Beauty | 08.28.2022

7 Best BB Creams to Try for Yourself

Woman applying one of the best bb creams to her face with a brush.

By Franki Hanke

BB creams are the hottest way to multitask. Add some skincare to some light coverage, and your skin will look better and be better with only one product. 

If you’ve read our article What are BB Creams, and Why are they Better? you already know all about the all-in-one role of BB creams in your makeup bag. To review, it’s a light tint that will even your skin’s appearance with added hydration. Sometimes, they’ll even include a BB cream SPF for sun protection too. 

Don’t ditch your whole skincare routine though. These perform best alongside your regular skincare routine and proper sun protection (because we know that SPF 15, SPF 20, and SPF 35 are all too low!) 

Picking the best bb creams from over-filled store shelves feels impossible.

Best High-End BB Creams

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream

While it’s technically more coverage than your usual “beauty balm,” the It Cosmetics CC+ Cream is so good it can’t be cut from this list. It provides more coverage without ever looking cakey. 

Ingredient Highlights

→ Broad Spectrum SPF 50 from physical sunscreens Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide

→ Hydrating niacinamides and glycerin

→ Soothing colloidal oatmeal

→ Reparative snail secretions

Now, if you’re not one of the initiated, you might have read that list like so, “Okay, cool… yep, sounds good, wait, what?” You did read it correctly, snail secretions, or mucus, have some skincare power displayed in studies so far. 

Alongside what’s inside, the packaging itself is sleek and convenient in a pump tube that won’t break in your bag. For other skin types, there are two specialized variations of this product: CC+ Illumination for a dewy finish on dry skin and CC+ Oil-Free for a matte finish on oily skin. 

Best for you if… you’re overwhelmed by options and you want to try the reigning favorite of them all because few BB/CC creams outsell this one. 

Shop on Amazon for $33. 

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream

If you’re after a true BB cream with a skincare focus rather than a coverage focus, opt for the Clinique Age Defense over It Cosmetics’. With a suite of skincare hits, this perfector focuses on treating your skin itself. 

Ingredient Highlights

→ Broad Spectrum SPF 50 from physical sunscreens Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide and chemical sources

→ Reparative antioxidant tocopherol, oryzanol (rice bran), and caffeine

→ Hydrating linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid), squalane, glycerin, urea, and sodium hyaluronate (a cousin of hyaluronic acid) 

→ Soothing algae-extract

Packing a physical and chemical sunscreen duo amongst all those superstar ingredients is nothing to cough at. We tip our hats to Clinique. However, there are only two tints, so if those don’t suit your skin, you’re out of luck. They also claim Vitamin E inside, but the highly stable, pure form they’re using isn’t absorbed well by the skin, so you’re likely not seeing that in practice, according to dermatologist Leslie Baumann. 

Best for you if… you want a skincare product with the added benefit of skin smoothing because this anti-aging agent is all about its’ ingredients. 

Shop on Amazon for $28. 

Tarte BB Tinted Treatment Primer

With true lightweight coverage, Tarte’s Tinted Treatment Primer is useable as first-step primer or as an only-step skin tone perfector. Layer it beneath your usual foundation whenever you want full coverage than a spot concealer. 

Ingredient Highlights

→ Broad Spectrum SPF 50 from physical sunscreens Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide

→ All vegan ingredients

→ Smoothing silicones for improved texture 

Lacking some of the skincare power of other options on the list, Tarte’s tinted moisturizer is one of the few vegan formulations on the market. 

Best for you if… you try to shop for cruelty-free, vegan-only products because Tarte is the reliable for vegan products. 

Shop on Amazon for $43. 

Black Radiance True Complexion BB Cream

BB Creams are notoriously bad for skin tone range compared to foundations. Even with light coverage, incorrect color correcting will wash out deeper skin. 

