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The Best BB Creams for 2021
Your Ultimate Guide to BB Creams
Beauty/blemish balms are the perfect all-around makeup for every occasion. Need a smooth, hydrating primer? Grab a bb cream. Want to ditch the heavy foundation for the day and go for a natural look? Exactly what a beauty balm is for. Trying to hide a few spots without irritating the skin? You guessed it — bb creams can do it.
Other than an alternative for full-coverage foundation, BB creams can also be used as a tinted moisturizer or a primer. That’s why they’re often called 3-in-1 makeup products. And that’s why I love having one in my makeup bag — they’re perfect for quick touch-ups when you’re out and about.
Want to know where you can find the best BB creams? We’ve got you covered! Check out the 10 best products in the market for the year.
In a Hurry? Here’s the Best BB Cream
Ready for your picture-perfect makeup look to get elevated? The Smashhbox beauty balm has everything you need to get camera-ready in as little as one minute. The formula covers your skin effortlessly and smoothly while keeping it hydrated all day.
Stay protected no matter where you go with the added SPF 35 that guards your skin against harmful sun exposure that could lead to early signs of aging. With its perfect mix of breathable and blemish-blurring, this balm is nothing short of a beauty must-have for your makeup bag.
Which Brand of BB Cream is the Best?
First, let’s differentiate the two. “BB” stands for beauty balm, while “CC” means color corrector. BB and CC creams are both multipurpose creams but they have a few key distinctions.
So, what does it mean? Often, BB creams are formulated to be a tinted moisturizer or a light alternative to the usual foundation. They usually include SPF and can hide a few blemishes without being too heavy or cakey. The coverage ranges from light to buildable, making them a great option for almost all skin tones.
On the other hand, CC cream is better at reducing the appearance of sallow skin, dark under-eyes, and red spots. Think of it as a lightweight concealer-slash-color corrector.
According to this article from Superdrug, you can also distinguish the two by their mode of operation and how they help the skin. BB creams are better at preventing blemishes, while CC creams are better at concealing them.
Top 10 Best BB Creams
Let’s Go Over Each BB Cream
Smashbox has some pretty amazing products on its roster, and their blemish balm is no exception. This tinted moisturizer/broad spectrum UV protector/primer is a multifunctional product that controls oil and leaves a matte finish, all while leaving you hydrated. It fixes uneven skin tone while still letting your natural skin shine through.
Perfect for all skin types, this BB cream is the perfect addition to your no-makeup makeup routine. It helps cover fine lines and large pores as well as provide excellent sun protection in one product. Take a selfie (or two, or ten) while you’re at it — it’s called the Camera Ready BB cream for a reason!
Pros and Cons of the Smashbox Camera Ready Spf 35
|✔️ Great coverage |
✔️ Moisturizing properties
✔️ Blurring effect for wrinkles and fine lines
Wondering which blemish balm to add to your K-beauty collection? Ulzzang fanatics, rejoice! The Missha Perfect Cover has everything you want in a product: it’s highly hydrating, great for dry skin, and includes protection against harmful UV rays to reveal a flawless complexion.
Consider this balm a full-coverage yet amazingly lightweight cream that will make you feel confident leaving the house even without foundation. The formula includes rosemary leaf extract and chamomile oil to soothe and nourish the skin in no time.
Pros and Cons of the Missha Perfect Cover
|✔️ Lightweight yet full coverage|
✔️ Highly hydrating formula
✔️ Includes rosemary leaf extract and chamomile
|✖️ Might not be suitable for oily skin|
Nothing’s worse than applying a full coverage foundation and having it break into cakey little bits in the middle of the day. People of most skin types can suffer from this — from dehydrated skin to normal.
The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint sees to it that you won’t ever have to go through that again! Not only does it have a smooth finish that stays on effortlessly, but it’s packed with hyaluronic acid too. That means hello to moisturized skin and goodbye dullness.
People with a damaged skin barrier might love this hydrating BB cream as the hyaluronic acid locks in moisture into the skin. Over time, the ingredients help boost suppleness to prevent early sagging and visible aging. The formula is oil-free, non-comedogenic, and great for almost every type of skin. It also comes in 10 different shades.
Pros and Cons of the Hydrating Tint - Neutrogena
|✔️ Hydrating formula |
✔️ Perfect for dehydrated skin
✔️ Prevents sagging and aging skin
|✖️ Not as buildable as others|
Want blemish-free skin on a budget? Maybe Maybelline’s the answer. Their Dream line comes with different kinds of BB creams perfect for every skin type, occasion, and wear. The Dream Fresh cream has made it to tons of “best of” lists this year, and for a good reason.
According to Maybelline, the product includes 8 skin-loving benefits in one package. The formula is sheer and lightweight to bring out your natural glow with a buildable coverage so you can pack on or stay light as needed.
Pros and Cons of the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream
|✔️ Affordable |
✔️ 8-in-1 BB cream
✔️ Very buildable coverage
|✖️ Needs reapplication throughout the day|
If your skin loves all-natural products, Burt’s Bees is a great brand to start looking. This BB cream + broad spectrum SPF is great for no-makeup makeup looks when you’re feeling just a tad bit lazy or maybe you want to let your skin have a little breathing room.
Either way, the coverage this product gives does not disappoint. It’s quite buildable so you can go for sheer one day and full the next. It also boasts a formula rich in moisture and vitamins so you can stay protected and hydrated at the same time.
