The Difference Between Tinted Moisturizer, BB Cream and CC Cream

May 11, 2022
Jessica Khorsandi
By: Jessica Khorsandi | by L'Oréal
person wearing makeup swatch

Looking for an alternative to foundation? From tinted moisturizers to BB and CC creams, there are plenty of options to choose from. Though similar, BB creams, CC creams and tinted moisturizers are all different in their own ways. To help shed light on the key differences and the pros and cons of each, keep scrolling.

BB Cream

BB cream is actually short for ‘beauty balm’ or ‘blemish balm.’ These all-in-one products — which originated in Korea before landing stateside — usually offer a combination of SPF protection, anti-aging and skin-soothing benefits.

BB creams are more lightweight than your average foundation. They also help smooth your skin’s complexion by concealing blemishes and imperfections while also priming and moisturizing the skin.

How to Use BB Cream

It’s important to note that BB creams aren’t formulated with enough broad-spectrum sunscreen to provide adequate sun protection (it’s simply an added bonus of most formulas!). So, don’t swap out your daily sunscreen use in favor of a BB cream.

BB cream should be the last step of your makeup routine. Start with a moisturizer, then a broad-spectrum sunscreen, then layer on a BB cream. Be sure to reapply your SPF throughout the day (at least every two hours) to help keep your complexion protected against the sun’s rays.

For more coverage, you can apply concealer and powder on top of BB cream.

If you want to try a BB cream out for yourself, we recommend trying the L’Oréal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream.

CC Cream

While BB creams and CC creams are similar, there’s one key 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.

A CC cream typically has fuller coverage than a BB cream because their main job is to act as a color corrector. They’re great if you want to combine the skincare benefits of a BB cream with the coverage of a foundation.

How to Use CC Cream

Similar to BB cream, you should apply CC cream after you apply your moisturizer and sunscreen. Remember to reapply sunscreen throughout the day to protect your skin. Follow up with the rest of your makeup routine.

Some of our favorite formulas include the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Nude Glow and the Dermablend Continuous Correction CC Cream SPF 50+.

Tinted Moisturizer

Tinted moisturizer, in essence, is exactly what it sounds like — a moisturizing cream that has a slight tint to it. They’re quickly becoming the product of choice for those 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 and perfect your skin’s tone. Due to the lighter coverage, however, tinted moisturizer may not completely hide blemishes and imperfections.

How to Use Tinted Moisturizer

You can apply tinted moisturizer on top of a regular moisturizer and sunscreen. A traditional moisturizer typically has more hydrating ingredients than a tinted moisturizer, so you won’t want to skip it.

For a sheer, lightweight veil of coverage, reach for a tinted moisturizer like the L’Oréal Paris Skin Paradise Water-Infused Tinted Moisturizer or the Maybelline New York Fit Me! Tinted Moisturizer. Just know additional concealer may still be required to cover up dark spots and blemishes.

tinted moisturizers

Which Should You Try?

Reach for a tinted moisturizer or BB 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, a primer, better coverage of imperfections, SPF, etc.), go for the CC cream instead.

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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