I'm going to provide some links to better explain how these products differ...
This video from Youtube user PBunnieP does a very good job explaining the general differences and gives some BB cream history. Her video is very fair about explaining the pros and cons of a number of Korean and American BBs. It's a very good place to start learning if you are new to BB creams and aren't sure what you might want to purchase. If you can't or don't want to watch a video she also has a blog post which is linked below. However, I really recommend watching the whole thing.
Youtube user GirlylifestyleTV does a nice one on one comparison of the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB and Missha M Perfect Cover BB.
Youtube user emilynoel83 compares 4 different US drugstore BB creams in her video.
Youtube user Miss17Februrary gives a short background on BB creams and compares a few Asian BB creams in her video.
It's not that easy to compare all these different products simply as "East vs West", especially when Asian BB creams have such a wide variety of options. Hopefully these videos did a decent job of explaining some differences.
American BB Creams
- Generally have sheer coverage
- Generally have low SPF
- May have a wider shade selection than Asian BBs
- Typically do not provide whitening (not bleaching, to help fade discoloration)
- Don't have the "grey cast" that Asian BBs do
- Typically have a more watery/ liquid like texture
Asian BB Creams
- May have a "grey cast" due to high SPF
- Typically have SPF 20 or higher
- May have sheer coverage but some products have medium or full coverage
- Typically are designed to be "time savers" and "multitaskers" to take the place of primer, sunblock, moisturizer, concealer and foundation
- Usually are quite thick and apply more like a skin cream than a liquid foundation
- Many have whitening ingredients to fade discoloration (whitening is very popular in Asian beauty products)
- Typically are very skin care focused
- Usually have only one or two shades to choose from