BB Cream vs. CC Cream

BB Cream vs. CC Cream

Once upon a time, there was foundation. And…that was pretty much it. It came in the form of cream, powder, sticks, you name it—and it was meant to be applied to the face to even out your skintone and correct blemishes.

But as of late, as the beauty industry is branching out and diversifying, the stuff you can put on your skin has done the same. People who are new to makeup might be a little overwhelmed when they go looking for a simple foundation and find BB cream, CC cream, tinted moisturizer, primer, matte powders, and setting spray instead. But these alternatives to traditional foundation are blowing up in a big way, so let’s break down the basics.

Creams vs. Foundation

Simply put, a traditional foundation is just makeup. Foundation is typically fairly heavy and built for moderate coverage that paints over blemishes, redness, dark circles and discoloration. It’s the most dramatic way to get the appearance of a flawless face, but in many cases, it clogs pores, and all foundations do not agree with all skin types. Foundation might slide off of oily skin, flake off of dry skin and irritate sensitive skin. But it comes in endless formulas and shades, and with enough looking, many makeup aficionados have found their holy grail foundation that’s perfect for their skin color and type.

BB and CC creams, on the other hand, are a marriage between foundation and skincare. They’re specifically created to be lightweight and subtle, and different formulas can remedy different skincare issues while gently evening out your skintone. They’re perfect for a no-makeup makeup look or a low-maintenance beauty routine, but the downside is that they come in a much more limited range of shades and finishes than foundations.

To BB or to CC?

Even though they’re both great alternatives to foundation, BB and CC cream have some key differences that buyers should know about.

The ‘BB’ stands for ‘beauty balm’ or ‘blemish balm’, depending on who you ask. Lauren Serra, Senior MUA at Blushington’s in NYC says, “[BB cream is] a multi-step skincare regimen in one application that provides more coverage than tinted moisturizer.”

The main draw of BB cream is their use of antioxidants and sunscreens that keep the skin both healthy and looking great. BB cream is light and buildable, and typically has a dewy or natural finish. People with dry skin find that BB cream hydrates them better than most foundations, and it doesn’t flake off or get cakey. However, if your skin is oily, you might have a hard time getting a BB cream to play nice on your face.

By contrast, a CC cream—'CC’ meaning “color correcting” or “complexion correcting”—is heavier than BB cream but still lighter than foundation. Its appeal is in its usefulness as a concealer that fixes redness, sallowness and dull spots while providing soft, semi-matte coverage. Celebrity makeup artist Brittany Spyksma advises: “If you like the idea of a BB cream but have some skin issues like discoloration or redness, try a CC cream”.

CC creams have proven ideal for people with oily skin who struggle to get foundations or BB creams to stay put. They’re non-comedogenic and also serve as a primer that foundation can stick to. Dry skin, on the other hand, may feel dried out further by a CC cream’s matte finish.
So, if you’re just dipping your toes into the waters of makeup, try playing around with some light coverage creams and see what works for you. Be sure to know your skin type, and then go shopping! And be sure to check out our stock of skincare products here at Keshoume to keep your skin in good shape!

Rowan Thompson - December 14, 2020

Rostamian, Michelle, and Ashley Rebecca. “Which Is Best: Foundation, BB, or CC Cream.” Byrdie, 16 May 2020,

Velasco, Tatiana. “Makeup Artists Say CC Cream Is 'the Holy Grail of Coverage'.” Good Housekeeping, 26 Mar. 2020,

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