The ABC’s of BB & CC Creams

by Lauren Thompson

We know you’ve heard about BB and CC creams, but most people don’t know what they are or why we need them. Luckily, we’re here to help! But first, what’s the difference between them?

The difference between BB and CC creams may seem pretty subtle, but they both have their specific skin care benefits.  BB creams, or Beauty Balms, are lightweight foundations that moisturize, prime and protect the skin from the sun and free radicals. The best part about them is that they’re essentially an all-in-one product, so they replace your daily moisturizer, primer, foundation, sunscreen and highlighter.  CC creams, or Color Correctors, are best for correcting uneven skin tones, dark spots and redness while covering and concealing.

Best BB & CC Creams

Is it really necessary to use both a BB and a CC cream? Well, yes. Ideally, you should be using both a BB and a CC cream to achieve the best results with your makeup while keeping your skin as healthy [and wrinkle-free] as possible. If you have really dry skin, we recommend using a non-tinted moisturizer before applying your BB cream.

All BBs and CCs were not created equally! We’ve listed out our absolute favorite products that work for us, so don’t get discouraged if you’re using one that you don’t love. Keep trying different brands to find the one that works best for your skin. We’ve listed the highlights of each product to make the selection even easier.

12 Awesome BB Creams To Try

BB Beauty Benefits

  • Smoothing
  • Moisturizing
  • Protecting
  • Firming
  • Priming and Filling
  • Concealing

1. Physicians Formula Super BB Cream, $15

  • SPF 30
  • amazing even coverage
  • vitamins E & C

BB Cream

2. Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream, $9

  • clears acne
  • conceals imperfections
  • minimizes look of pores
  • reduces redness
  • adjusts to skin tone
  • hydrates and smoothes
  • enhances and clarifies
  • oil-free and lightweight


3. Laura Geller Skin Perfecting BB Cream, $34

  • SPF 21
  • brightens complexion
  • vitamins A & E


4. Garnier BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfecter, $11

  • SPF 20
  • all day oil and shine control with mattifying tinted mineral pigments
  • naturally covers imperfections while evening skin tone
  • minimizes pores


5. e.l.f. BB Cream, $6

  • SPF 20
  • vitamin E, jojoba, aloe & cucumber to protect skin


6. Clinique Age Defense BB Cream, $37

  • SPF 30
  • contains caffeine to soften lines
  • vitamin E & seaweed extract to control oil


7. Stila Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm, $38

  • SPF 30
  • comes in one universal shade
  • ideal for mature skin and evening out wrinkles


8. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream, $39

  • SPF 35
  • shine control
  • reduces wrinkles after 4 weeks


9. Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm & Boscia BB Cream, $34 [currently out of stock]

  • SPF 25
  • best to help those with breakouts
  • comes in one universal shade



10. bareMinerals Prime Time BB Cream, $26


11. Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, $38

  • SPF 15
  • oil & fragrance free
  • vitamins A, C & E
  • hypoallergenic


12. Ramy Sleep In Beauty, $24

  • anti-wrinkle, anti-blemish
  • prevents breakouts
  • use overnight without getting any residue on your pillow


The 10 Best CC Creams

CC Beauty Benefits

  • Age spots
  • dark circles
  • blemishes
  • dullness
  • uneven skin tone
  • Redness
  • wrinkles
  • fine lines

1. Physicians Formula Super CC+ Cream, $15

  • SPF 30
  • color correction and care cream
  • anti-aging to help dehydration, age spots, wrinkles and enlarged pores
  • vitamin C
  • 3 color pigments: yellow to correct blue imperfections, green to tone down redness and pink to brighten and illuminate


2. Laura Geller Beauty Spackle Neutralizer Color-Correcting Primer, $30

  • SPF 25
  • Improves skin structure to help stimulate collagen production
  • Helps prevent winkles and fine lines


3. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Color Corrector, $35

  • SPF 30
  • oil-free color correction
  • lightweight


4. Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream Broad Spectrum, $42

  • SPF 30
  • corrects dark spots
  • neutralizes and primes
  • adds moisture without excess oil


5. Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream Broad Spectrum Complexion Corrector, $48

  • SPF 30
  • protects skin
  • evens skin tone
  • antioxidants and vitamin C help fight free radicals


6. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream, $39

  • SPF 30
  • 12-in-1 multi-tasker
  • organic formula for the all natural girl


7. Origins Smarty Plants CC Cream, $35

  • SPF 25
  • paraben, sulfate and phthalate free
  • rich in antioxidants


8. Supergoop! CC Cream Daily Protect, $32

  • SPF 40
  • infused with essential fatty acids to neutralize discolorations and blotchiness and minimize inflammation 
  • brightening apple extract and light-reflecting mica minerals deliver instant luminosity and skin clarity


9. Arbonne Intelligence CC Cream, $40

  • all natural
  • vegan
  • paraben, sulfate and phthalate free
  • helps to prime, protect, mattify and refine



10. Kate Somerville IllumniKate CC Cream, $48

  • SPF 50
  • paraben, sulfate and phthalate free