New BB cream underlines importance of skin in Asia

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The obsession among Asian women for perfect skin is driving the global popularity of BB creams -- with the BB standing for "blemish balm" -- with one of the latest products in this category to hit the market in Japan selling twice the company's annual target in just four months.

(Relaxnews) -

The obsession among Asian women for perfect skin is driving the global popularity of BB creams - with the BB standing for "blemish balm" - with one of the latest products in this category to hit the market in Japan selling twice the company's annual target in just four months.

BB creams initially caught on in South Korea, where actresses who had undergone laser surgery discovered that they served as a cover-up treatment at the same time as the foundation for makeup.

Cosmetics companies quickly saw the advantage of a single cream that acts as a moisturizer, has an SPF of up to 25 to protect from the sun, contains active ingredients to deal with acne, includes anti-aging and skin-lightening properties, serves as a concealer and acts as a foundation for makeup.

"Even in this difficult economic time and with the Japanese cosmetics market saturated, our BB Cream has been selling well," Kikue Eguchi, a spokeswoman for Kanebo Cosmetics Inc., told Relaxnews.

Up against brands such as Skin79 and Hanskin, Kanebo's Freshel Moist Life W Cream has far outstripped sales predictions since its release in September. The company is also planning to launch the product in Europe and North America in the near future.

"We targeted women in their 30s and 40s because they are very busy combining their jobs, raising the children and keeping the home - and we refer to this age group as the women who always put themselves last," said Eguchi.

"They never have any time for themselves, which makes a convenient five-in-one cream that is easy to apply and has no fragrance such a popular item," she said.

The cream contains adhesive collagen - a hugely popular cosmetics ingredient in its own right - extract of citrus peel and a fruit acid mixture.

"Japanese women are very conscious of how they are seen in society and many are still averse to leaving home without makeup, even women who are not particularly interested in makeup to begin with," said Sakae Nonomura, director of Kanebo's Beauty Research Institute. "So the attraction of a simple makeup, one that goes on in a thin coat in a few moments, is overwhelming.

"Another recent trend, especially among younger women, is natural makeup for natural-looking skin," Nonomura said, adding that this is why products with a casual, light finish are driving new trends rather than traditional foundations.

JR

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