The Difference Between Tinted Moisturizer, BB Cream, CC Cream and More
Leave it to the beauty industry to have so many different coverage options in addition to foundation. From tinted moisturizers to BB and CC creams — it’s seriously hard to keep track of all that’s out there, much less why we should pick one over the other. Perhaps two of the most popular lightweight, dual-action formulas out there are BB creams and tinted moisturizers, which to many, deliver more or less the same results. But, believe it or not, BB creams and tinted moisturizers are different in their own unique ways. Not sure quite how? To help shed some light (and guide your future purchases), we’re discussing the differences between BB cream, CC cream and tinted moisturizer, and the pros and cons of each, below.
You’re probably familiar with BB cream, but did you know that it’s short for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm?” These all-in-one products — which originated in Korea before landing stateside—usually offer a combination SPF protection, anti-aging and skin-soothing formulas. They’re much lighter in weight than your average foundation, and they help smoothe your skin’s complexion.
Additionally, these multi-taskers help conceal blemishes and imperfections in a pinch, while priming and moisturizing the skin at the same time. It’s basically the Swiss army knife of beauty products. If that’s not a must-have formula, we don’t know what is.
To recap: BB cream can offer the benefits of a moisturizer, anti-aging cream, sunscreen, primer and foundation in one product. Try the L’Oréal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream for the perfect combo. The main drawback, however, is that most BB creams aren’t formulated with enough broad-spectrum sunscreen to provide adequate sun protection. So, don’t swap out your daily sunscreen use in favor of BB cream. Be sure to layer up with your favorite broad-spectrum SPF and reapply throughout the day (at least every two hours) to help keep your complexion protected against the sun’s harmful rays. Better yet, wear protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and avoid peak sun hours for even more protection.
While BB and CC creams are similar, there’s one difference that makes them completely unique from one another: CC creams, also known as color correcting creams, are meant to reduce the look of redness or discoloration. Their texture is lighter than BB creams because their main job is to act as a color corrector and not a foundation. CC creams have a lighter, whipped feel, while BB creams often have a heavier consistency. BB creams are also formulated with an array of skin-nourishing benefits, whereas CC creams only target issues pertaining to skin tone, such as to reduce the redness associated with blemishes. If you want to reduce the appearance of minor skin imperfections with lightweight coverage, try pairing your CC cream with a BB cream to get the best of both worlds. Some of our favorites include the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Oil Free CC+ Cream and the Giorgio Armani Luminessence CC Cream.
Tinted moisturizer is, in essence, exactly what it sounds like—a moisturizing cream that boasts a slight tint to it. They’re quickly becoming the product of choice for women looking for an alternative to their thick foundation, or an easy way to cut one product out of their routines without losing the results they want. The upside to tinted moisturizers is that they offer barely-there coverage with a lightweight feel, evening out your skin’s tone with a gorgeous dewiness. However, due to the lighter coverage, tinted moisturizer may not completely hide blemishes and imperfections. To recap, if you’re looking for sheer coverage, reach for a tinted moisturizer like the NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil. Just know additional concealer may still be required to cover up dark spots and blemishes.
BB cream and tinted moisturizers share many similarities. They both offer lighter coverage than foundation, come in a number of shades and are suitable for all skin types— no wonder some people can’t tell them apart! There are, however, some differences worth noting:
Consistency: In terms of consistency, BB cream is typically heavier than tinted moisturizer. If you’re looking for minimal coverage—think: a no-makeup makeup look—reach for a tinted moisturizer over a BB cream. Either way, you’ll achieve a more natural look than if you had gone for a foundation.
Hold: This of course depends on the brand, however, we have found that most BB creams—that also have built-in primer— can offer better staying power compared to tinted moisturizer. Heading out for a full day of work or errands? A BB cream is sure to have your back.
Ingredients: As for the ingredients, many tinted moisturizers don’t offer anti-aging ingredients in their formulations, whereas many BB creams do. As we mentioned before, many BB Creams combine several elements of skin care— moisturizer, anti-aging cream and sunscreen—with elements of makeup, like foundation and primer. What’s more? The level of SPF in tinted moisturizer is usually lower than what can be found in BB cream. If you’re looking for a product that will give you the most bang for your buck—as in, the most possible benefits in a single product— a BB Cream is probably your best bet.
Price: Both BB cream and tinted moisturizer are offered in a wide range of price points and can be found in your local drugstore and specialty beauty retailer alike. For that reason, you’re sure to find both a BB cream and a tinted moisturizer that’s within your budget!
Moral of the story? Reach for a tinted moisturizer or CC cream if you’re looking to even out the appearance of your skin’s tone while hydrating it at the same time. If you’re looking for something a little extra—think: anti-aging, primer, better coverage over imperfections, higher SPF, etc.—go for the BB cream instead.