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The world of beauty products can be confusing and overwhelming if you’re new to the world of makeup. There are so many different types of makeup products on the market that all claim they do the same thing, so how do you know which product is the best option for you to invest in?

Sometimes, YouTube tutorials and IGTV tutorials are great tools to use to help educate yourself on the best makeup tips and tricks. But, not everyone who is leading these beauty lessons online is fully educated on what separates certain products from others.

For example, one of the most common mistakes that beauty influencers make is saying BB creams are the same exact thing as foundation.

However, don’t worry! I’m here today to give you all of the insight you need to know about what a BB cream is, how it’s different than other makeup products, who should use it, and everything you need to know about BB creams all in this BB Cream makeup guide. So, buckle up! I’m getting ready to dive right into the world of BB creams.

What is BB Cream?

So, the first thing is first. What exactly is a BB cream?

BB cream is a type of foundation alternative that offers lighter coverage for your skin. However, it’s gentler on your skin than foundation is, because it isn’t as heavy and thick.

There are a few different abbreviations that BB cream can stand for blemish base, blemish balm, and beauty balm. You may hear people refer to BB cream as the latter, but the people using these phrases are all referring to the same thing. However, I personally enjoy using the term “beauty balm” the most, but that’s just my personal preference.

BB cream is useful because it does several things for your skin. It helps to protect your skin, blur imperfections and smooths the texture of your skin out.

What Does BB Cream Do for Your Skin?

So, as you saw above, I mentioned that BB cream helps to protect your skin. But, what exactly does that mean? Think of BB cream as a way to skip over your multi-step skincare process. Instead of having to apply sunscreen, then a moisturizer, and finally foundation, you can skip these steps by instead using a BB cream.

And the best part? The most basic BB cream formulas are what offer moisturizing and sunscreen benefits. Other brands offer more complex formulas that address other skincare routines, such as breakout control or mattifying formulas.

We like Garnier’s BB Cream here and added this to our daily routine!

Is BB Cream Full Coverage?

BB cream is a lot more lightweight than foundation. However, it offers medium coverage. As someone who has a lot of hyperpigmentation and acne, I don’t find that BB cream doesn’t give me the coverage I’m looking for. But, when I don’t have breakouts going on, I can definitely get full coverage from a BB cream. It really just depends on what you’re looking to cover up.

If you’ve got a blank canvas and you’re looking to smooth your skin out, you’ll get full coverage effects from BB cream. If you’re like me and you have blemished skin, I don’t find that BB cream gives me super full coverage.

What is BB Cream Used For?

bb cream

BB cream is used to offer smoothing, hydration, SPF protection, and anti-aging properties, and will give your skin an even appearance. I personally recommend BB creams to people who are looking to save space in their makeup drawers and skip out on spending a lot of money on multiple makeup products.

Instead of you having to invest in at least a primer, moisturizer, sunscreen, and foundation, you could invest in a really great BB cream. Also, BB cream is a great product to consider if you really want to look like you’re not wearing any makeup. It gives your skin that ‘natural’ appearance, so you won’t look like you’ve got thick foundation caked on your skin.

I’ll wear BB cream during the summer, while I’m out in the sun. It allows my skin to breathe, so I don’t get as hot and sweaty.

BB Cream vs Foundation: Is BB Cream a Foundation?

BB cream is a type of foundation alternative, as we talked about above. It does give your skin evenness and coverage, that foundation offers. But, there’s so much more you can get from a BB cream than a foundation could ever offer you.

BB cream or “Beauty Balm” or “Blemish Balm” is a multitasker — it’s like a moisturizer, sunscreen and light foundation in one. It’s one of my favorite summer must-haves and for good reason! It provides light to medium coverage of foundation and is great for achieving that ‘no makeup’ flawless look.

BB creams are perfect for those with relatively clear skin, who want a product that can even out their completion and offer a light smoothness and feel to their skin, while foundations can provide much more coverage and are better for those who want to disguise those imperfections and unevenness of skin tone.

Foundation, is designed to create a smooth, even complexion and cover imperfections and comes with a range of coverage levels, from sheer to full, with a variety of finishes such as natural, matte, and dewy — and provides coverage for a broader range of skin tones, types.

If you desire a more dramatic and polished look, you’ll want to use a foundation. Both foundation and BB cream do help even out the skin tone and can offer coverage, but they are very different products.

The choice between BB cream and foundation depends on your individual skin type, needs, and the look you’re trying to achieve. There are many, many days where I use both and a primer as well — it depends on how my skin feels that day, and if I need to add another layer of moisture to my skin.

Is BB Cream Better Than Foundation?

