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The Best BB Creams for Glowy, Dewy, Basically Perfect Skin

If you’ve gone online in the past, oh, five to eight years, you've probably come across a hyper-enthusiastic blog post or customer review raving about BB cream. Touted as an all-in-one miracle-worker that packs SPF, foundation, and anti-aging and hydrating powers in one affordable punch, BB cream is the easily the MVP of any skincare routine or makeup bag. But maybe you're wondering what is a BB cream exactly and which one is right for your particular complexion. Ahead, we reveal the best BB cream for whatever skin you’re working with. 

 

BB Cream FAQs

What is a BB Cream? 

BB stands for beauty balm or blemish balm. BB creams were first developed back in the 1960s, but didn’t hit the stratosphere until the 2010s, when K-beauty lovers went wild for the hydrating, UV-thwarting formulas from South Korean brands. Formulations vary, of course, but in general, all are designed to address multiple issues for all skin types, with a physical or chemical sunscreen base and coverage on par with a light foundation. Benefits generally include covering imperfections, evening skin tone, and providing antioxidant and SPF protection.

Dr. Jart+ BB Beauty Balm.

What’s the difference between BB cream and tinted moisturizer? 

Many products consider themselves both a BB cream and a tinted moisturizer. But typically, the difference is in coverage levels and SPF protection. BB creams generally aspire to provide an SPF over 20, along with moderate coverage. Tinted moisturizers, on the other hand, usually stick to being just what their name implies: a moisturizer, with just a tint (or a hint) of color. BB creams are heavier than tinted moisturizers, but not as heavy as foundation.

When & How Should I Use a BB Cream? 

BB creams are designed to be a morning product when you’re heading out the door, since most contain SPF and makeup ingredients that you wouldn’t need during your nighttime routine (or if you’re having one of those avoid-all-people type of days). Since BBs typically do so many jobs and come in travel-ready bottles, they’re great for vacations when you need an SPF that will help you look flawless in photos. And because they are so gentle, BB creams are also a great solution when you don’t want to potentially irritate breakouts or damaged skin with heavy makeup. 

To apply, simply dab it lightly over your skin, and blend in gently using your fingertips, a makeup sponge, or a foundation brush—no fancy influencer lights necessary. Some folks mix it with their favorite foundation for extra coverage, or top it off with a setting powder to control sebum and help the BB last longer.

BB Cream SPF 35 BOBBI BROWN.

What are the benefits? 

People love BB creams for their all-in-one ease. Instead of sticking a whole makeup bag in your purse, one BB cream can provide flawless coverage and protect your skin from sun damage. Many BBs also claim to fill in fine lines, add a dewy glow, even skin tone, minimize the appearance pores, and moisturize. Most are also better on irritated and tired skin than some foundations and concealers.

The Best BB Creams

1

Best BB Cream Overall

DR. JART  Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45.

DR. JART Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45

Dr. Jart’s cult-favorite product checks every BB box: it camouflages fine lines and discoloration, evens out skin tone, deeply moisturizes, and delivers anti-aging and firming properties. In this case, the balm provides excellent mineral sunscreen protection, too. Of the almost 1,700 gushing reviewers on Sephora, many love how it doesn’t look or feel heavy and glides on seamlessly without a thick or cakey quality. As one Sephora shopper put it after spouting out the product’s many skin-saving benefits, “In conclusion, I love it and want to marry it.” 

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2

Best BB Cream for Combination Skin

Smashbox  Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35.

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream 

We know that having combination skin can feel like being the middle child, but Smashbox hasn’t forgotten you. There’s no oil here to clog pores or grease up skin, and there’s also no alcohol that will trigger a sensitive skin flare-up or dry you out. With vitamin E to moisturize and just enough coverage to reduce the appearance of lines, Smashbox isn’t kidding—you really will be selfie-ready. 

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3

Best BB Cream for Sensitive Skin

Juice Beauty BB Cream SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer.

