B.B. to C.C.

Korean actress 'Song Hye-Kyo' known for her glowing skin

Korean actress ‘Song Hye-Kyo’ known for her glowing skin

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea is the origin of B.B. cream known as ‘Blemish Balm’ in Asia and ‘Beauty Balm’ in the Western world. Although, the B.B. cream was invented by German dermatologist Christine Schrammek for medical purposes to treat post-peeled skin, the sensation of this cream in Korea began in the early 2000s as having a whiter, hydrated and radiant skin or ‘chok chok’ skin is considered the true sign of beauty.

Korean C.C

Chanel, Lancôme and HERA and  OHUI C.C creams

To give you a better idea, ‘chok chok’ skin is the kind of look one has when coming out of the shower. Your skin looks fresh, clean and moist. Baby like, chok chok skin make-up that says, I did not use any make-up, but I still have this radiant skin is the most valued of all make-up. While foundations and powders make your skin dry and unnatural, the B.B. cream offers a true chok chok effect, while curing acne and soothing sensitive skin. A beloved item among Korean women.

It was 2003, while I was living in Korea, when my friend told me about the B.B. cream. Her dermatologist recommended it for her post-peeled skin and she loved it. It soothed her irritated skin and minimised the redness. At the time, people could only buy B.B. cream at a dermatologists’ office. In the beginning, B.B. cream did not serve as cover make-up. However, as more people chose it as a foundation, it evolved into a new composition including whitening and sun protection functions. Then, major cosmetic companies like Lancôme, Bobby Browns and Kihel’s developed their own B.B. creams targeting Asian women. For Western markets, the  B.B. Cream was introduced in 2012, but excluded whitening and sun protection functions since Western women prefer tanned skin.

Clinique C.C. cream coming soon in U.K.

Clinique C.C. cream coming soon in U.K.

This year, C.C. cream was born. C.C. stands for Colour corrector, Colour Control or Complete Care. It is an all-in-one cream providing skincare function on top of natural cover function, and it is THE beauty must have item as nude make-up is back in trend this year.

For me, it is definitively an upgrade to the B.B. cream since it provides extra skin care function and better coverage. According to the adverts, one can just apply C.C. cream and skip the lotion phase, as it will take care of everything from skin care to make-up and U.V. protection.

It is basically a moisturiser with coverage function, but better performance than tinted moisturiser. It is good for sensitive skin and for coverage because this is oil-free and fragrance-free”, according to a sales person at Clinique.

Currently, Clinique C.C. cream is available in the U.S. ($35 excluding tax), but it will be available soon in the U.K. (£28).

As a person who takes extra care of her skin, I found that B.B. cream was not enough on its own, so I applied typical skincare phases before applying B.B. cream. However, I have also found that C.C. cream still does not provide as much hydration as I would like. While better at hydration compared to the B.B. cream, I still find myself using other hydrating lotions along with the C.C. cream.

Many cosmetic brands including Chanel, Lancôme and Korean brands, such as HERA and OHUI, have already launched C.C. creams for the Asian market. In U.S and the U.K., C.C. creams are available from Clinique, Olay and L’Oréal Paris. While waiting for the upcoming launch of other brands,  you can also try C.C. creams from Korean brands through the Internet. According to a friend, who has tried both Chanel C.C. and Lancôme C.C., Chanel C.C. has more coverage, but is thicker in consistency, while Lancôme C.C. is more absorbent and creates more radiance on the skin. Since skin types and preferences differ from person to person, you need to sample different C.C. creams and find the best one for you!

While C.C. cream is a true innovation, it is not a perfect substitute for lotion, which you will still need for full hydration. Nevertheless, now, busy women have a simple one-step solution to keep their skin better hydrated and have some hint of make-up. It is that much easier to save time every morning and still look amazing!

Courtesy of: Clinique  |  Edited by: Elizabeth Deheza
Miya Choi About the author

Miya Choi is a South Korean born professional in international and cultural diplomacy who has developed a unique view of fashion through her various experiences around the world. In addition to her professional experience with the United Nations and the government of South Korea, she has also been a fashion model, TV hostess and a former winner of the Miss Daegu beauty pageant in Daegu, South Korea. She has a love of fashion and is fascinated by fashion trends in different cultures. She holds a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School in the U.S. and currently resides in London, U.K.


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