It really depends on who you ask, and, even more importantly, on what type of makeup routine you want to follow. If you’re someone who enjoys applying a full face of makeup and rocking the full glam look, I wouldn’t say BB cream is better than foundation.

However, if you like to simplify your makeup routine and look more natural, BB cream does a better job at this than foundation does. I personally love all of the skincare benefits that BB cream has to offer your skin over foundation. But, it really all boils down to personal preference here.

Are BB Cream and Tinted Moisturizer the Same?

Tinted moisturizer is a much simpler version of a BB cream. Tinted moisturizer still offers hydration and light coverage that you can get with a BB cream. However, BB cream offers a lot of other benefits on top of the lighter coverage and the hydration. You can get anti-aging benefits, as well as smoothing benefits, from a BB cream.

What’s the Difference Between CC vs BB Cream?

BB Cream

It’s a common misconception that BB cream and CC cream are the same product. However, that’s not true. CC cream stands for a color-correcting cream. BB cream is great for hydrating your skin and giving your skin a healthy boost of skincare benefits. Certain BB formulas will have other products added in, such as mattifying effects.

CC cream provides a lot more coverage than BB cream does. It’s great for people who are concerned about the redness in their skin, as it offers more coverage and it’s more matte than BB cream is.

Can BB Cream Cover Acne?

The type of acne you have on your face is dependent upon whether or not BB cream will cover it. I have cystic acne, and I’ve never found that BB cream covers the redness and swelling in those cystic pimples. However, if you have a light texture or small breakouts on your face, BB cream will cover this!

How Do You Apply BB Cream?

Since BB cream is a combination of both makeup and a type of skincare, there are some people who are confused by how to apply BB cream. Thankfully, it isn’t difficult at all to apply BB cream to your skin. As a tip, you’ll want to warm up the formula of the BB cream in between your fingers.

You can do this by applying the BB cream to your fingertips and rubbing the cream in-between two fingers. If you don’t feel like washing your hands after you apply your makeup, you can use a damp beauty blender (or another type of beauty sponge) to melt the BB cream into your skin.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to use a brush to apply BB cream to your skin. That’s because BB cream doesn’t offer the coverage that foundation offers, you don’t need to worry about using a brush to blend out the coverage. Instead, the warmth from your skin will help to melt the product into your skin to offer better blending.

The first thing you’ll want to do when applying BB cream is to prep your skin. This means you’ll want to wash your face and make sure your skin is clean before you apply any BB cream. This way, you have a blank and clean surface to work with before applying the BB cream.

After applying the BB cream, you may notice some areas on your face that aren’t as covered as you’d like them to be. For example, if you’re having a breakout, you may want extra coverage in these places. Or you could just be unhappy with the circles that are under your eyes.

So, you can use a concealer for these areas on your skin. Just apply a little bit of concealer on your face in the areas where you’re looking for more coverage. This will keep the rest of your skin looking natural, while still giving you enough coverage to hide any problem areas.

How Do You Find the Right BB Cream For Your Skin?

If you’ve never used a BB cream before, you may have to try out a few different bottles before you find the perfect match for both your skin type and your skin tone. There are a lot of different formulas and brands out there, so it could take a little bit of playing around to find a BB cream that you completely fall in love with.

To find the right BB cream for your skin, you have to think about the type of skin you have. For example, if you have oily skin, you should look for a BB cream that doesn’t contain any oil.

On the other hand, if you have drier skin, you should look into getting a BB cream that offers a hydration boost. There are even some formulas out there that offer dewy finishes, which would be beneficial for someone who has dry skin.

How Long Does BB Cream Last on Your Face?

The length of time BB cream lasts on your face depends on how oily your skin is, the type of BB cream you’re using, and what type of environment you’re in.

It’s not going to last all day on your face as a 12-hour foundation will. Instead, it’ll get absorbed into your skin over time, drastically reducing how much coverage you have.

Is BB Cream Bad for Your Skin?

BB cream is safe to use on your skin every day! And depending on the BB cream that you choose, it can help protect your skin (sunscreen baby!) and keep your skin moisturized as well. It isn’t as heavy on your skin as other types of foundations are, so you won’t be doing as much damage to your skin. But, just because BB is safe to use on your skin every day, doesn’t mean you should.

Also, you shouldn’t replace your daily skincare routine with a BB cream. But, if you want to start adding BB cream to replace your foundation usage, your skin will certainly thank you!

Why Should You Use BB Cream?

There are many benefits to using BB creams over other types of makeup products. It’s a super easy product to start adding to your makeup routine, but you may be unsure of why you should start adding it to your routine. Let’s take a closer look at why you should consider using BB cream:

When you’re Super Busy in the Morning

If you’re running late in the morning, you’ll want to use a BB cream. It’s a tool to skip overusing a bunch of other products in your makeup routine that takes extra time to apply to your face. You’ll save a lot of time, but still, have the confidence boost that healthy and covered skin gives you!