Juice Beauty SPF Tinted Mineral Moisturizer BB

Many BB creams are great for sensitive skin, since they were originally designed to be a gentle alternative to harsh lotions or foundations for post-procedure patients. But to go the extra mile, pick up this reef-safe and cruelty-free one from Juicy Beauty. It’s made with organic ingredients like hydrating coconut and jojoba oils and free-radical-fighting aloe and apple, so even the most sensitive skin will feel this BB’s love.

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4

Best BB Cream for Acne-Prone Skin

CLINIQUE Acne Solutions™ BB Cream SPF 40.

Clinique Acne Solutions BB Cream

It’s right there in the name: this Clinique Acne Solutions cream is specifically formulated to absorb the unwanted oils that cause non-hormonal acne. It also use light-diffusing particles to give you a glow while still curbing excess shine. Like most BBs, this one works great on its own or as a primer under your favorite foundation.

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5

Best Drugstore BB Cream

Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream.

Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream Skin Clearing Perfector 

Normally we’d say an 8-in-1 product is trying to do too much, but Maybelline manages to pull it off—all for under the cost of your afternoon Starbucks run. With salicylic acid to zap blemishes and an oil-free formula that mimics skin tones, balances redness, and evens imperfections, you can’t go wrong.

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6

Best Fragrance-Free BB Cream

Marcelle BB Cream Illuminator, Golden Glow.

Marcelle BB Cream Illuminator Golden Glow

Simply put, this BB cream does everything it’s supposed to do. It lives up to the golden glow promise in its name, serves just the right amount of hydration with chamomile extract and aloe, and, thanks to being hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, gets rave reviews from beauty addicts with sensitive skin. Pro tip: a little bit goes a long way with this one, so start by applying less than a pea-sized dab to avoid any pilling or over-saturation.

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7

Best Mattifying BB Cream

CoverGirl  Clean Matte BB Cream.

CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream

Designed to eliminate any unwanted shine, CoverGirl’s BB won’t have you reaching for the oil blotters by mid-afternoon. Start with just a dab and build from there, since overusing mattifiers like this one can lead to flakes and pilling. 

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8

Best Oil-Free BB Cream For Oily Skin

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur.

La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur SPF 20

La Roche-Posay’s tinted face cream with sunscreen isn’t just oil-free—it also actively absorbs excess oils, plus smooths over the appearance of large pores with a lightweight, mousse-like texture. You’ll get 12 hours of a matte no-makeup look, all while knowing the product won’t lead to any breakouts. 

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9

Best Cushion BB Cream

Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion.

Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion

Cushion compacts are just one of many incredible innovations to come from the world of South Korean skincare. They’re a natural fit for BB creams, since they’re super convenient and allow for lightweight, dewy coverage. Sulwhasoo has nailed the perfect combo of coverage and glow here, using what they call the watercolor method. By dispersing the tints of color into the water on your face rather than the oil, the method locks in excess sebum to get all of the glow with none of the grease, and helps coverage last all day. Plus, a whopping SPF 50 makes this a leader in protection from sun damage.

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10

Best BB Cream For Mature Skin/Anti-Aging

Perfect BB Cream SPF 40 PA    3LAB.

3Lab Perfect BB Cream SPF 40

In many of 3Lab’s products, including this BB cream, the K-beauty brand adds stem cells developed from a rare Swiss apple. The effect is a cream that brightens dull skin, smoothes over lines, and works to correct hyperpigmentation with just the right amount of dewy coverage.

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11

Best BB Cream for a Dewy Glow

[KLAIRS] Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream.

Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish BB Cream

If you’re forever striving for that “no-makeup makeup look,” give this BB a spin. One of the most lightweight picks on this list, this is a great go-to for achieving that elusive dewy glow. It’s formulated with a yellowish undertone to prevent the grey casts that some BB creams give off, though the downside is that it’s currently only available in this single shade.

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12

Best Hydrating BB Cream

M Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 PA   .

Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42

Missha packs this formula full of mega moisturizers like macadamia seed oil and hyaluronic acid, as well as anti-aging ceramides and soothing chamomile extract. It imbues moisture and life into dull, dry skin, leaving a moderate to full coverage glow in its wake.

