale.
Squeeze tube contains 50ml

3: MISSHA M Watery BB Cream SPF27 PA++:
Has a light consistency but is unfortunately way too dark for me. It gives a pretty matte light coverage and makes skin quite soft. I am quite sure it irritated my skin though as I found some red bumps after washing this off that weren't there before. Gives a really refreshing cool feeling upon application. I think this is better suited for normal-oily or combination skin-types.
Squeeze tube contains 50ml.

4: MISSHA M Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF42 PA+++:
This has by far the highest SPF and PA. This comes in 2 colors: #21 and 23. I purchased the lighter 21 and am very pleased with the color match. The coverage of this product is quite good and the cream feels slightly thick but not overly heavy or sticky. Has a light pleasant scent. The finish is rather dewy and natural.
Has whitening and anti-aging ingredients.
Comes in a squeeze tube with a hygienic pump dispenser. Contains 50ml.

5: Etude House Magic BB cream (version for dry skin):
I don't see a SPF listed on the box. This smells a bit herbal but I didn't get too far with this cream as it's just too dark. The funny thing is that it doesn't look really dark when I squeeze it out of the tube but when I spread it it gets a nasty orangey color). It's a thick but not too heavy cream with decent coverage abilities.
Unfortunately the tube is printed in Korean only so I can't say which ingredients this has.
Squeeze tube with pump dispenser that contains only 35g.

6: Skin79 Super+ BB Gold Label (VIP Gold collection) SPF25 PA++: This is my favorite BB cream of the lot. It offers an almost perfect color match and feels lighter than the other BB creams. It has a very faint scent and gives me a good sheer-medium coverage. The color match is almost perfect for my porcelain complexion. This contains some fancy ingredients like caviar extract, gold, adenosine, arbutin (both whitening and anti-aging ingreds) osmopur (ivy, rice bran, mined sunflower) phyto complex etc.
I have to say the bottle this comes in is the best! It's a big bulky posh looking pump dispenser containing 40g. There is also a pink version available with some different ingredients but it's definitely the next BB cream I would get.

7: Hanskin Super Magic BB Cream SPF30 PA++:
This also is a good color match and seems to be the only cream that's not scented. This is probably the most expensive cream out of the lot and is a good color match for me.
What I don't like about this BB cream is the slightly sticky feeling it leaves. The majority of BB creams seems to be slightly thick but this one really sits on my skin. The coverage is good and the result is pretty but I just don't like the feeling that much.
I got 3 sample squeeze tubes with 9ml each. I think the full size contains 40g.

All the BB creams I tried are in the US$18-25 range online (and less in Korea) and I would highly recommend the Skin79 or Perfect Cover BB creams.


Wang Yang said...

Thanks for the BB cream reviews, very helpful!

I would recommend the Banila Co. Let me finish BB cream! Very good!

emily @ shinyshampoo said...


the skin79 is light?? coz i bought the hot pink edition, it was dark chocolatey color...

so now i'm planning to buy missha perfect cover #21.

btw, you're yellow tone or pink tone??

Kathi said...

Yea, you can see on the swatch that the color is quite pale! if the hot pink one is dark I'll better skip it! Thanks for the info!
The Missha Perfect Cover #21 is really good and very light.
I am pink-toned btw.

Hikaru said...

What a wonderful review~!!!!! I use SkinFood Aloe Sun BB Cream SPF 20 PA+ and I really love it but don't control oil after a few hours (and I usually don't have oil~!). I've a very sensitive skin too ^^ Ah~! And I love porcelain complexion, hehehehe \^O^/

Thanks again for the comparative~ ^^


Kathi said...

Thanks, Hikaru =D
All the BB creams i got seem to do nothing for oil control. I have normal-slightly dry skin and feel most of them are quite rich and moisturizing. I think there are some BB creams more suited for oily types like Etude Magic BB for oily skin or Skin Food Green Ginko BB cream =D

Pink Sith said...

