Finally, right? I feel like it's taken me months get this review up (actually, it has, since I bought this product a few months ago). But since this is my first Asian BB Cream review, I wanted to be perfectly sure of my feelings before posting my review. There's obviously been a lot of controversy over the past few months regarding American BB creams and their lack of similarities to Asian BB creams, so I really wanted to take my time and take note of the differences.
That said, let's not waste any time...
Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 in No. 21 Light Beige
(retail: $12, 0.68 oz)
Keep reading for my full review with before-and-after photos...
Note: the $12 tube is the smallest tube available on the Missha website. It's a little under 1 oz, which is the size of most US BB creams such as the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream and L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream. You can also purchase a larger tube (1.69 oz) which retails for $22 on the Missha website. Missha also has many other BB creams for sale on their site, but I chose Perfect Cover for two reasons: it's Missha's most popular formula, and it was also easily available at a local Asian market here in San Diego.
back of tube
From the box (not pictured):
The M Perfect Cover BB Cream makes your skin tone clean and natural by concealing blemishes with excellent skin coverage. It is a multi functional makeup cream with blocking UV rays, whitening and wrinkle care effects and simplifies makeup formalities. Its moisturized application with sleek W/S texture makes sleek skintone by supplying moisture and nutrition at the same time.Directions: after basic skin care, apply an appropriate amount along the skin texture and finish with powder. Do not need to apply Sun cream in addition.SPF (Sun Protection Factor): SPF of the product is measured by test methods of KFDA (Korean Food & Drug Administration).
From the Missha website:
Water(Aqua), Cyclomethicone, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Zinc Oxide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Mineral Oil, Phenyl Trimethicone, Talc, Arbutin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Dimethicone, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Squalane, Adenosine, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Beeswax(Cera Alba), Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Caviar Extract, Algae Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Fagus Sylvatica Bud Extract, Ceramide 3, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance(Parfum), Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzyl Salicylate, Hydroxycitronellal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Citronellol
MAY CONTAIN[+/-; Titanium Dioxide(CI 77891), Iron Oxides(CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)]
As you can see, this product contains mineral oil and also two forms of parabens. I know that either (or both) can be a deal-breaker for some, so I want to be sure you're aware of that. Thankfully, I've never had any issues with mineral oil in my skincare (I know a lot of people are sensitive/prone to breakouts if they use products containing mineral oil) but I do wish this formula was paraben-free. I've heard that other Missha BB creams formulas are paraben-free and I'd love to try one of those in the future.
As for SPF, I don't know the percentages of active ingredients, but if we're to assume that the order of ingredients above go from highest to lowest, then there appears to be a good deal of both ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate and zinc oxide in this formula (both of those ingredients act as UV filters).
What is a BB Cream?
Well, that really depends on what country you're in. As you know if you've seen my Maybelline and L'Oreal BB Cream reviews, US BB creams make a lot of all-in-one promises, but I've found that the two I've tried don't quite live up to all the promises and more closely resemble tinted moisturizers (with a few added skin benefits). Asian BB Creams, and more specifically, Korean BB Creams such as those by Missha, have a reputation for being true all-in-one products with fuller coverage than their US counterparts.
From the Missha website:
BB Cream (short for Blemish Balm Cream ) was first created by dermatologists to treat and protect skin after skin surgery. Celebrities started to use it for natural-flawless-glowing look, soon it became popular.
Missha has reformulated BB Cream for use with general population. Missha BB Cream maintained original bb cream’s protecting ability, perfected coverage, adhesion, light-weight texture, UV protection and improved fine lines and uneven skin tone correction. M Perfect Cover BB Cream is the most popular BB Cream among Beauty experts. The tremendous popularity spread to Japan, then all over Asia and now even in Western countries such as USA, Canada, Australia and France. It creates natural flawless look and works as a moisturizer, UV protector, concealer and foundation, All in One in a tube.
