BB cream is the ultimate foundation product. Choosing the right ones could save you from damaging your skin.
A comparison between BB creams from Japan and Korea: which ones are safer?  World renowned BB cream contains toxicity equivalent to contraceptive drugs? What is the correlation between SPF ( sun protection level ) and the factor of safety ? 

Test-it™ Introduction

The quest for beauty has become a trend in the modern society. Even those with natural youthful skins are now slowly growing dependence on skin-perfecting products. As an all-in-one beauty product, BB Cream has taken the cosmetic world by storm since its first introduction to the market. Divas are falling head over heels over the new craze known as BB Cushion. It is promoted as the key to ultimate facial beauty.

Test-it™ sampled 45 types of BB Cream and BB in the market, analyzed with world leading biological testing technology Testing 2.0. The safety tests conducted in professional testing laboratories shows that 26 fall into the Green Fish category, 1 falls into the Yellow Fish category and 18 fall into the Red Fish category.

The product samples from Asian brands performed better than those from other regions. The factors of safety in the samples decrease as the UV index increase.

According to World Health Organization and United Nations, choosing the wrong product could cause cancers, infertility, precocious puberty, obesity and neurological disorders. Test-it™ provide clear, direct test reports with lifestyle tips. Equipped with scientific and objective information, consumers can make safer purchasing choices. Stay tuned for more interesting facts

Interesting Facts

BB stands for Blemish Balm, which is meant for treating blemishes. Originated from Germany, the product is then improved and further developed by Korea.

Originally created by dermatologists, BB cream was the number one product for patients who went through laser skin surgery.

There are four generations of BB Creams dated back to the 1960s. The first generation is known as blemish balm. The second generation is known as blemish balm cream. The third generation is know as BB Cream, and the widely known fourth generation is known as Cushion BB.

Cosmetic business has never fail in the history of time. Our ancestors used to appliy rice flour and lead power as concealers, while BB cream is our generation’s equivalent.

Compared with the same type of products, BB Cream makes the best concealer. CC Cream makes the best remedy for glowing skin while DD Cream is best for anti-age.

An Oppa’s daily: 10% of Korean male wears BB Cream on a daily basis.

Test-it™ Reports

Test-it™ Standards

Traditional chemical Test 1.0 and existing regulations only reflect the basic requirements for market entry, not the products’ actual safety for consumption. Test-it™ applies first-in-the-world fish embryo toxicity (FET) test technology (Testing 2.0), enabling an effective and thorough examination on both acute and chronic toxicity in the tested products (effective up to several thousands of known toxicants to humans). We test and classify global products into three categories (Red, Yellow and Green Fish) through a comprehensive test system and scientific statistic analysis. We provide clear, direct test reports with lifestyle tips. Testing method varies with products. For the BB cream test, the transgenic medaka embryo testing for chronic toxicants, zebrafish embryo testing for acute toxicants and ingredients check are applied.

Good performance under screening of acute toxicity, chronic toxicity and ingredients. Consumers can rest assured that the products are safe for purchase.

Meets the safety baselines under screening of acute toxicity, chronic toxicity and ingredients. Consumers are recommended to purchase with caution.

Below standard under screening of acute toxicity, chronic toxicity and ingredients. Consumers are recommended to purchase with extra caution.

Green Fish List
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Test-it™ Discovery

1、High estrogen levels were found in several world renowned brands. The estrogen level in 1 g of such BB Cream is approximately equivalent to that of a contraceptive pill.

About Estrogenic endocrine disruptors : Due to the phenomena of ever-changing, newly emerged toxicants, a growing number of chemical products previously listed as “safe for consumption” are now being identified as estrogen endocrine disruptors. World Health Organization and the United Nations reveal that the listed substances may lead to diseases including cancers, infertility, neurological disorders, precocious puberty and diabetes, Dysmorphism, infertility, and even extinction of species could be resulted when these chemicals enter the ecosystem. It is believed that endocrine disruptors ( following greenhouse effect in global warming and depletion of ozone layer ) has become the third leading threat to human, biodiversity and environment.

This test result is shockingly alarming. Chronicle use of BB Cream with estrogen level this high could pose some serious health threat to the human body beyond imagination.

2、Products in the average price range have higher cost-performance ratio.

The average price of the 45 products sampled is 8.98HKD/g.

The cheapest sample costs 1.87HKD/g, while the most expensive one is 34.29HKD/g, costing 18 times more than the former.

The test samples reflect poor quality in most of the low priced products. Consumers are highly recommended to purchase with extreme caution. The quality of the most expensive products is 50/50, even well known brands shows no guarantee. Medium priced samples, however, shows a high cost-performance ratio in this test.

3、Products from different brand origins ( Continentally ) all share similar quality.

4、Asian products have better results. Japanese and Korean products have the best quality.

5、Analysis on similar products shows no significant difference.

Similar products with BB Cream in the market includes CC Cream and DD Cream. We have tested the quality of the products mentioned. The functionality of these products is concealing, skin tone improving and anti-aging respectively. The test results show that the three products share similar results. Therefore, the functionality and safety of these products are more or less the same.

6、The factor of safety decreases drastically with the rise in the SPF index. However, products exceeding SPF 30 show little difference.

According to US Environmental Protection Agency, sunscreen with SPF 15 are capable of blocking 93% of the UVB radiation. Sunscreen with SPF 30 are capable of blocking 97% of the UVB radiation. Products with SPF 45 are capable of blocking 98% of the radiation. Therefore a higher SPF index does not always indicate higher sun blocking ability.

