The Hybrid Craze of a Hybrid Product: BB Creams

The all in one power product, BB cream, has been recently taking the U.S beauty/cosmetics industry by storm.  Although the trend just recently started in 2012 for the U.S market, bb cream has been renowned in South Korea for the past decade. Yet, the trend actually dates back to the 1950-60’s to when a German dermatologist developed the cream for post-surgery patients. Still, South Korea has been taking most of the credit as bb creams became a major staple in the population’s make-up bags over the past years.

The name “BB cream” stands for blemish balms in East Asia.  On the other hand, western markets refer to “BB cream” to stand for beauty balms.  It is marketed to be the in-between, perfect solution that’s lighter in texture than a make-up foundation, but thicker than a tinted moisturizer.  It’s enough to just wear on its own or under powder when in need for more coverage.  It is the all in one solution that combines a moisturizer, primer, sun screen, foundation and anti-aging cream.

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While both the Asian markets and U.S. markets sell technically the same product, there are slight differences in the methods of advertising/marketing.  A trend of bb creams with skin-whitening properties became a fad to East Asian markets aimed to target consumers wanting the stereotypical pale, blemish-free skin.  BB creams for men are also common in South Korea.  On the other hand, the American market tends to advertise to the woman on-the-go as a multi-tasking product.  Also, brands of bb creams in South Korea, such as Missha or The Face Shop, tend to carry fewer options in terms of shade and color. Brands in America, such as Clinique, Maybelline, Smashbox, Boscia, and Dior tend to offer a variety of shades and a wider palette.

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