So I'll be basing my review on the claims (in bold) above. Is this product truly a moisturizer, UV protector, concealer and foundation all in one? Let's find out...
The consistency of this product is nice and creamy. It's not a thin, watery formula, but it's not so thick that it's difficult to spread on the skin. I find that I need about 35% less product to cover my face than the average liquid foundation--a little goes a long way. The fragrance reminds me of baby powder (perhaps in part due to the talc in this formula).
Here's a set of before-and-after photos:
My face, freshly washed (no moisturizer)
As I always say, my skin is far from perfect. I have redness, old acne scars, sun damage, fine lines, darkness under my eyes and enlarged pores near my nose (gosh I hate always writing that out and reminding myself of it!).
Moments after applying Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream No. 21
I used my fingers for application (I find this to be my favorite method) and as you can see, there's a serious gray cast to this BB cream. But this is temporary, as this is a self-adjusting product that needs to warm up to your skin and oxidize a bit:
Ten minutes after application
Waiting ten minutes makes all the difference in the world. This product is still a bit light for my NC20 skintone, but it's nowhere near as gray as it was immediately after application.
After applying setting powder
Bare skin vs. Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream + setting powder
The short version? I love this product.
The long version:
For me personally, Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream absolutely lives up to its claims. Not only can I skip my usual moisturizer, but I can also skip my foundation and concealer when I use this product. Granted, this is not a full-coverage product, but compared to the US BB Creams I've used that provide pretty much the same amount of coverage as a tinted moisturizer, Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream feels like a dream. In fact, if you look at the darkness under my eyes, I swear to you, I've used concealers that deliver less coverage/correction than this BB cream! Also, this product evened out my redness far beyond my expectations.
As for moisturization, please note that I have only tested this product in the summertime and I have extremely oily skin. For me personally, I have never felt the need to apply a separate moisturizer before using this product, and I would say that one of my only complaints is that it delivers a bit too much moisturize to my oily skin. I think it's best suited to those with dry to normal skin, but I definitely can make it work by keeping blotting papers at hand for use a few times throughout the day.
I honestly can't count how many times this summer, when temperatures have reached 100 degrees+ and I haven't wanted to put a single product on my face, that I have reached for this product and worn just this with a bit of cream blush and that's it. It's one of the few products I own that I can slap on and feel confident enough to wear by itself for a quick trip to the store.
So let's run through this product's claims once again:
Moisturizer - YES
UV protector - I believe the ingredients are effective, yet I have no way of knowing for sure
concealer - YES
FINAL VERDICT: Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream has lived up to the hype for me. I think the shade I purchased, No. 21, is a bit too light for my NC20 skintone, but other than that, I couldn't be more pleased with this product when it comes to sheer convenience. It's a true all-in-one product that can certainly take the place of my moisturizer, concealer and foundation when I'm in a hurry and don't have time to apply a full face of makeup. When I want to feel extra confident, I do use a separate concealer on top of this product and, as instructed, finish the look with an application of setting powder. But if your skin is in better shape than mine, you can probably skip concealer altogether and be quite happy with results. Those sensitive to fragrance may find the baby powder scent a bit strong, but I personally haven't been bothered by it. Those who tend to avoid products containing mineral oil and/or parabens should avoid this product as it does contain both. I have used this product countless times this summer as my go-to product when I'm in a hurry or the weather's too hot to sit in front of the mirror for longer than five minutes, and I've been extremely pleased with the level of coverage, ease of use and hydration this provides my skin (but as I mentioned above, if you have very oily skin, be prepared to use blotting papers a few times throughout the day, especially on your T-zone). I prefer this BB cream to both of the US BB creams I've tried to date, and I now fully understand why Asian BB creams are considered superior.
You can purchase Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream via the Missha USA website.
Have you tried this BB cream or any other Asian BB cream? If so, please share your experiences with us. For those of you who have tried both Asian and US BB creams, which do you prefer?