Asian BB Cream Collection: Swatches

A few years ago, I was going through an asian skincare product phase.  I was interested in expanding my product base and asian skincare products seemed like the best fit because of a few factors.  Many asian countries are in sweltering, high heat, high humidity regions.  Some asians are very acne prone and have oily skin.  Asian skin is prone to having significant hyperpigmentation problems.  Asians are obsessive about sunscreen.  For me, sunscreen was the gateway product into asian skincare.  It was incredibly annoying to find out that while american sunscreens were rated for UV-B protection, the far more damaging UV-A rays that sink deepest into the skin and cause the wrinkling you see prevalant in sunworshippers, was an after thought.  Having fought against moderate acne to severe acne, I was very sensitive about my skin, and always trying new products and reading about new skincare products.  It was only a matter of time before the anti-wrinkle team drafted me.  Considering all the retinoids I was using and how sensitive it makes your skin to the sun, what was the point of having clear skin if I was PRUNED?

One of the most striking memories I have about aging relates to a women I interned under in a investment bank right before I started college.  This woman was the same age as my mother, early 50’s.  However, my mother and this woman looked like night and day.  My supervisor was very fashionable in the MIAMI style.  She was VERY THIN and VERY TAN.  Her skin appeared rough, haggard, coarse and she had tons of wrinkles.  The little fat and muscle she had on her face appeared SLACK.  Her neck, chest, and hands were the worst in condition.  Her neck and chest were crepey and had tons of brown splotches – age spots.  My plump mother, on the otherhand, whose only skincare regime was bar soap, didn’t sunbathe (she hates heat and the sun), but also didn’t wear sunscreen, had smooth, wrinkle free, unspotted skin.  My mother, even now, has LESS WRINKLES and SKIN DAMAGE then this woman had all those years ago, even after she’s recently lost a lot of weight.   Her biggest skincare issue is the natural uneven darkening of skin that occurs to older skin and slackening – all part of the natural aging process.  Needless to say, while I was never to concerned about skin cancer – which is very real and serious –  I was concerned about looking wrinkley, haggard, patchy-toned and coarse skinned.  I was primed to be a skincare acolyte.

Relying on all the retinoids, glycolic acids, and other hydroxy acids I could find, meant that my skin was raw, thinned and sensitive.  Add the post inflammatory marks I was getting from acne, the fact that for some reason I can’t tan one even color, but multiple shades spread throughout my body and face, AND I have melasma – well – when I heard of BB Creams, I had to get my hands on them. 

BB Creams are all the rage now with american style products out in the market, but asian BB Creams are quite different in that they are usually significantly thicker, have very high SPF protection factors and are usually rated very well against UV-A rays, and are used for coverage as treatment products, not soley cosmetic products.

There are now hundreds, of iterations of BB Creams in all the markets, some with SPF and others without.  One of my biggest gripes about asian BB Creams, in general, is that they don’t seem to match HUMAN SKINTONES, let alone many asian skintones.  Since asian cosmetics tend to favor masking natural skintones to provide either a very pale, or very rosy tone, I CANNOT USE ANY of the asian BB CREAMS alone without modifying the color so that it matches my skintone.  This means using gobs of bronzer and gold and bronze highlighters applied like foundation.  (Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheers offer the best layerable golden-beige, or bronze, opacity.)  However, the asian market now makes more natural skintone friendly shades for BB Creams, but this is still focused on the asian market. So, if you don’t have similar skintones to asian skintones (which is still actually varied from very fair to reddish or golden-brown), you are out of luck, like me.

At this point, I am kind of over asian BB Creams.  Guess, I am tired of all the blending, layering and color additives to make the colors work on me.  Of course, it’s the fall.  I don’t have the same issues with sunscreen that I do in the summer, so it could be my laziness is showing through.  I do rely on chemical sunscreens more over the fall and winter.  Even I of the 10 step routine get tired and just want to slap on serum, sunscreen, foundation, blush and go…but this is only really possible when my skin is mostly clear, and guess what?  It’s pretty clear compared to the monstrosity it was over the summer and early fall.

Here are the swatches.

Blended, closer to natural light:

I don’t really have much to say about any of these individually.  They are all heavy coverage.  All are thick textured except for Missha and Nanoce, but their coverage is still full.  Oddly, the easiest to use with my skintone was the grayest of the bunch: Skin79 Pink, which is what I used over the summer.  All the other shades were not really useable on my skintone.  Missha and Nanoce were too dark, while Skin79 Orange was way too pale and yellow and Innisfree was kind of pink.  Blending bronzers, foundations, color pigments on top of the other four was turning into a paint matching class and not worth the trouble.

1. MISSHA M Perfect Cover BB Cream  SPF42 PA+++ in Natural Beige (No. 23)

2. Innisfree Trouble Care BB Cream SPF27 PA++

3. SKIN79 Super+ Beblesh Balm BB Cream Triple Function ( Pink Label ) SPF25 PA++

4. SKIN79 Super+ BB Vital Cream Triple Function (Orange Label) SPF 50 PA+++

5. Nanoce BB Whitening Essence SPF35 PA+++  in Healthy Ochre (No. 02)

If anyone is interested in getting the feel and SPF protection of a BB Cream and you are MAC NC 30 or lighter (warm-toned), may I suggest just picking up Coppertone Faces Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50, which is a thick, white mineral sunscreen that you can easily pat Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheers in Golden Beige and Golden Bronze on top  to match your skintone. 

Here are the ingredients for the only two boxes I managed to keep both for Skin79.

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3 comments

  1. Thanks for the post, it was pretty useful! I’m kind of wanting to try BB creams as soon as I heard of them. The only thing stopping me is that I can’t swatch them! :/ I’m super pale -like Nicole Kidman pale- and I’m always struggling to find the right foundation..=( I guess I should be brave and try for once!


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