One of the biggest new trends in beauty is BB and CC creams for the skin. Choosing one can be a bit confusing, and a lot of ladies have been asking me what the real difference is in the BB cream vs. CC cream debate. The initials “BB” stand for “beauty balm.” These products are multitaskers: a non-brightening primer, light foundation, moisturizer, and sunscreen in one, with built in anti-aging properties. A “CC” cream stands for “color corrective” and contains a skin-brightening primer, light foundation, moisturizer, sunscreen, anti-aging ingredients, and sometimes collagen boosters. The BB cream tends to be a bit heavier and better for dry skin, with a focus on prevention and maintenance, whereas the CC cream tends to be a tad lighter (so better for acne-prone skin) and focuses on concealing existing issues.
These new formulas are basically a pumped up version of tinted moisturizers with added benefits. They are a quick fix to give your skin a boost, but I don’t think they have as much impact as applying a separate serum, moisturizer and sunscreen. They don’t cover up skin’s imperfections as well as using a proper foundation, and they don’t come in many shades, but I still love to wear them to the gym as a fast and easy, one-step way to get all the goods in one easy go. To apply them, use your fingers to lightly blend a dab of your cream of choice all over the face, including on the eyelids. For my trips to the gym, I apply the cream, skip powder, and just sweep on a little black mascara and a lip balm, and I’m out the door.
Still struggling to find the right BB or CC for you? Here are just a few of our recommendations:
For oily skin: Dr. Jart+ BB Dis-A-Pore Beauty Balm ($36, sephora.com) is ideal for oily skin because it conceals enlarged pores or blemishes—without further adding to the oily problem.
For blemish-prone skin: Hydroxatone Anti-Acne CC Cream ($39, ulta.com) is basically acne treatment disguised as makeup. With salicylic acid as the main ingredient, this product helps with breakouts while adding a touch of coverage to hide those unsightly blemishes.
For aging skin: Guerlain Super Aqua-Serum BB Hydra+ ($79, sephora.com) is a two-in-one serum that not only adds a light touch of color, but it hydrates, plumps, and contains anti-aging ingredients too.
For fair skin: Yves Saint Laurent Forever Light Creator CC Primer ($45, sephora.com) is a stellar choice for anyone with fair skin that can tend to need a little color correcting. This primer boosts skin’s own natural hues and minimizes pores at the same time.
For dark skin: Shea Moisture CC Cram SPF 15 ($16, ulta.com) has a wide range of shades and provides a semi-matte finish, making it a great option for darker skin tones.
For sun protection: Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Work It! Marathonista Tinted Moisturizer SPF 40 ($15, ulta.com) is a smooth blend of a tinted moisturizer with high-performance SPF.
Read more: The Best BB Cream For Your Skin