If you’re wondering (LW): BB cream stands for beauty balm. It is a cosmetic item sold mainly in East and Southeast Asia, although larger beauty brands are increasingly introducing BB creams to Western markets.
BB cream is promoted as an all-in-one facial cosmetic product to replace serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock.
What was to become BB Cream was originally formulated in the 1960s in Germany by dermatologist Dr. Christine Schrammek to protect her patients’ skin after surgery. Introduced to South Korea and Japan in 1985 – where healthy-looking, porcelain skin is heavily prized – the cream was hailed as “the secret of Korean actresses,” and was heavily endorsed by Korean celebrities.
The cream is promoted as a multi-tasker, an all-in-one treatment, but Korean women mostly use it as an alternative to foundation, especially Western foundations that tend to be too heavy for their taste. The coverage is often mineral-based, and is intended to both cover and treat blemishes such as acne, sun spots and age spots. It also has anti-wrinkle, anti-inflammatory and soothing effects.