Saturday, August 20, 2011

BB & CC Cream - Asia's Hottest Beauty Product for Flawless Skin Invades America

What is a BB cream and why is it so popular in Asia? 

The BB stands for Blemish Balm, an all in one beauty treatment! It brightens the skin, acts as a concealer to cover blemishes, hydrates like a moisturizer, evens out the skin like foundation, contains a high SPF to protect, and delivers serums to soothe, fight acne and aging. My model friend turned makeup artist, Colleen, just returned from Asia and shared this little pearl of wisdom with me, so I wanted to pass it on to you too!

This product was originally developed in Germany as an ointment for patients after they had undergone skin peels to protect, soothe and cover redness. From what I understand, a Korean actress used it after laser surgery as a daily cover up for her recovery and went on to publicize her experience and because of her testimony it became a highly hyped and sought after product launching in Korea around 2005. Spreading to Japan, then SouthEast Asia, and now to Europe and North America, these BB creams may be the next hybrid potion to really deliver!

Besides giving your face a natural flawless look while protecting your skin from the sun, prolonged use of these products are said to fade scars and improve the overall quality of your skin tone.
Before and after pictures using BB Cream:

Some of the most popular brands of BB Cream include Missha, Dr Jart+ (both available at Sephora), SkinFood and Liole. 
Many of the BB creams in Asia come in a variety of different tints but the ones  available today in the American market come only in one or two shades. Boscia's BB Cream has a light neutral beige which works perfectly with my skin and my girlfriend's whose skin is a different hue than mine. The girls at Sephora told me that it works on most everyone unless you are very dark or tan, because it seeps into your skin and self adjusts the color so that it looks invisible, giving you a flawless finish. In the US and UK, MAC, Dior, Smashbox, Clinique and Estee Lauder have all launched their own BB Creams. These 5 in 1 multitaskers are similar to a tinted moisturizer used alone or under makeup, but add a radiance with skincare benefits. I see this easily becoming my weekend go-to product!

Even though you may be just now learning about a BB Cream, there is already a new and improved ... CC cream, on the market. The CC (Color Control) Creams promise to provide better coverage with more skin nourishing ingredients than their older BB predecessors. I have been a fan of the BB creams because of the high SPF and tinted skincare benefits, but my complaint is that they are a little too heavy to wear especially on hot humid days. Well, someone else must have thought so too because the new CC Creams include the high UVA/UVB SPF protection with a lighter and less oily formulation that expertly covers uneven skin tone. Plus most include Vitamin C and a skin brightening primer.


Chanel, whose iconic double C's seem especially made for this Cream, launched their own CC Cream in Asia. They have not yet announced the US release of this product but you can be sure beauty bloggers are already looking for an Asian connection to get their hands on it. Interestingly enough, it looks like drugstore brand and long trusted skincare line Olay, might be first up to bat in the U.S. with their anticipated launch of Total Effects CC Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer in October - available in 3 shades for $22. 

But if you're like me and gotta have it now ... well, where there is a will there is a way! The only CC Cream seemingly available in the states is Rachel K's best selling and highly hyped balm, founded by Miss Singapore Rachel Kum. Available for sale on the ever popular shopping site Ebay. This in demand product is sold in 2 colors - one for yellow undertones (the pink bottle "neutral" color) and one for pink undertones (the black bottle "original" color). Of course this begs the next question ... How do I know what undertone I am?

Undertone is the natural skin coloring that we were born with, notwithstanding the surface color of your skin from weather or skin conditions like acne or rosacea. It's possible to change the color appearance of your skin with makeup or skin products but the idea of finding your undertone is based on the skin you were born with. I think the easiest, fastest way to check is by holding your thumb firmly against your inner forearm for 10 seconds. When you release your thumb, the blood should rush back into the covered area and reveal your true undertone - yellow or pink.

If you have a warm or yellow undertone your skin usually tans and does not burn. And if you look at the underside of your arm, your veins may have a slight greenish tint if you can see them at all.

If your skin has a cool or pink undertone you probably burn first before you achieve a tan and if you look at your veins on the underside of your arm, they will appear blue.

I think whichever  BB or CC Cream you pick will quickly work it's way into your everyday staple because using it corrects uneven face color instantly - tricking people into thinking you have naturally flawless skin without having to worry about the precision of foundation, powder, concealer, primer, brighteners ... All in one! Plus it's good for your skin because of the vitamins, anti aging ingredients and SPF . Remember the big difference between the two is that the CC Creams have a lighter texture.

A little secret about applying the creams ... for areas around the nose or other pigmented areas that need a little more concealing, pat instead of rub to create a layer to cover the redness and even out skin color.

And I couldn't end this post without wondering if a DD Miracle Cream to enhance "you know what"  is on the horizon? Let's hope so!

Shelley GoodStein is a 47 year old FORD model who speaks to women through television, national articles and public forums about a model's secrets to looking good from the inside out and the beauty of aging! She is the author of Face This: Advice From Real Models, Photographers and Make Up Artists on How to Become Picture Perfect!

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