However, it is found in the test results that 100% of the products with SPF 15 or lower falls into the Green Fish category. 68.42% from SPF 15- SPF 30 fall into the Green Fish category, while 31.58% fall into the Red Fish category. For products with SPF 30 and up, 43.48% fall into the Green Fish category, 4.35% fall into the Yellow Fish category and 52.17% fall into the Red Fish category, which is higher than Green Fish in percentage. Apparently the factor of safety decreases with the rise in the SPF index.

Consumers are therefore recommended to purchase BB Cream with SPF 30 and up with caution.

Test-it™ Tips


Conventional chemical test 1.0 and the basic regulations only reflects the basic requirement for a product’s market entry. The mission of Test-it™ is to further improve product safety with world leading technology Testing 2.0. Though horizontal analysis in similar products, Test-it™ provides consumers with information and data for better consumer choices. Products are categorised as Green Fish, Yellow Fish and Red Fish according to test results.

Test-it™ has developed a high standard as a third party consumer goods evaluation platform. Developed by an experienced research and development team and an advisory board of toxicology experts from 12 countries, Test-it™ references from the global standard of China, EU, the U.S., Japan, WHO and OECD. With the application of fish embryo toxicity (FET) test technology (Testing 2.0), The standard of Test-it™ could be higher than the existing regulations.

Sampling Method

Market research and product

Test-it™ selected 45 best selling BB Cream brands by analysing sales and attention span from the Test-it™ fans group. The research is conducted in both e-commerce platform and physical store.

  • E-commerce market research

  • Retailer market research

  • Sales volume and popularity

  • Selected products

Purchasing Method and Channel

All tested samples were purchased by Test-it as a common customer. Samples were purchased from the brands’ official beauty counters and their globally recognised sales channels ( official flagship stores ) on major E-commerce platforms ( JD, Tmall, Koala, Amazon) . All sample were purchased anonymously.In order to maintain neutrality and objectiveness, Test-it reports will not accept products submitted by manufactures.

  • Represent common consumers

  • Reliable sales channel

  • Anounymous purchase

  • No manufacturer sampling

Test Method

1、 Transgenic medaka embryo testing for chronic toxicants

2、Zebrafish embryo testing for acute toxicants

3、Ingredients check

Vitargent adopts an exclusive ingredients screening system comparing restricted and high risk ingredients regulated by the CODEX Alimentarius of the WHO&FAO, USFDA, EU, Food and Drug Administration of Japan and China to further enhance product safety.

Ingredient Screening: Products must not contain any chemicals that are associated with health complications, eco-toxicity, or contamination by scientific safety evaluations, or are banned by the following governmental agencies and authoritative bodies.

US: USFDA’s ‘Summary of colour additives for use in the United States in foods, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices’, ‘Prohibited & Restricted Ingredients’, and 'Everything Added to Food in the United States (EAFUS)'.

EU: European Commission Nos. 1333/2008, 1223/2009, 1129/2011, and 1130/2011, and Candidate List of substances of very high concern for Authorisation (SVHC) by European Chemicals Agency (2017).

China: China FDA’s ‘Safety and Technical Standard for Cosmetics’ (2015), and 'National food safety standards: food additive standard (GB2760-2014).

Japan: Japan’s ‘Standards for Cosmetics’ (2000), and 'Standard for use of food additives (2017)

WHO&FAO: CODEX Alimentarius

Results Analyzing Method

Category Medaka embryo testing for chronic toxicants Zebrafish embryo testing for acute toxicants Ingredients check
Pass WHO guideline on Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) No LC50 (50% fish death) detected at highest concentration No banned or high concernedingredients

Pass WHO guideline on Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) LC50 detected within highest centration to Vitargent category-based reference line No banned but contain high concerned ingredients

Fail (reading exceed ADI or over 50% fish death at Vitargent category-based reference line ) LC50 detected below Vitargent category-based reference line Contain banned ingredients

Selected Awards

Hong Kong Technological Achievement Award(2014) Davos Global Innovation Pioneer (2015) Geneva International Inventions 43rd Grand Prix Winner (2015) World Intellectual Property Organization Gold Medal (2016) APEC & GIC Future Maker (2016) Unreasonable Impact (2017)


  • 1. This report is conducted in random sampling method with laboratory standard operating procedures. All samples were purchased by our staff members through normal sales channels as a common customer.
  • 2. Green Fish indicates excellent quality. Fair Price indicates quality products priced equivalent to or below HKD$105. Quality Great China indicates quality products from the Greater China Region. High Sun Protection indicates quality products with a SPF equivalent to or higher than 30.
  • 3. Green Fish indicates products show excellent quality in this test, listed in no particular order.
  • 4. All tests are conducted in Vitargent’s laboratories in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Belgium.
  • 5. This test was conducted under the principle of consumer goods comparison. The test results only indicate quality of the very sample. They do not reflect quality of other products under the same brand ( same or different models ) nor the products’ quality in different batches. The test results are provided solely for your personal, non-commercial use. No promotion or recommendation of any products are intended. By no means should the results be taken as medical advice. Consultation with doctors and healthcare professionals are recommended before employing the test results. The test results are not to be mistaken as medical advice for diagnosis, treatment, or recommendations for health conditions. We are not responsible or liable for anyone using the results of this report.
  • 6. The test results are provided solely for your personal, non-commercial consumer reference. The references of product qualities and recommendations hold no legal validity nor guarantee. Any business and consumer decision made by users is an independent action on their behalves. We are not responsible or liable for any dispute caused.
  • 7. You may not derive for commercial use or promotional actives any data from this report in any corporate and organisations, unless you obtain prior permission from Test-it™.
  • 8. All information and data in the report are dated to 8th June, 2017, information are updated constantly according to the testing results released by other authorities .
  • 9.For more information, please see Terms, Conditions and User Agreement.
From · Test-it™· 2017/06/12