Want to Save Money

Since BB creams have sunscreen, smoothing, and hydrating properties, you don’t have to worry about applying a primer, moisturizer, or sunscreen. So, you’ll save a lot of money by not having to buy these three products when you go to the makeup store.

To Look More Natural

Do you want to start looking like you aren’t wearing makeup? BB creams will help you to look like you’re not wearing any! It’s a great way to give your skin evenness and a little coverage to hide minor imperfections. But, BB cream helps you to look natural and feel like your skin can breathe!

Want to Give Your Skin a Break

Also, you can take a break from using heavier makeup products and sub in BB creams. You can still rock the appearance of flawless skin without having to add on ten pounds of makeup that foundation and other heavy makeup products have.

While You’re Out Traveling

Do you need to find a way to save space in your makeup bag? BB cream is the solution for you! The several benefits that BB cream has to offer means you won’t have to bring products that only offer a single benefit along with you.

What Are Some of the Best BB Creams on the Market?

Now that you have a better understanding of what a BB cream is, you also need to learn about the best BB creams on the market. Let’s take a look at the best BB creams on the market. I chose these BB creams based on affordability, personal preferences, skin type, and positive customer reviews!

Maybelline New York Dream BB Fresh Cream

maybelline new york

The Maybelline New York Dream BB Fresh Cream is a great BB cream for those who are looking to invest in a super affordable BB cream. At the drugstores near me, this BB cream will run you around $8-10. What I love about this formula is how much this minimizes the appearance of your pores.

Also, it has a gel-like feel to the formula, which is likely because the formula is made up of 70% water. It’s super sheer, so you won’t have to worry about looking like you’re wearing makeup if that’s something you’re worried about. However, it does a decent job of blurring the minor imperfections on your face.

e.l.f Cosmetics BB Cream Foundation with SPF

elf bb cream

Are you on the market for a vegan BB cream? e.l.f is here to deliver a budget-friendly and vegan formula for you! You’ll find that this has Vitamin E, aloe, and cucumber inside of the formula, which provides your skin with a lot of hydration!

I like this budget-friendly formula because it allows me to build up to medium coverage on my skin. Plus, with the added SPF 20 in the formula, it’s a great BB cream to have on your skin if you’re going to be outside all day.

MDSolarScience MD Cream Mineral BB Cream

mdsolarsience mineral bb cream

The MDSolarScience MD Cream Mineral BB cream comes with a unique texture. It’s whipped up, so the texture of the formula feels creamy and light on my face3! I love this formula comes with brightening niacinamide and green tea extract because it helps out my acne-prone skin!

I swear I see a difference in the appearance of my skin once I take my BB cream for the day. It makes my skin look healthier, and it gives me a beautiful glow!

Garnier SkinActive 5-in-1 Miracle Perfector BB Cream Oil-Free Formula

garnier skin renew miracle creme

Once I got pregnant, my skin totally changed. I normally have very oily skin, but I am now rocking skin that’s super dry in some places and oily in others. I love the Garnier SkinActive 5-in-1 Miracle Perfector BB Cream because it is oil-free and it comes with a mineral powder in the formula that helps to suck up any of the extra oil on my face.

Plus, the formula is non-comedogenic and it comes with fruit antioxidants, as well as SPF 15, that keep the skin of your face protected from the sun! But, there is one downside to this formula: it only comes in two different shades.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector

neutrogena healthy skin

The Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Perfector is a great BB cream for aged skin! You don’t have to worry about dark circles, dark spots, wrinkles, and fine lines showing through with these BB cream. There’s retinol in the formula, which means your skin will appear smoother after you’ve applied the formula! It’s not a heavy formula either, so you can still have breathable skin underneath this formula!

Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20

Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer

The Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 is a wonderful BB cream for oily skin! Not only is the BB cream vegan, but it’s also non-comedogenic. This means you don’t have to worry about your skin breaking out if you’ve got oily skin like me!

Also, this formula comes with Amazonian clay, which helps to reduce how oily your skin gets throughout the day. I love the matte finish that comes with this BB cream, which is super noticeable around the larger pores on my face. Last, but not least, it comes in seven different shades!

Read More: Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation Review: Why I’ll Never Trust Beauty Influencers Again


Now that you have a better idea of exactly what BB cream is and how you can start implementing this product into your beauty routine, you can start saving yourself time and money with your beauty routine!

BB creams are great for making your skin look healthy and hydrated.  If you want to learn more about how to transform your makeup routine, check out the rest of our website!

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