Best BB and CC Creams

BB cream, short for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm,” and CC cream, short for “color correcting” cream, are a genius marriage of makeup and skincare—and their benefits are many.
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BB cream, short for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm,” and CC cream, short for “color correcting” cream, are a genius marriage of makeup and skincare—and their benefits are many.

Invented in the 1950s by German dermatologist Christine Schrammek, BB cream was originally designed to help post-peel patients mask redness. Every tube is packed with anti-aging ingredients that can moisturize, smooth, even out skin tone, and protect against sun damage with broad-spectrum SPF. Plus, a light tint will give your skin a dewy, luminous glow. The multitasking BB cream can be used as a primer, tinted moisturizer, and light foundation. It’s ideal for everyday use across all age groups.

CC creams are an all-in-one makeup and skin-care formula packed with SPF that offers full-foundation coverage, but feels like you’re not wearing makeup. Since the creams are buildable, you can layer on as much or as little pigment as you want.

The difference between BB and CC creams is subtle and depends on the brand. A CC cream’s primary purpose is to correct color-related skin issues, such as redness, dark spots, dull skin, or acne. It feels lighter on the skin than BB cream, but CC cream provides more coverage, usually with the inclusion of light-diffusing particles. Like BB cream, CC cream has sunscreen (SPF number varies by brand) and is packed with vitamins C and E, and other age-defying antioxidants.

Since BBs and CCs are designed to be multitaskers, finding the best one for you requires prioritizing. Choose one based on your primary complexion concern, and the other benefits will follow. 

Did You Know?

Although BB and CC creams contain SPF, you might not slather on as much as you would a traditional sunscreen, so protection may not be adequate for prolonged outdoor activities. Apply sunscreen as well, or reapply BB or CC creams every two hours.

Since BBs and CCs are designed to be multitaskers, finding the best one for you requires prioritizing. Choose one based on your primary complexion concern, and the other benefits will follow.

1. Treat your skin to makeup plus skin care with Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream with SPF 25. 

Grapefruit and apple extracts minimize pores, smooth fine lines, and brighten the skin. Extracts of white and green tea and honeysuckle calm and protect skin. Aloe and sunflower seed oil moisturize. And 20 percent titanium dioxide provides broad-spectrum UV protection. Available in eight water-resistant shades.

2. Get the trifecta of moisture, makeup, and sun protection with Pacifica Ultra CC Cream Radiant Foundation with SPF 17. 

Coconut water enhances elasticity, kelp nourishes and supports circulation, ginseng helps detox skin, color-correcting minerals adapt to your skin tone, and 11.4 percent zinc oxide provides broad-spectrum UV protection. Available in two shades: Warm/Light and Natural/Medium.

3. Delicate and dry skin will delight in Andalou Naturals CC 1000 Roses Color + Correct Sheer Nude with SPF 30. 

Alpine rose stem cells provide cellular support, while rosewater and rose essential oil soothe and soften sensitive skin, and hyaluronic acid and pomegranate hydrate and protect. Sheer, matte mineral coverage and UVA/UVB sun protection from 20 percent zinc oxide look natural, not chalky.

4. Stay sun safe with MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield Liquid Tint SPF 50. 

This light, oil-free lotion relies on 16.1 percent zinc oxide for broad-spectrum UV protection without nanoparticles. It also contains bentonite to absorb excess oil and impurities from pores. The result is a soft, matte finish. Choose from two sheer shades: Nude (light/medium) or Natural Tan (medium/dark).  

5. Multitask with DeVita Multi-Benefit Beauty Balm. 

This all-in-one sun protection, moisturizer, and mineral makeup is a treat for your skin. Aloe and hyaluronic acid hydrate, while green tea, pomegranate, and vitamin E protect skin. Nine percent micronized zinc oxide provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection and helps balance skin tone. Available in light, medium, and dark shades.

6. Hydrate, balance skin tone, rejuvenate, and protect your skin with Mineral Fusion Illuminating Mineral Beauty Balm. 

Aloe, licorice root, sunflower oil, and lavender moisturize and reduce redness. A mineral peptide blend of magnesium, zinc, and copper helps generate new skin cells and minimize pores and fine lines, while vitamin C, pomegranate, and white tea nourish and protect skin. Mineral sun protection from 3.9 percent titanium dioxide helps ward off harmful rays. Available in two shades.

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Best of Beauty Awards 2009

Welcome to Better Nutrition's annual Best of Beauty Awards! This special section features our favorite personal care products-from bubble bath to mascara to natural hair color.