Hi: I recently ordered the etude (for oily skin), missha and skinfood ginko creams, based on your reviews to try. Thanks so much for the helpful information! Darthwolkon mua

bambam said...

Hi Kathi,

Thanks for the great review. I've been interested and dabbing with BB cream for a while but yet to find one that matches my skin. Which one would you recommend for NC25-30-ish skintone? Do you think Missha M Watery might be a good color to try? TIA for your answer :)

Wombat said...

omg i just realised there are these many Skin79 BB creams! Now I have to pick one to start with!


Kathi said...

I think the Missha M would be a good choice for you, maybe also the Missha M Perfect Cover #23.

... said...

i just got a tube of the etude bb cream and after reading your post i realised there are 2 versions - for dry and oily types, goodness the SA didn't tell me. how do you differentiate them? the box is all korean wordings i can't read. anything specific label i should refer to know whether mine is for dry or oily skin? oh ya, what is your mac nc/nw shade? :)

Kathi said...

I don't know how to tell the difference either. I purchased it from ebay and the seller had both version listed.
I trust that the one I bought is for dry skin as it feels rather rich and oily.
I am a NW15. I gave another try to the Etude BB Magic cream and it worked better as I got a bit tan but the color is still a bit off and I much prefer my Skin79, Missha Perfect Cover and Missha M Shiny BB creams.
I ordered the new speedy makeup MINERAL base from Etude House as it comes in 2 colors I could pick the lighter one and I hope it'll be a better color pick for me. It's not a BB cream per se I believe though.

Ecoo said...

Thanks for the reviews. I purchased the Skin79 Gold Label after reading this and am really happy with it. I just wrote a small review from my own blog and have a link to your review.

bambam said...

Thanks Kathi for your reply :) one more question; are the two you suggested suited yellow-undertone skin? the ones I tried from skin79 seem to be more for people with pink undertone.

Kathi said...

Lioele and Etude house are rather yellow. Missha is pretty neutral in my opinion

bambam said...

Thanks again for your comment, Kathi :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the swatches, it helpes a lot!
I purchased the SkinFood Aloe bb cream in the lightest shade recently and at first it matches my skintone pretty good but after a minute or two it oxidizes into a slightly darker, more pink color. I kinda freaked because it's supposed to be the lightest colour and was still to dark for my TANNED skin, i didn't realize i was THAT pale lol Maybe i should get the Skin79 too...

tho said...

hi. just wondering if you got all your bb cream thru gmarket?

thanks very impressive.
currently using skinfood aloe.
tryin to get hold of so many other brands.. just started on bb recently..
great post.

カロリイン said...

Hi Kathi,

I am so glad that u have such a comprehensive post on BB creams! I am wondering what brand to get. thanks a million for your comparison. Keep it the good work. :)


Maryda said...

hi kathi
which bb cream should I get for oily/acne prone skin, yellow undertone golden, asian skin. I'm medium or NC30. Thanks alot.

Kathi said...

I am not sure about the acne-prone and oily skin-type as I can't read the ingredients of most BB Creams.
Since you're an NC30 you need BB Creams that run a bit darker like MISSHA Watery or maybe Castledew in #2. Check out the BB Cream thread on Cocycot! I think oily girls rave for Dr. Jart Silver?

Anonymous said...

hi.kathy.. nice to meet ya..:)
i was surfing BB cream reviews and accidently bump into here..
ur skin70 gold label BB cream is bit diff from wat i usually seen in other site... ur BB cream bottle got glittery stone and others dun.. :D
may i know where u get this special gold BB cream?

dblchin (double chin) said...

Thanks for sharing the BB creams babe!!!

Now I know which to head better on bb creams~

Vuthy said...

Wow, lots of great swatches here! If anyone's still looking for a darker BB cream, Missha now makes No. 31! Works great on my tan, darker skintone. I did swatches on my blog if anyone wants to compare:
BB Cream for Darker Tan Skin

Vee said...

Actually, BB creams were originally developed in Germany by Dr. Christine Schrammek in the late 60s who later introduced the concept to Korea and Japan in the the mid 80s.

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