A BB Cream Retrospective

For years, mineral powder had me sold. I have combination, acne-prone skin and I though that the loose powder worked well at minimizing my pores and reducing shine. For years, I used Bare Minerals foundation and thought I loved it. Until the introduction of the BB Cream.

I won’t call it the BB Cream Revolution, but there have been a hell of a lot of them in the past few years. The BB Cream began in Korea, developed in the 60s as post-surgery treatment. It rose to popularity in the Asian markets in the mid-80s, and a few years ago, reached American markets, saturating our Sephoras with [empty] promises. The BB cream, known as blemish balm, or the American “beauty balm” promises a lighter version of liquid foundation that covers, protects, and even treats skin to prevent acne outbreaks and completely correct problem skin. Needless to say, I doubted one product could do all this. But I tried.

After extensive research and haunting beauty forums, I began with the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream in Light/Medium (I have quite fair skin). Despite high expectations, I found the cream grainy and heavy, and too dark for my skin tone. It also left a visible texture on my skin, which is terrible for anyone prone to blackheads. I wanted to minimize the look of my pores, not accentuate them! I didn’t wait for the $20 half-ounce bottle to run out before scouring the Internet for an alternative. I missed my mineral stuff.

On a whim, I decided to check out Korean BB Creams. Because of my very light skin, I thought that those products, with their many different [whiter?] shades of pale, would work better for me. I also heard that the American BB Creams fell far short of their Asian counterparts; in their haste to fill the demand for BB Creams in the Western market, beauty companies in this part of the world cobbled together ramshackle products incomparable to the originals. After some hours of forum-diving, I had a name: Missha.

IMG_2874I’ve never loved a beauty product, mind you. Never. Apart from Sephora’s $10 cream eyeliner so thick and waterproof that it needs a blowtorch to remove (it doesn’t sound like a plus, but it is), this cream was the first beauty product I truly loved. The MISSHA Perfect Cover BB Cream in No. 21 (Light Beige) promises many delightful things: healing wrinkles, lightening skin tone, prevents skin aging, and providing a light, but excellent skin covering ability. Now, I don’t know about wrinkles or skin aging (yet) but I can attest that this cream gives me excellent coverage.

I’m not one of those who put foundation all over their faces; rather, I spot-treat and blend. This cream is perfect for me because it’s just a touch lighter than my own skin tone, which means that it covers red spots well. I’ve always hated bronzer and even my naturally tan face because it tends to make me look ruddy and accentuate my red spots, so I love how white this stuff is. It goes on smooth, blends flawlessly into my skin, and doesn’t clog my huge pores! Also, it has a whopping SPF 42 to indeed prevent wrinkles and premature aging from the sun.


I encourage you to expand this picture and examine my pores. Do it. I dare you.

I bought a 50 ml (~1.7 oz.) bottle in March 2012, and it’s still going strong. On Amazon, I spent $15 for it. That’s an absurd deal, and I cannot believe how good this product is. I’m not wearing primer or setting powder, just moisturizer. American BB Creams 0; Missha 1.

Tiny frog approves of Missha

Tiny frog approves of Missha

Note: I did not receive compensation or free products for this review. I just wanted to share an experience. 

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