Updated June 3, 2021

What is BB Cream vs. CC Cream? – Which is Better for Skin?

What is BB Cream vs. CC Cream
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know that BB creams and CC creams SURGED in popularity in the past 5 years.

Unlike foundation, these creams give plenty of moisture and nutrients to your skin.

But which one should you choose? BB or CC cream?

Hop on this AB (Asian Beauty) trend and see which one fits your skin with our showdown!

Table of Contents

What's the Diff?

BB? CC? These aren’t just letter twins. And no, they’re not bra sizes, either.

BB cream and CC cream are multi-tasking skincare balms. They make your skin look better in photos #selfiemoments and IRL by improving your skin tone and texture.

But more than finish, these also nourish your skin.

Gone are the days when women need to cake on a thick foundation for a flawless look. With BB cream and CC cream, you’ll be PHOTO-READY and feed your skin with all the goodness at the same time!

It’s honestly hard to tell the difference between BB and CC creams, since most brands mix and match different product benefits for better results.

However, with a bit of expert digging, we found the best way to tell these two apart!

The Showdown at a Glance: BB Cream vs. CC Cream

Showdown at a Glance

BB Cream

BB Cream, which means “Blemish Balm” Cream, first made a scene in Korean skincare. BB cream is mainly a moisturizing balm with some color, so it looks and feels like an updated tinted moisturizer.

BB creams are so big in South Korea that they once made up 13% of their entire cosmetics market. That was in 2012. Now, the BB cream is a household name!

Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect from a BB cream!

  • Main Benefit: UV protection; moisturizing
  • Other Uses: Acne control; primer underneath makeup; sheer coverage
  • Application: Apply after moisturizer, before makeup. Use like a moisturizer.
  • Texture and Finish: Lightweight; dewy finish

CC Cream

CC Cream is a color-correcting cream, so it can feel heavier than tinted moisturizers and BB Creams. Obviously, CC stands for Color Correcting.

Some people with better complexion skip the concealer (or tinted moisturizer) and opt for this one instead.

  • Main Benefit: Color control; concealer; moisturizing
  • Other Uses: UV protection; acne control
  • Application: Apply after moisturizer; after BB cream (if any). Use like a primer.
  • Texture and Finish: Creamy

If you have uneven texture, then CC cream might be just what you need for flawless skin. Makeup artists love using this cream as a first step before applying other makeup.

With CC cream, you can also have that professional finish at home!

What Does Your Skin Need?

Everyone’s needs are different. And if there’s something that sets BB and CC creams apart, it’s their best features.

So we’ll compare these tools based on what they offer. Even basic BB and CC creams offer these three things:

  • Lighter coverage or heavier coverage
  • Moisturizing
  • UV Protection

So we’ll tell you about which one is best for these three needs.

If You Need Coverage...

Coverage

BB Cream

BB creams have sheer coverage and thinner texture. When applied with a beauty sponge, a BB cream doesn’t feel cakey at all and sits comfortably on top of your skin.

There aren’t a lot of these that can give you full coverage in the market. After all, that’s not its selling point.

That’s probably why some brands shied away from calling this a “blemish balm” and went with “beauty balm” instead.

So if coverage is what you need, this balm might disappoint. If you need an alternative to foundation for formal wear or cocktails, this isn’t the balm for you.

But if you’re trying to imitate the Korean Beauty philosophy, then the less product, the better. Grab that tube for sheer, light results!

CC Cream

Color correction is the name of the game with CC creams. CC creams act like a HYBRID of makeup primer and concealer, and can even replace foundation in your daily makeup routine!

Celebrity makeup artist Molly Stern recommends CC creams for ANYONE LOOKING for more out of their coverage.

This cream neutralizes imperfections by balancing blemishes and hyperpigmentation with its opposite color, like green, peach, or purple.

That’s how this cream fits a wide variety of skin tones. It’s also why it provides excellent coverage. In case you need a great base for your foundation, this cream is excellent.

Verdict

Depending on your skin type, BB cream and CC cream offers a decent amount of coverage.

