stands for Beauty Balm, Blemish Balm, Blemish Base or Beblesh Balm. This variety of versions for a single acronym is the outcome of copyright issues that little have to do with the product itself.
The first BB cream was developed by a German dermatologist in the 1950’s, in order to be used after cosmetic surgeries or other harsh procedures on the face. Today’s BB phenomenon, though, does not come to us from Germany, but from the East Asian market, where BB has already put a spell on. BB creams firstly became popular in South Korea and Japan.
So, what actually is a BB cream?
Well, practically, it is a makeup item with skincare properties. Something like a tinted moisturizer, but not exactly like that. Let’s try to describe it using products that are familiar to us. It is between a tinted moisturizer and a foundation with a built-in primer, usually of high spf and with whitening and anti–aging properties. Typically, there is not a wide tone selection (if any selection at all) and they tend to have a greyish hue which blends in with the skin. Don’t forget that the original BBs are designed for the East Asian population.
Despite of its skincare properties, a BB cream is essentially a makeup item, so bear in mind that it needs to be removed before going to bed.
BB cream has lately started making its breakthrough in the western market and cosmetics companies have began making BBs targeting the westerners, most BBs of which lack of the whitening properties.
What does the future hold for the BBs? Will they conquer the western world as they did the eastern? Or something “new” will predominate? We simply have to relax, wait and see…