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13

Best Clean/Green Beauty BB Cream

Lily Lolo BB Cream.

Lily LoloBB Cream

With a blend of jojoba seed, wheat germ, and sweet almond oils heading up its responsibly sourced ingredient list, this non-toxic formula tackles the same skin issues as other formulas. The overall effect is supple skin and dewy, barely there coverage, but do note that this pick doesn’t shield skin from UV rays.

 

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14

Best BB Cream for Filling Fine Lines

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Aging Moisturizer, Tan/Medium.

Neutrogena Anti-Aging Perfector SPF 20 with Retinol

Not content with simply erasing fine lines, this Neutrogena BB also equips skin with a healthy dose of anti-aging retinol. When you consider this also provides glowing coverage, it’s enough to put other retinols to shame—especially those far above drugstore price points.

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15

Best Long-Lasting BB Cream

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30.

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream SPF 30

A contender for best overall BB cream, this is the kind of product you can slap on during your morning commute and forget about till your nighttime routine. Marine botanicals, electrolytes, and trehalose keep slogging skin energized and fresh. The lightweight coverage means you won’t have to worry about it coming off throughout even the busiest day.

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16

Best Vegan/Cruelty-Free BB Cream

BB tinted treatment primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30.

Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer SPF 30

A super multi-tasker, Tarte’s vegan BB cream works to seamlessly smooth lines, fill in pores, provide medium matte coverage. A triple-B complex gives skin a bright and fresh glow. 

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17

Best BB Cream for Redness

Dr. Jart  Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment.

Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment

A few BB creams (like L’Oreal’s Paris Magic Skin Beautifier) target redness with a green-hued formula. But if your skin is chronically red, you’re better off putting aside the BB and opting for a CC, or color correcting formula, like this one from Dr. Jart. In addition to providing a lightweight neutralizer that calms and evens your skin tone, this all-in-one also gives your face a barrier from both the sun and the environmental aggressors that could be making your redness worse. 

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18

Best BB Cream for Hyperpigmentation

Garnier SkinActive BB Cream Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer.

Garnier SkinActive BB Cream Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer

Tinted minerals and vitamin C work overtime to provide nearly full coverage to cover up hyperpigmentation in this popular Garnier product. It also offers up tons of anti-aging moisture, so if you’ve got oily skin, you might want to use a mattifying setting powder to avoid excess sebum.

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19

Best BB Cream for Darker Skin/Best Shade Range

BB Cream SPF 35 BOBBI BROWN.

Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35

The biggest BB cream fail is that not enough brands offer shades to suit darker skin tones, but Bobbi Brown offers tints ranging from Extra Light to Rich. The product itself offers serious sun protection (love that 35), hydrating emollients, and a radiance that’s slightly pearly.  

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20

Best BB Cream with High SPF

IPKN Moist and Firm BB Cream SPF 45.

IPKN Moist and Firm BB Cream SPF 45

One of the best BB creams out there even before we factor in that excellent SPF 45, this IPKN favorite doesn’t just protect your skin from the sun and supply a jolt of hydration. Using firming collagen and strengthening ceramides, the formula also works to bolster elasticity and fill in lines.

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21

Best BB Cream for Fuller Coverage

Dr. Jart  Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm SPF 30.

Dr. Jart Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm

Another option for the overall winner, this BB provides full coverage and maximum strength for erasing lines and covering imperfections, while still being more subtle and lightweight than foundation, especially for people who start to sweat off their makeup at the first hint of summer. Like any BB cream, give it a few moments to work into your face before assessing its coverage—it takes longer to blend into your skin than foundation does.

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22

Best BB Cream for Lightweight Coverage

COOLA Mineral Face Matte Moisturizer SPF 30.

COOLA Mineral Sunscreen

Closer to a tinted moisturizer, this sunscreen mattifies and controls shine to give combination or oily skin lightweight coverage that actually feels lightweight. Ingredients like rose hip oil and shea butter to protect your skin against the elements, and a whipped texture makes the cream feel super luxurious and ultra smooth.

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