What Is The Difference Between BB Cream Vs. CC Cream? + 5 Best Creams For Each

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The Difference Between BB And CC Creams
Self

Let's settle the debate.

We all want to look flawless and naturally radiant, but sometimes our skin has other plans for us. Breakouts, redness, dark circles and other imperfections can get in the way of that perfect “I woke up like this” makeup-free look, leaving us with no choice but to pack on some makeup to enhance our natural beauty.

But sometimes, makeup can feel heavy on the skin, like an extra layer of flesh on top of your face. And what’s even worse is that, often, foundation only aggravates and worsens the things we were trying to cover in the first place.

This is where BB and CC creams come to the rescue. They both treat some of our skin problems while providing lightweight coverage to our imperfections.

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BB creams blew up in the beauty world a couple of years back and have been a staple in our makeup bags since. CC creams are a more recent phenomenon and work in slightly different ways than their predecessor.

These skincare-makeup hybrids do wonder for the skin but it’s important to know which product is right for your skin type and makeup preferences.  

Well, Where BB and CC creams do let us down is in their shade range. Most of these creams only come in a couple of shades and many don’t have anything for darker skin tones.

If you want to try out a BB cream or CC cream, and can find one in your shade, it's important to know a few things first.

What's the difference between BB cream vs. CC cream?

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What is BB cream?

BB stands for "blemish balm" or "beauty balm," and this is what happens when skincare meets makeup.

Regular foundation can clog pores or dry out your skin depending on your skin type, so beauty experts created BB cream to give you some coverage without damaging your skin.

BB creams usually contain serum, sunscreen, and moisturizer. Some even add in a bunch of anti-oxidation and vitamin for added benefits. Unlike foundation, your skin won’t be crying out for cleanser by the end of the day. 

If you’re a fan of the “no-makeup makeup look,” BB creams will give you light, buildable coverage with a dewy finish. It’s great for letting your freckles and beauty marks shine through, while still filling fine lines and smoothing out the texture of your skin.

BB cream sits somewhere between a tinted moisturizer and a full coverage foundation. It will cover up some of your skin problems without leaving you looking cakey.

Reach for a BB cream if you have a generally even skin tone but need a little lift. 

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On the other hand, what is CC cream?

When BB creams burst onto our makeup vanities a couple of years ago, it didn’t take long for some people to notice its faults. Its lightweight finish was not enough to tackle more stubborn imperfections like redness or dark circles.

CC cream is the new and improved version with built-in concealer and color corrector, hence the double C (for "color corrector").

Lots are formulated with Vitamin C to brighten dark spots and improve complexions. They’re also typically lighter in texture than BB creams and don’t feel as heavy on the skin. (I use it under a regular foundation sometimes to color-correct my under-eye circles.)

Opt for a CC cream if you want to cover acne, enlarged pores, sunspots, rosacea, wrinkles, uneven texture, and scarring while still looking natural and radiant. If foundations are photoshop, think of CC creams as the blurring tool. You’ll hide your imperfections without being completely unrecognizable.  

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Now that you know the difference between these two creams, and you want to start using them in your regular beauty routine, there are a few choice products for both BB creams and CC creams.

What are the best BB creams?

1. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream

When it comes to value, you’d struggle to find a better priced BB cream than this Maybelline one. It glides on to the skin and gives a sheer, dewy coverage. It also has SPF 30 to prevent sun damage. 

(Target, $7.49)

2. Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream SPF 40 

Unlike a lot of foundations, this cream is oil-free so it won’t increase blemishes or clog your pores. While a lot of BB creams are dewy in their finish, this one mattifies once it sets, so it’s perfect for oily skin. 

(Sephora, $39.50)

3. Coola Rōsilliance Organic BB+ Cream SPF 30

Think of this product like a tinted anti-aging cream: it will not only fill your fine lines and wrinkles, but reduce the appearance of them overtime. It’s also water-resistant so it’s perfect for days by the pool. 

(Sephora, $52)

4. Revlon Photoready BB Cream

This simple ingredient list is free from parabens and sulfates so it won’t irritate sensitive skin. It’s also very affordable and is a great choice if you're trying out BB creams for the first time but don’t want to waste your money. 

(Target, $9.59)

5. Erborian BB Cream SPF 20

For dry skin, this moisturizing BB cream does it all. The ginseng extract has amazing healing properties for cracked, flaky skin. But make sure to wear a sunscreen beneath it because it has a lower SPF than a lot of other options. 

(Sephora, $39)

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What are the best CC creams?

1. Supergoop! CC Cream Daily Correct Broad Spectrum SPF 35

This product is perfect for smoothing uneven skin tones and giving you an airbrushed effect. It’s nourishing, and will leave your skin looks healthy and youthful even when you wash it off. 

(Sephora, $36)

2. It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream SPF 50+

I use this CC cream a lot for my everyday makeup look, and I love how it brightens my dark circles and calms some of my redness. I’m also very trusting of a product with a high SPF because I’m all about protecting my skin from sun damage. 

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

3. Physicians Formula Super CC+ Cream SPF 30

This affordable CC cream is amazing at covering up inflamed skin. If you have sensitive skin, I definitely recommend going for a product free from fragrances like this one.

(Target, $10.49)

4. It Cosmetics CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte SPF 40

This is another amazing CC cream from It Cosmetics, but this one is for oily skin. If you struggle with excess sebum production or just like a matte finish, this product won’t leave you looking dewy or greasy. 

(Sephora, $39.50)

5. Olay Total Effects Tone Correcting CC Cream SPF 15

If you struggle with blackheads or enlarged pores, this product cleanses and tones while you wear it so you’re left with an even, glowy skin tone. It’s also packed with vitamins and antioxidants to nourish the skin. 

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

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Alice Kelly is a writer with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.

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