Ingredient Highlights

→ Reparative antioxidant tocopherol

→ Protective cholesterol 

While the ingredients also include a Vitamin C formation, it’s one of the least stable forms, so it’s not going to help you there. However, the other ingredients provide some extra nourishment for your skin. 

Best for you if… the tone ranges of other options are letting you down because they are formulated for darker skin. 

Shop on Amazon for $23. 

If you’d rather grab a familiar brand from Sephora, BareMineral’s Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream is essentially a BB cream with a few options on the deeper end of the skin tone range. 

Best Drugstore BB Creams

L’Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

With a matte finish, L’Oreal’s Magic Skin BB Cream packs a punch of skincare benefits and perfecting coverage in under $10. Dry skin will love the hydrating additions. 

Ingredient Highlights

→ Hydrating glycerin

→ Reparative antioxidant tocopherol

→ Soothing panthenol

→ Smoothing silicones for improved texture (even on fine lines)

L’Oreal’s ingredients include one sleeper agent that appears as tiny, tiny balls within the cream of the product. These act to smooth the product over the skin even where there’s lines or texture.

Best for you if… you want to try a BB cream on a budget before committing to a high-end option because it’s the cheapest option. 

Shop on Amazon for $6. 

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream 

Another drugstore favorite to try, if your skin doesn’t love the L’Oreal option, is the equally iconic Maybelline Dream Fresh. 

Ingredient Highlights

→ SPF 30 from physical sunscreen Titanium Dioxide

→ Reparative antioxidants from Chamomile and Aloe

→ Silicone-free (for less weight on skin)

Compared to our other budget beauty products, this Maybelline option has no silicones in the ingredient list. While silicones can be great for smoothing the appearance of skin, oily skin often doesn’t like the added weight of silicones. 

Best for you if… silicones tend to block your pores or react to your other makeup favorites because most alternatives have some silicones. 

Shop on Amazon for $7.

When comparing between options for the best bb creams, the ingredients set them apart.

Psst… if you’re wondering why we skipped on completing the Big 3 by not mentioning Covergirl’s BB cream it’s because their ingredient list doesn’t have anything to boast about compared to L’Oreal and Maybelline’s offerings. After all, these are only the best. 

MISSHA Perfect Cover BB Cream

From Korean brand MISSHA, this lightweight BB cream is a true representation of the K-Beauty BB cream trend. It’s absolutely packed with skincare power, but has added perfumes that may not agree with sensitive skin. 

Ingredient Highlights

→ Hydrating squalane, glycerin, ceramides, and sodium hyaluronate (a cousin of hyaluronic acid) 

→ SPF 40 from physical Titanium Dioxide and chemical sources

→ Repairative Adenosine (similiar to retinol) 

→ Soothing from Rosemary and Chamomile

→ Brightening from Arbutin (which can brighten dark spots over time) 

MISSHA’s BB cream pulls no punches with popular skincare ingredients that hydrate heavily and add some treatment benefits. The only drawback is those perfumes! As long as your skin doesn’t mind those, the cocktail inside provides some reparative anti-aging every time you apply the “Blemish Balm.” 

Best for you if… your skin isn’t reactive to perfumes because its ingredient list is awesome other than those additives. 

Shop on Amazon for $12. 

Another popular pick for a Korean BB cream is Erborian’s BB Creme Clair but its ingredients are super similar to MISSHA’s with the same pesky perfumes. If one doesn’t work for you, the other likely wouldn’t either! Plus, it’s harder to find consistently too. 

For any BB cream enthusiasts wondering why we didn’t mention Smashbox’s hit Ready BB Cream, there’s a reason. It’s discontinued! 

If you’re acne-prone and transitioning to BB creams makes your skin feel naked, remember you can pair your favorite BB with concealer coverage on breakouts. The combination gives you a more natural skin look without sacrificing coverage. 

Now that you’ve streamlined your makeup routine, upgrade your entire morning routine by reading How to Make an Energizing Morning Routine, According to Science.

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