  • Go for the blemish balm if you want to hide minor blemishes and want a lightweight look. It’s definitely better for everyday wear vs. CC cream, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • But if you truly want cream foundation-like results from just one product, CC cream should be your pick for BETTER COVERAGE.

If You Need Moisture...

Moisture

BB Cream

The BB cream formula was first intended to address skin issues like blemishes and sun spots. That’s why it’s packed with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

This cream takes the place of a tinted moisturizer in your skincare routine.

So if you feel like your current tinted moisturizer needs an EXTRA oomph, this cream is a great place to start.

CC Cream

A CC cream has plenty of moisturizing ingredients, but its priority is high-quality pigment. Since the goal of this cream is to even out your skin tone, its moisturizing effects come second.

That doesn’t mean you skimp out on moisture, though. Some CC creams can moisturize dry skin too, like It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better, which boosts skin moisture by up to 79 percent!

Verdict

You’re better off choosing BB cream if you need to repair your hydration layer. That’s not what CC is for, after all.

If You Need Sun Protection...

Sun Protection

BB Cream

Tinted moisturizers offer protection against sun damage, but BB creams DEFINITELY WIN because of its broad-spectrum SPF protection.

For example, the Missha Perfect Cover Cream has SPF 42 and a PA rating of +++. We all know SPF, of course: it’s great for protecting against UVB rays which cause discoloration.

But look for PA ratings too, because it tells us about UVA coverage. That’s our protection against cancer. Luckily, lots of creams have its PA rating listed on the tube!

That’s something that a tinted moisturizer might lack.

CC Cream

CC creams provide great UV protection, too. The Amorepacific Color Control Cushion Compact, for example, boasts a whopping SPF 50.

With this much protection, you’ll definitely avoid an uneven skin tone. That’s way better than what your makeup or foundation can give you!

Verdict

We have to admit: it’s a toss-up in this department. The product development of most brands prioritizes sun protection, and it’s rare to find any product these days without SPF.

So if UV protection is the most important criteria for you, you can’t go wrong choosing between BB and CC creams.

BB Cream vs. CC Cream: Which One is Best?

Versus

Now that we compared the two creams, the difference should be clear. Should you get BB or CC cream?

These creams have different purposes, so figure out what your own skin needs so you can choose the right product.

Use BB if...

Go for BB if you’re after added skin care benefits like moisturization. This cream takes the place of a tinted moisturizer in your daily routine. That’s why it’s called a beauty balm!

This cream is better because it’s:

  • Moisturizing
  • Nourishing
  • Lightweight 
  • Non-greasy 

Use CC if...

Try CC instead if you want an alternative to oily skin or cakey face makeup. Just like foundation, this cream gives more coverage for all skin tones. And if you use them right, you can ditch your foundation.

This cream is better at:

  • Evening out your skin tone
  • Smoothening your skin texture
  • Best for more coverage
  • Foundation replacement
  • Concealer replacement
  • Professional studio look and finish
  • Color-correcting dark spots

Other Things to Consider

The formula differs for every manufacturer. With the R&D in these products, the differences are becoming less obvious. Everyone has different needs, and only you know what’s best for your skin.

This is only a general guideline of the differences between these products. There’s no one-size-fits-all with skincare and cosmetics, but there’s something that can work for you.

One thing’s for sure: whichever you choose, you get more benefits with these than a regular foundation. It’s even safe to use these everyday!

Conclusion

Conclusion

Found which one you like? Do you spot anything different? If you were confused before, we hope this guide clears it up for you.

Generally though, we recommend BB cream for a light coverage. You can opt for CC cream if you need to cover up any darker redness or imperfections.

Paola Diaz
Paola Diaz

Hi, I'm Paola! A skin care enthusiast and nature lover. Creating content that promotes proper skin treatment and keeping a healthy glow is my way of sharing with the world how healthy skin can go a long way. I’m a firm believer of natural beauty that radiates inside all of us. All we need is the right kind of nourishment that inspires our wellness from inside out. So it’s really not about physical beauty alone – it’s the beautiful life we can create for ourselves when we connect with our own nature and see there is beauty that shines from every one of us.