It’s ideal for anyone, whether they have sensitive skin or combination skin, and it’s pretty much a solid choice for any makeup look. We say: it’s an all-around must-try!
Pros and Cons of the Burt’s Bees
|✔️ 90% Natural formula |
✔️ Includes SPF
✔️ Lasts long and great for all skin
|✖️ Has an odd scent|
Natural is still the way to go, so don’t be afraid to let your skin breathe every once in a while. If you’re looking for a light foundation-type cream that won’t clog your pores but still provide enough cover to blur out blemishes, then this tinted moisturizer will do the trick.
This Laura Mercier skin tint is by no means a new product, but it’s stood the test of time for a reason! Its new and improved formula features kukui seed oils and macadamia for some all-natural skincare goodness.
The Laura Mercier skin tint is great at evening out skin tone without feeling like too much, if you know what we mean. Your skin will look picture perfect without feeling a little caked after a full day of errands. It’s ideal for acne-prone skin, normal skin, sensitive skin, you name it. They even have a version of this product with an oil-free formula.
Pros and Cons of the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
|✔️ Breathable cream base |
✔️ Includes natural ingredients
✔️ Long wear, non-greasy
|✖️ A little pricey|
If you think you’ve seen all sorts of beauty or blemish balms, think again. This skin tint leans toward a gel-like formula for a more hydrating, fast-drying application. Our favorite part? It comes in 20 shades so you can choose the perfect match for your skin tone. Oh, and it’s also vegan.
The BareMinerals Complexion Rescue is perfect as a foundation substitute, a makeup base, or even a tinted moisturizing cream, being packed with mineral electrolytes for added hydration.
It’s also loaded with SPF to protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays that cause fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. With its medium coverage, your natural skin will shine through!
Pros and Cons of the BareMinerals BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30
|✔️ Multiple shade choices |
✔️ Vegan and cruelty-free
|✖️ Thin and shiny application|
When it comes to makeup and skincare benefits, you can’t really beat E.L.F. At this product’s price point, you are getting a ton of value. Their foundation sunscreen slash tinted moisturizer is easy to apply and great for a sheer-coverage to a medium-coverage base. It’s almost a hydrating lotion, too — jojoba, aloe vera, and vitamin E are just a few of the ingredients you’ll find in the formula.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that may be helpful in reversing harmful sun damage. It covers fine lines without sinking into them and gives a natural matte finish that can brighten skin in no time. However, those who have a problem with excess oil might find this formula a little heavy.
Pros and Cons of the E.L.F. Cream
|✔️ Budget-friendly drugstore cream |
✔️ Sheer coverage
✔️ Includes aloe vera and vitamin E
|✖️ Melts off quickly |
Want a tinted moisturizer/broad spectrum SPF that actually offers enough protection to be effective? Look no further. The Dr. Jart balm is great for beauty enthusiasts who can’t live without sunscreen and vitamin C. That’s right — this oil-free formula is infused with Vitamin C, a skincare wonder proven to eliminate dark spots and brighten the skin.
This cream glides on effortlessly and works well with different skin tones. Like many BB creams, this balm has a lightweight formula that doesn’t sink into the skin’s lines. It’s a pretty mild formula, too, so there’s no problem of potentially irritated skin.
Pros and Cons of the Dr. Jart Premium Beauty Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 40
|✔️ Potent sun-protecting ingredients|
✔️ Brightens the skin
✔️ Lightweight and pleasant formula
Nothing worse than feeling greasier as the day goes on, right? If you’re plagued with particularly oily skin, then worry not. The Garnier Skinactive is a great solution.
It’s an oil-free mix of nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C, as well as protective components like SPF and caffeine. We definitely recommend it to those who struggle with finding non-greasy products that are actually moisturizing too.
The Garnier Skinactive is long-wearing and requires only a couple of touch-ups. Its blurring effect is great for its price, however, it’s not as strong a redness corrector as some of the others in this list.
Pros and Cons of the Garnier Skinactive Miracle Perfector
|✔️ Blurs imperfections easily |
✔️ Spreads evenly throughout skin
✔️ Non-cakey, non-greasy
|✖️ Odd scent |
Top 10 Best BB Creams Comparison
So there you have it! No matter what you’re looking for, there’s a BB cream for your needs. Bring out your natural glow in just a few seconds with any of these products. Who knows, you may even find your new holy grail.
But don’t end your makeup journey there. No look is complete without a poppin’ eyeliner. Check out our guide to the 10 best eyeliners right here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Which BB cream is best for daily use?
The best BB cream will really depend on a few factors: your skin type, the environment, and what you’re using the product for.
For dry skin, look for a BB cream with moisturizing properties. Luckily, it shouldn’t be hard to find as most creams are pretty hydrating. Some examples in this list are the Neutrogena Hydrating cream and the BareMinerals Complexion Rescue. You can also check out:
- Jane Iredale Glow Time Mineral BB Cream (Vegan, cruelty-free)
- Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer (Light coverage, natural finish)
On the flip side, moisturizing formulas might spell disaster for those who have oily skin. If you’re not a fan of products that are too thick and greasy, definitely go for a lightweight beauty balm that won’t clog your pores. For this, you can try the Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream. A non-greasy yet buildable foundation-type cream, the Acne Solutions BB Cream is the perfect fit for those who have trouble with oil control.
Environment also plays a big factor. Are you out in constant heat all day or do you stay in an air-conditioned place like an office? Definitely take some time to think about this as a cool environment can dry your skin out, while a hot one may make you sweat your makeup off.
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.