How to Choose Between BB Cream, CC Cream and Foundation

January 05, 2022
megan mcintyre
By: Megan McIntyre | by L'Oréal
BB Cream vs. Foundation: Which One Is Best for Your Skin?
If you walk down any makeup aisle, you’ll be met with an abundance of complexion products — and while we appreciate the variety, it can be hard to sift through every liquid and cream to find the one that’s right for your skin type. To help you find your perfect match, we spoke to Dr. Marina Peredo, New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist and celebrity makeup artist Stephanie Flor about the difference between BB cream, CC cream and foundation and tips for applying each.

What Is BB Cream?

BB cream is an all-in-one makeup product. It traditionally has good-for-your-skin ingredients like SPF and sufficient coverage to even out redness and smooth rough texture. BB creams have finishes that range anywhere from a barely-there tint to medium coverage. BB creams also have the added benefit of helping breakout-prone skin. "If you're acne-prone, using a BB cream that’s oil-free is a good way to go,” says Flor. We recommend the Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream, which has a sheer finish and is formulated with salicylic acid to address acne.

Maybelline New York Dream Pure BB Cream

What Is Foundation?

Foundation is a classic go-to option for makeup artists and beauty lovers who want to create a flawless canvas and have superior coverage. If you want something that's going to last all day and give you airbrushed-looking skin, foundation is the right choice, says Flor. Foundations are also available in a wide range of coverage options. For buildable, light-to-medium coverage with a luminous finish, we love the L'Oréal Infallible Fresh Wear 24HR Foundation, a lightweight formula that lasts all day. If you prefer medium-to-full coverage, reach for the Valentino Beauty Very Valentino 24 Hour Wear Liquid Foundation, which leaves a velvety semi-matte finish.
Valentino Beauty Very Valentino 24 Hour Wear Liquid Foundation

What Is CC Cream?

CC cream, or color correcting cream, is an all-in-one product intended to address redness, darkness and sallowness. It blends skincare ingredients with light-diffusing properties to give you a smoother complexion, and offers varying levels of coverage. The Dermablend Continuous Correction CC Cream SPF 50+ is one of our latest full-coverage favorites.
Dermablend CC cream

How to Apply BB and CC Cream

BB creams and CC creams are a true time-saver in the morning and impossible to mess up. “Anything that combines sunscreen, skincare ingredients, antioxidants and light coverage is ideal for the busy person who doesn't have time for a more in-depth regimen,” says Dr. Peredo. Just rub a pea- or dime-size amount between your hands to warm the product up and apply to bare, freshly cleansed skin. You can use a sponge or brush for application, too. If you have extra dry skin, you can benefit from applying a moisturizer underneath your BB or CC to give your skin an added boost of hydration.  

How to Apply Foundation

Foundation requires more precise application, especially if you’re trying to spot-conceal redness, blemishes and dark circles. Start by dabbing the product in the center of the face or where you require the most coverage. You can blend in the product with a damp sponge for an airbrushed, full-coverage effect or buff it in with a foundation brush for slightly lighter coverage. We’re partial to the IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush #7, which features a large buffing brush on one end and a small flat brush on the other for targeted foundation and concealer application. 

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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