BB Cream vs. CC Cream: Here’s the Difference

July 08, 2020
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
The Big Difference Between BB and CC Cream — And How to Use Them Together

If you’re not a fan of heavy or thick foundation or simply want a makeup routine that’s a little more low-key, we recommend testing out a BB cream or a CC cream. The lightweight complexion products are great for getting a your-skin-but-better look, are super easy to apply and, spoiler alert, can actually be mixed together to create the perfect color and coverage. That said, there is a key difference between the two formulations. BB creams (known as beauty balms) pack good-for-your-skin ingredients like SPF, while CC creams (known as color correcting) tend to provide more coverage. Ahead, we’re breaking down how to decide if a BB cream or CC cream is right for you. 

Should I Use BB Cream or CC Cream? 

With a focus on skin-care benefits, BB creams are an all-in-one serum, moisturizer, primer and foundation. They typically contain SPF or other good-for-skin ingredients, give a natural glow and come in options for every skin type. While it definitely provides more coverage than a tinted moisturizer, don’t expect your BB cream to compete with a full-coverage foundation. The focus is more on addressing your skin-care concerns and giving you a no-makeup makeup look. On the other hand, CC cream should be your go-to if you want to even out redness or skin tone. While the consistency feels a bit lighter and fluffier than that of BB cream, a CC cream is packed with color-correcting ingredients that can adjust your tone, cover dark spots and mask acne. 

Can You Use a BB Cream and CC Cream Together? 

BB creams and CC creams have slightly different purposes, so mixing them together can help you perfect your complexion. Both products can be applied with your hands, a damp beauty sponge or a brush. Start with your BB cream to give your face a lit-from-within glow. In areas when you’re looking to cover spots or even out redness (think: nose), add some CC cream on top. Here are a few formulas we like to mix together. 

Maybelline New York Makeup Dream Fresh BB Cream + IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream

The super creamy Maybelline BB Cream is our go-to when it comes to a drugstore beauty balm. It seamlessly glides onto your skin and fills in any uneven texture. If you’re looking for a CC cream that has a similar feel, this IT Cosmetics pick is the one for you. It provides a flawless finish, feels lightweight and is an editor favorite.

L’Oréal Nude Magic Skin BB CreamYSL Beauty Top Secrets CC Cream Color Correcting Primer

Another excellent drugstore BB cream option, the L’Oréal Nude Magic lives up to its name. This beauty balm can serve as an excellent primer under foundation or can be worn on its own. For a higher-end color-correcting experience, we love the YSL CC cream to use in tandem with your BB cream. This formula comes in three different shades (Rose, Apricot and Lavender) to conceal and correct any discoloration or hyperpigmentation.

NYX Professional Makeup BB Cream + Lancôme UV Expert Mineral CC Cream

For a natural finish and smooth complexion, use a bit of the NYX BB cream. It’s great on its own or underneath a foundation or CC cream, like this option from Lancôme. UV Expert offers full coverage, SPF 50 and a 24-hour luminous finish. 

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