BB Creams, CC Creams, and Tinted Moisturizers…So what is the difference?

Ever wonder what the real difference is between CC Creams, BB Creams, and Tinted moisturizers. I never thought there was much of a difference before I started wearing them.

At the beginning of 2020 I decided to wear less foundation, so I started trying out other formulas.  I learned and experimented with each to see what I liked and didn’t like.  

Today on the blog I am sharing what the differences are in the 3 formulas and what I think are some of the pros/cons of each. 

BB Creams

BB Creams tend to be all-in-one products usually combining anti-aging, skin-soothing, and SPF benefits. They originated in Korea and tend to be lighter in weight than the typical foundation. They also help smooth your skin’s complexion while priming and moisturizing too.

Did you know that BB is short for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm?” They often help to conceal blemishes and imperfections as well. They tend to be a little thicker than a CC cream or Tinted moisturizer. However, the formula will vary brand to brand.

The one thing to keep in mind when wearing a BB Cream is that even though it has SPF, most are not formulated with enough to provide adequate coverage so still continue to apply your daily sunscreen as well.

Out of all them, the BB cream is the one I wear the least. When I do wear it I tend to gravitate towards the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream.

CC Creams

I love me a good CC cream. CC is short for color correcting creams. While BB and CC creams are very similar, the one main difference is that CC creams help reduce the look of redness or discoloration in the skin. Their texture is often lighter than a BB cream, but this really depends on the brand. This is based on my experience.

CC Creams are typically lighter than foundations and BB creams because their main job is to act as a color correcting agent vs coverage. My favorite CC cream is the Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Colour Corrector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 from Clinique and is definitely thicker than most CC creams I have seen. This is probably why I like it.

Tinted Moisturizers

Welp, they are exactly what they sound like-a moisturizing cream that has a tint to it. Now if you ask me tinted moisturizers are the best thing to hit the makeup world. They have been my go to product lately simply because they are like more light weight and I can cut out an extra product. I have always had a love hate relationship with moisturizer because I always found it to leave my face more oily than I liked. I switched to serum based products but using a tinted moisturizer eliminates the need to add an additional moisturizing product if I choose not to.

The upside to tinted moisturizers is that they are very light weight, almost sheer coverage, and have a very natural look. Most of them also have SPF coverage too. However, this can also be seen as a downfall because the lighter coverage allows for blemishes or imperfections to be more visible. Making it more necessary to use extra concealer or color corrector. Another plus is that most also have SPF coverage too, but remember to still wear traditional SPF. This actually goes for CC/BB Creams too. Why, you ask? Because the SPF in these products actually gets diluted when mixing with the makeup so it takes away some of the SPFs potency.

My go to tinted moisturizer for all of 2020 has been Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20-Oil Free.

To Recap

If you are looking for a natural skin look that evens out the appearance of your skin’s tone while hydrating it grab a Tinted Moisturizer or CC cream. Looking for a natural look that act more as a primer and more coverage grab a BB Cream. If you really want to experiment and get the benefits of both a CC Cream and a BB Cream try mixing them together for fuller coverage.

Hope this breakdown helped when figuring out what is what. When all else fails try them all and see what works best for your skin. If you liked this post make sure to check out some of these other posts.

Self-care taking the backseat…5 things you can do for yourself right now?

Ice Rolling-the best $18 face hack

Mind blowing Makeup Dupes! My Favorite Makeup, Save vs. Splurge

Until Next time,


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