The original BB cream was developed by a German dermatologist, Christine Schrammek, in the 1960s. She created it specifically for patients who had a skin peel and wanted to look presentable while their skin healed. It was formulated as an all-in-one ointment that could simultaneously moisturize, calm, conceal and protect skin, but it remained in relative obscurity until Schrammek introduced it to the South Korean and Japanese markets in the 1980s. Once a few well-known Asian actresses got their hands on it and touted it as the reason for their porcelain skin, it became a must-have product, and these days, it's not uncommon for a Korean drug store to have an entire aisle devoted to BB cream.
Because it was mass-produced specifically for Asian skin tones, until recently, most BB creams were only available in a few shades, making it a coveted but difficult product to send across the waters to other countries. In 2011, American cosmetic giants jumped on board and introduced it to the American market in a wider spectrum of skin-tones and BB cream took off yet again. While most BB creams share the moisturizing, concealing and sun protection combo, not all creams have the same ingredients. Keep reading to learn more about the active ingredients in BB creams.